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Kallen Vermillion

"I will do what I can to protect the Earth, no matter what the cost may be."

0 · 672 views · located in Tokyo, Japan

a character in “Halcyon”, originally authored by cl.love, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description


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Kallen Vermillion
「 "Our planet is in danger, and as such, so are those who inhabit it. I am here to protect everyone." 」

【 Twenty-One 】【 Male 】【 Aro Ace 】
【 Mage One 】【 Katsuhira Agata 】【 4B0082 / 8B008B 】


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A P P E A R A N C E

D e s c r i p t i o n // Kallen has the appearance one would expect of a Mage, the only thing that can be called "missing" is perhaps a pair of round spectacles. He is very tall, standing at a grand height of 191 centimeters, and is rather thin and lanky in build. He has little muscle tone and is not much in a physical fight, as he's actually quite weak. However, Kallen is quick and agile, a master of dodging attacks and hiding from his enemies. Kallen's hair is a pale white color, having been permanently stained that way after he failed the execution of a spell he'd invented, meant to help change the color of cloth and other items without extra effort. His hair is not very neat, always in seemingly bedhead-like state as it naturally curls outward in places, no matter how hard he tries to smooth it down. Kallen's eyes are a steely grey and sport a perpetually disinterested look, as if he truly couldn't care about anything the world has to offer. In reality, he simply rarely gets any sleep, if the constant bags under his eyes are any indication. Kallen is rather light for a boy of his age and stature, weighing around 65 kilograms, yet rather than making him seem ill it only aids in his speed and flexibility. Kallen has pale skin, as somehow he can't tan at all - no matter how he does it, he can't tan, he only burns - and his complexion is well taken care of, with few blemishes. Kallen cares little for his appearance really, enjoying simple clothing like button-up shirts and jeans, but he will dress nice whenever he has to meet with anyone important, which, sadly, is much too often. XXX

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P E R S O N A L I T Y

Protective - Diligent - Honest - Polite - Impartial

i. Kallen isn't much of a social butterfly, but he will fiercely protect those he loves, even if it means giving up his life for the cause. He cares deeply for the people close to him, and cares deeply for those he doesn't even know, as he strongly believes that all life is connected and must be defended. XX
ii. Kallen is the kind of person who won't give up on anything once he's started. He's determined, always taking things through to the end and never backing out on a deal or promise he has made. XX
iii. In terms of modesty, Kallen has a lot, but he will always tell the truth to those who ask for it, even if the truth hurts. He can't bring himself to lie to others, especially those he truly cares about. XX
iv. Ever since he was small, Kallen has been raised to respect others, as his family is very highly regarded and as such he has to keep up a kind image. He's known for being "a little too passive." XX
v. Kallen hates taking sides, preferring to stay the neutral party and quietly instigate an argument. XX

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S T R E N G T H S

A g i l i t y // Kallen is very flexible and quick on his feet, making him an expert when it comes to dodging attacks. When not in battle, however, he can actually be quite clumsy and airheaded. XX
S p e e d // Speed is one of Kallen's greatest strengths, as he has long legs and a light build, along with a good deal of endurance. If he's running from a fight, it'll be hard catching up to him. XX
L o g i c // Kallen is smart, with a great deal of common sense and a quick mind. He's fast to think up a solution to a predicament and always has a backup plan, weighing out all of his options. XX
M o r a l s // In his childhood Kallen was brought up to have strong beliefs when it comes to right and wrong, and he knows where boundaries lie in terms of what is acceptable to the public. XX
W E A K N E S S E S

T i r e d // Due to spending nearly every night up late reading and working out theories and running experiments, Kallen's sleep schedule is absolute chaos, and he's almost always exhausted. XX
R o m a n c e // No matter who he meets or who he's set up with, Kallen simply can't stand to enjoy any of the dates he's been paired with, which is quite insulting for someone so "important." XX
C o m p l e x i t y // Despite what many may believe, Kallen's spells actually tend to be quite simple, disguised to look complex when in reality, Kallen has no patience for complicated things. XX
F r a i l // Kallen, in his physical state, is fit but not at all strong, and will falter from a direct hit. He gets sick easily, and even small injuries heal ridiculously slowly without any magical influence. XX

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H I S T O R Y

Kallen was born to a kind but serious mother, his father a much more spontaneous and random person. He spent his earlier years stressing his parents out with rather explosive shows of magic, unrefined in his toddler state. Even as a small child he was fascinated by spells and enchantments, always excited to watch his parents perform either. When Ambre was born, their mother took to training Kallen in proper magic in order to keep his constant accidents from harming the baby. A year or two passed, and Kallen quickly learned to control his magic, using it whenever he could. XX
When Ambre was barely two years old, Kallen began to notice that their parents argued often, at times escalating into screaming matches that would end in their father storming out of the house while their mother mumbled under her breath, frustrated. Kallen learned that during those times, it was his job to look after his sister and care for her, knowing that his mother needed a break. One day, after an especially huge fight, Kallen's father left and didn't return for several days. When he finally came back, their mother refused to let him see his children, and then he was gone for good. XX
Growing up without a father wasn't hard, really. It was something Kallen quickly grew used to, and Ambre didn't remember their father almost at all. It was normal. As the years passed, the two came to realize that their mother was drifting apart from them, overwhelmed by the stress of her position and having to raise two children on her own. Eventually, their mother gave the job to the house's servants, and after that, Kallen and Ambre saw little of their mom outside of formal events. XX
Kallen, having started learning magic at such a young age, improved rapidly. He learned spells as quickly as he learned to read and write, memorizing words easily but rarely needing to say them aloud for a spell to work. He excelled in spells that required more body movement than speech, and he came to love enchantments, especially those upon plants. As he grew older, Kallen became more and more secluded, spending entire days holed up in his room working on new spells and magical tools to aid everyday actions. He drifted farther from his sister and his mother, not really interested in social conduct, and neglected to put any effort into making friends with other people. XX
He never got too excited about offensive magic (or anything, really) and valued practical magic a great deal more, though his caretakers still stressed that he learn at least how to defend himself in a fight. He never got to quite the same level as his sister, but he enjoyed himself nonetheless, quietly applauding Ambre's skill and admiring his sister's strength of will. He became incredibly skilled in making spells - mostly successes, aside from the one failed spell that turned his hair permanently white - and ended up befriending Lukas Isharian, a fellow magic inventor he met once at the magic olympics. Kallen spent his time alone, studying and inventing and enjoying the peace and silence. XX
When the Vermillion Pillar fell, Kallen had been surprised, and despite the fact that they rarely spoke, he could see the affect the fall had on his mother. He couldn't help but feel bad about the stress it put on her, and he began to put more effort into learning offensive spells and fighting techniques, hoping that if he learned how to fight better, he'd be able to lessen the load on his mother's shoulders should their family need to fight. In the end, Kallen and his sister were sent to help protect the Kotonoha family's Pillar, traveling far from their home in Europe to Tokyo, Japan. XX

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S T A T I S T I C S

S t r e n g t h // 4 | 10

D e f e n s e // 3 | 10

I n t e l l i g e n c e // 10 | 10

S p e e d // 9 | 10

M a g i c a l_ E n e r g y // 10 | 10



CS - Chrian Blaire
Edits - StarlightPrincess
Inspiration - Scar-, bethelit, Verix
Player - StarlightPrincess


So begins...

Kallen Vermillion's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by chrian.
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From the depth of ashes and despair

We shall rise like the morning star

For the dawn of a brighter day

For the world that awaits our cries

We shall sing the requiem of salvation

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xxxxxThousands of years have passed since the epic war of myth between humanity and the mythical creatures of the unknown. It was the greatest war ever known in history, yet sadly, have been forgotten. Ever since then, magic has stopped flowing freely across the world, yet magicians have banded together and lived harmoniously among the normal ones. Under the protection of the three Pillars, peace has prevailed for eons, and the lives of those who wander the surface of Earth has went on, untroubled from any extraterrestrial threats from those coming from the other dimensions.

xxxxxYet little did anyone, both humans and magicians alike, expect of what is about to come and threatened the very peace and harmony that they are enjoying to their cores.

xxxxxIt felt as if within just a blink of the eye, everything that the magicians once fought for almost shattered into nothingness right before their eyes. The Drakens, those who once threatened that they will return to claim our world, had exacted their vengeance without any of them noticing. With the fall of two Pillars, the whole society of magicians was shaken, fearing of another war of myth that would spell certain doom to the world where magic is no longer as common as it once was.

xxxxxBut hope is not yet lost, as the final Pillar still remain standing. With the agreement between the three greatest magician families, some of the most powerful magicians of the modern era are coming together, to protect the last stronghold against the inevitable attacks of the Drakens, now that the barrier has weakened. For these six young individuals, it was something that they have never been prepared for, but for the sake of the very world they love, they have no choice, but to take up their swords and recite their spells, against what is about to come.

xxxxxOur story began as the four representatives of the Vermillion family and the Isharian family departed from their faraway homelands to arrived at Tokyo, the capital of Japan, where the heads of the Kotonoha clan are waiting for them at their estate. For now, no one can be certain of what will become of the fate of this world, but at least for them, this will be a brand new adventure.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by cl.love


Kallen Vermillion



Image Life's too short to even care at all. ✘ ✘ ✘


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i.Dialogue : #4B0082 | Thought : #8B008B
iTheme: Cough Syrup by Young The Giant
iiiiiii FC: Katsuhira Agata | Kiznaiver
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Kallen was exhausted. Of course, this was a relatively normal state of being for him, considering how many times he would neglect to sleep in favor of studying deep into the wee hours of the morning, but exhaustion bred from a redeye flight from London to Tokyo - that was another matter altogether. XXX
As far as flights went, theirs hadn't been that bad. They'd met no turbulence or any other kinds of delays, and they'd flown business class, so they hadn't been stuck next to strangers for the entirety of the flight, which was a relief. XX
However, the flight was eleven hours long, and that in itself had been one of the most incredibly boring experiences Kallen was sure he had ever endured. XX
He'd taken the fact that they were in designer seats and surrounded by normal humans (meaning no magic in public) to catch up on lost sleep, and had been completely out for ten hours of the flight, leaving his sister to pass the time on her own. Kallen had woken again just as they were preparing to land in Haneda Airport, and had spent the leftover time enjoying the view. XX
Now, as he and Ambre finally arrived at the Kotonoha estate, Kallen finally began to feel the twinges of anxiousness nagging at his stomach, causing the beginnings of a headache he would certainly blame on jetlag. "We are here..." He mumbled, mostly to himself as a rather unsuccessful form of reassurance. Kallen had no need to reassure his sister. Ambre was confident, and scared of nothing. She didn't need anyone else's comfort, she'd manage on her own. XXX
Just as Kallen was starting to wonder if they should go ahead and enter, a second car pulled up, and out came a familiar face, one that soothed a small amount of Kallen's nerves. "Hello, Lukas. It has been quite a while since I have seen you in person. It is a nice change." He spoke, English accent thick. Kallen bowed his head slightly to greet Rosa, saying nothing more to either of the Isharian siblings. Small talk and reunions were not the priority now. XX
Kallen made no effort to be the first to move, and he ended up following behind as Ambre and Rosa took the lead. The gears in his head whirred as he took in his surroundings, making a mental note of everything he saw and memorizing what he could. He said nothing as the four foreigners approached Takiya and Risako Kotonoha, two people he'd only ever seen in photographs or from a side view at meetings and at the Magical Olympics. XX
I can only hope that we will all get along, if only for the sake of others... XX

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by Anty
Rosa Isharian
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【 Wizard #2 】
#4C030A | #936A18


Rosa was by no means tired or nervous, even through the tedium of the plane ride and the fact that there was only one Pillar left was at the forefront of her mind, lingering, settling, and ever present in the fact that she was in unfamiliar territory. The ground felt unfamiliar on her feet, the land felt charged with power, and she felt unimaginably distant from her home... Though she'd never been the kind of person to cower behind others, or to give up when she was about to do something that might take all of her mental faculties to get through, and this was not such a challenge. She had a high opinion of the other magician houses, the Vermillions and Kotonohas, but she was no less than them.

She said nothing on the trip to the house, traveling in silence with Lukas...

and the first thought running through her head when she finally did step out of the car wasn't on who she'd meet, what they would be like, and how the meeting would go - she already knew, more or less, how things like this always went and was knowledgeable on a distant level with the other esteemed magicians tasked with the protection of the final pillar. Rumors, word of mouth, and seeing them in their element at the competitions all contributed to her idea of them.

She started moving, taking the lead almost immediately and only pausing to nod subtlety at Kallen and Ambre.

Her expression was blank, her eyes were sharp and daring anyone to say something to her, and she betrayed no sense of nervousness in the way she walked immediately to the two Knight siblings. Back straight, steady breath, steps heavy and loud. Past the IMSO guards, without batting a single eye at them, and standing even taller when she caught sight of the magic knights - she radiated no hostility, only a sense of cold, harsh determination. They could break every one of her bones with a flick of their arms, she imagined, but it gave her no fright... and, she'd admit, thinking of them in those terms wouldn't do much to get them working together well.

"Rosa Isharian," She introduced herself, giving a respectful nod and with perfect enunciation. Her gaze traveled between Takiya and Risako, not uncertain, but waiting for either one of them to address her, "reporting a successful trip with no troubles or interference." She said nothing more, standing still, arms crossed, and waiting for instructions - she was on their turf, she'd follow their rules.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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kotonoha risako

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Magic Knight #2
hex codes: #E49E4F || #BDC3AD



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Risako could practically feel the superiority of the Kotonohas in the air.

Risako didn't want to seem arrogant. But the demeanor of the four foreigners seemed somewhat stiff, or at least, definitely not relaxed or cocky in any way, shape or form. Of course, that was a given, considering the world is hanging in the balance.

The female Isharian - Rosa, was it? - was leading the quartet. She was obviously the oldest in the group. Her expression was blank and unemotional, and her eyes were sharp. She betrayed no feelings through her stride or her mannerism. Rosa reeked of coldness and hard determination, with her too-straight back and completely steady breath. She headed immediately towards Risako and Takiya with no hesitation in her step. Risako noted that Rosa seemed to stand taller when she saw the two Kotonoha siblings. She definitely needed it, although Risako shouldn't be the one to talk. The black-haired Magic Knight could practically guarantee that she was the shortest of the group, standing at her measly five feet. But Rosa wasn't particularly tall either, as she was perhaps only a few inches taller than Risako herself. If Rosa was a little bit taller, maybe by like, one foot, Risako might actually consider being intimidated by the Isharian.

Hah.

"Rosa Isharian," the pale-haired Mage introduced herself, giving a respectful nod to the two Kotonoha siblings. Risako noticed her gaze flickering between herself and Takiya, as if she was waiting for someone to address her. "Reporting a successful trip with no troubles or interference." The Wizard finished speaking, her arms crossed, waiting for either Risako or Takiya to speak. Risako decided the take the reins.

"Kotonoha Risako," Risako introduced herself simply. "We have basic ground rules for you to follow, but I must stress that you do not burn the place down." Risako looked at Ambre as she said that. The Vermillion had a reputation. "And while I'm not an expert in teamwork, I'd suggest not being as stiff as boards. It lowers team morale." Risako could practically taste the sardonic undertone in her words.

Yeah, this was not going to go well.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by Kestrel
Ambre Vermillion




The air would've been a godsent, if it weren't for the scorching hot sun in it. “Never thought I'd see the day I'd miss London.” Ambre complained at her equally weary brother. In one hand she held onto her luggage. In the other, she twirled a lighter she'd bought in the airplane, painted with moonrunes and cat figures. It'd been transformed into at least 47 different shapes within the past few hours, but somehow she'd gotten it back together.

Ambre's second expense had been a large, white hat to protect against the sun. Unlike Kallen, she had barely caught an hour's sleep inside of the plane. Paired with thick sunglasses to hide the walls below her eyes, the younger Vermillion sister looked like an apparition in midday Tokyo.

A number of cabs, street salesmen and “Are we there yet?” whines later, Kallen and Ambre finally arrived at the Kotohana residence. Any other circumstance, Ambre might have cared more to wisecrack about the traditional lay-out, but right now it might as well had been a cemetery. Ambre felt like the walking dead. Hunched over like she had come to sound the Notre Dame, and her wheeled luggage trailed behind with. Kallen seemed to have found a friend – to Ambre's slight relief. As long as he had that Lukas-fellow, her brother was at least one social contact away from turning into their mother.

Truth to be told, most of the introductions passed by Ambre. She pushed her sunglasses back up to her nose, following Rosa Isharian's introduction with a near automated; “Ambre Vermillion, present.”

However as she was lowering her arm and put the lighter in her mouth, one of their supposed hosts, a girl spoke up – or so Ambre believed she was. Heck, she might as well be thirty as far as Ambre was concerned. Age and Japanese did not fit in the same sentence. The moment she spoke, however, Ambre stopped caring about any of that. The lighter twitched in her mouth and her sunglasses slid down her nose.

“She say whaaaaaat?” Ambre looked at Kallen with widespread eyes – pointing at the girl with one finger and pushing the lighter back with her other; it's flame inadvertently popping on and off.

After she'd recovered her facial composure, Ambre yawned. “Doesn't sound like someone who needs my help.” Ambre concluded without much of the usual life to her voice. Girls like her host were about the last thing she had patience for today. “Well, good luck.” Ambre shrugged her shoulders and waved back before making her way to the exit.

“Saaaayonara!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by chrian.
K O T O N O H A
T A K I Y A

┎──────────────────────┑

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┕──────────────────────┙

「Magic Knight 2」

#965660 | #DFA855

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Takiya's conversation with Risako was cut off abruptly with the arrival of two cabs at the front entrance of their estate. As much as he is not so knowledgeable and efficient in magic like the Mages or the Wizards, he can still feel strong auras, distinguished themselves from any others, emitting from the two cars that had just arrived. They are just as intimidating and powerful like that of their own. He has never personally met any members of the two other families tasked with the duty of guarding the Pillars, but one thing he can be certain is that these representatives are not just your everyday magicians, and he can expect some strong, if not eccentric, personalities from those who were about to step out from those cabs.

As expected when the four foreigners approaching them, the two females, namely Ambre and Rosa, brought forward a rather overwhelming presence with them, while the two males, Kallen and Lukas, seemed to be somewhat... subtle, if not even somewhat fidget and stressed. He let out a quiet sigh. It's not like he has the old-fashioned belief that males should not be so soft and females should be so tough or anything, but having lived in a family structured by traditions for centuries and having taught himself to always be tough for most of his life, Takiya must admit that he had a bit of a tendency to impose his own opinionated views on others. Still, he still has enough conscience to know that it was never a good thing to judge a book by its' cover.

Rosa walked through the stern gazes of the other IMSO polices boldly and stood tall when she faced the two of them. There was no signs of aggression coming from the white-haired woman, but her fierce determination despite her respectful and formal introduction almost gave Takiya a sense of respect for her. Of course he doesn't fear her, for he himself also emits the same intimidation all the time. It would be interesting to see Rosa get in action. The younger girl, Ambre, also introduced herself shortly afterwards. A rather... strange girl, if Takiya may say so himself. Her reputation of being an unorthodox and somewhat a black sheep Mage of her family precedes her. It's difficult to predict what can she do, but this is not the first time Takiya ever met with someone like Ambre, so he doesn't have any problems with her in particular.

Anyone would have noticed that the six of them have very clashing personalities, and Takiya is beginning to have some doubts if they could work well together. Although that is not his judgement to make at the moment, but what happened next have almost confirmed his worries.

Takiya was about to formally introduced himself back to the two young magicians, but his sister beaten him to it. As usual, Risako can simply never speaks to anyone without adding a salty statement or two. He wouldn't have cared normally, but at the moment, that's simply the unwisest thing to do. True, they are the hosts here, and while they may have a sense of superiority, the last thing they need is unnecessary conflicts in a strenuous situation like this. While a crude like him is of no rights to criticize his sister, he has been in the IMSO force and dealt with many cases to at least know that much. As expected, Ambre blew her gasket shortly after and was about to stormed off afterwards. Takiya facepalmed himself in utter displease at his sister, "Of all times to be sardonic and you just can't hold your tongue for this once time. Those slaps kaa-san gave you really are just for nothing?"

Without even sparing a moment to hear Risako's whining, Takiya dashed forward in such a speed that it almost felt like he was teleporting from whence he stood, to right in front of Ambre on her path. Of course, it was certainly a rude thing to do, but he could care less about it. "My sister simply has a sharp tongue and sometimes she doesn't know what is right to say in a certain circumstances like this. I hope you do not concern yourself over it. As your hosts, my deepest apology for having failed at showing our hospitality, Ambre-san." He bowed to the young girl in an apologetic manner.

However, he doesn't hold back on what he was about to do next, "And forgive me for my bluntness, but in case you are still thinking of returning, Lady Elise, the current leader of your family, has specifically required that you and Kallen-san are not allowed to return to London until a solution is found." Takiya reached his hand inside his jacket and pulled out a parchment tied with a ribbon with the insignia seal of the Vermillion family over it. He handed it to Ambre, and approached the other three foreigners. "I also apologized if we have offended you in any ways. As the current head of Kotonoha, I can assure that your aids are most specially needed in this dire time. Please let just set aside our differences for now and focus on our greater goal."

Takiya called Yukito, who was standing behind Risako, over to them. The boy nodded and led the guards who were holding the luggage and belongings of the four foreigners to them. "My apprentice, Yukito, will take you to your rooms. If you have any questions, please ask him. I know you all must be tired after your long journey, so please rest and do any unpacking you may have. I know it will be difficult but since you all will be staying here for a while, I hope you can make yourself at home. Our official meeting will take place during dinner, and we will be joined with a very important figure."

"Please follow me." Yukito said as he motioned the guards to follow him and led the four to the guest quarter of the estate. Takiya watched on as the his four new 'companions' made their way to the guest quarter with Yukito before their backs disappeared completely. He walked passed Risako, saying nothing to her. He had simply given up on her stubbornness since they were young and didn't even care anymore. He himself was salty enough to let none of her cheeky words to even bother him. Instead, he spoke to the two nearest IMSO polices standing near her, "Shinoda, Tetsuo, let's go." They nodded to him as the three exited the mansion. He needed to check an area that was spotted with a strange presence that a nearby magician family had just reported. "Takiya-san, are you feeling well? Your face is reddening." One of the two asked Takiya as they bypassed the barrier surrounding the neighborhood, which startled him as he hid his face in frustration, "N-Nothing. I'm okay."

Meanwhile, Yukito and the guards have made it to the guests quarter. They gave the four their own belongings and left, while the white-haired boy remained. The quarter is spacious with many empty rooms and oversees a garden in the back with a big cherry blossom tree in the center. "You may stay in any room in this quarter if you like. While our mansion has a rather old structure, we have already applied with the latest state-of-the-art appliances so I hope it won't be a discomfort for you." He then stepped forward and performed a simple knowledge transferring spell by holding each of their hands. "In case you got lost, I've showed you the ins and outs of this estate. As you may have noticed, there is a big well in the center of the household that is currently being heavily guarded. Please don't go there without asking first, as underneath is the sanctuary where our Pillar is being kept."

Yukito then stood in front the four of them and bowed respectfully, "Again, I am sincerely sorry for any offenses that my master and mistress may have caused. They are not very good with their words but I can be certain that they meant no ill-will towards any of you. As Takiya-sama have said, I too hope that the three families can work well in the upcoming feuds." He straightened himself up and smiled, though still in a formal manner, "Do you have any questions as of currently? I'll be around most of the time so if you require any helps, please don't be afraid to ask."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by Zallen
The entire plane trip to Japan, Lukas had swapped between gut-wrenching anxiety, sleepiness and sulking like a little kid.

On one hand, he was kind of excited to go to Japan. Lukas had experienced a weabo-phase in his younger preteen years (they had really good inspiration in mangas) and, like most kids with passion, learnt the language with a passion directed to finally understanding what the people on tv were talking instead of using the crappy subtitles. He'd retained the information as he'd gotten older, never quite putting his love for anime and manga behind him, but even though he'd always wanted to visit Japan....

He hadn't wanted to do it while he was one of the people in charge of saving the world.

The anxiety had been due to Lukas finally being forced out of the confined safety that was his house and sent out into the wilderness that was the city. Not just for the usual hour or two that Rosa or the others could convince him to do (3 if Rosa was feeling particularly determined), but for an entire day that involved nothing but wide open spaces and, horror of horrors, interacting with people. Lukas couldn't help but shudder at the thought. Thank heavens he'd brought the watch he was trying to fix - Lukas wasn't sure how he'd have survived the constant talking otherwise.

A larger feeling washed over it though, one that made Lukas frown with disappointment - he had failed to convince the others to help him test out one of the newer inventions, the Molecular Disintegration and Reintegration Travelling Device - or, as the others liked to call it, the Teleportation Machine. Lukas and his idea buddy had helped come up with the idea, but it still had kinks - namely, magical energy conversion rate, machine mass and the fact that anything larger than an apple more than two meters away ended up imploding.

... Maybe they were right to not use the Teleportation Machine, after all.

Hmm. He just had to figure out why it kept malfunctioning. Maybe it was because of a fault in the design? Lukas frowned, scribbling down theories into his grimoire until he passed out from exhaustion.

By the time he and Rosa had made it to the Kotonoha estate, Lukas had felt exhausted, although whether it was from the jetlag or the great out doors he had no idea. Dressed in a simple black shirt, red plaid jacket and jeans, Lukas felt out of place in the odd manor, desiring for nothing more than to find their new living quarters and do nothing but hide away from the world for a couple of hours. Hunching his shoulders, he frowned unhappily, twisting his fingers together inside his pockets as he walked a few steps behind Rosa like the shadow to her harsh brightness. Still, Lukas felt his spirits lighten upon meeting Kallen. "Kallen! Likewise," Lukas replied, giving a faint but genuine grin. "It's been around a year or so since we've last saw each other, hasn't it? Uh... You look nice."

.... oh crap, I paused. There was definitely a pause there, I hadn't mean to, and what do I mean 'he looks nice' I should have used a different topic aaaa- In his consternation, it took a few seconds for Lukas to realise that he was suppose to answer. Cringing with embarrassment, he spoke up. "U-Uh." he stuttered, nerves overtaking his voice and turning it soft, "Lukas Isharian - present." Aaaaaa I missed the timing aaaaa-

Slipping his hands into his pocket to hide his urge to fidget, Lukas hunched his shoulders in on himself even more and stayed silent as if he aimed to become one with the background. His eyebrows furrowed together with worry when Ambre stalked off after Risako's blunt words, anxiety stirring a knot into his stomach, but the crease between his eyes lessoned when Takiya, seemingly annoyed by his sister, went after Ambre.

Takiya left then, excusing himself while they made their way to their rooms. Momentarily, Lukas panicked, biting his lip. Do we say thanks or not?! Uhhh- Taking a chance, Lukas took a deep breath and opened his mouth. "Um. Thank you." he said haltingly in English, a faint bow of his head, and then they were on their way.

Yukito - the Stewardess, transferred spells to them, a map. Lukas made a note to take it apart and study later -

After what seemed like ages, the Steward finally showed them their sleeping quarters. Lukas could have cried with relief - large, no shared rooms, and more importantly nowhere close to people. Placing the duffle he was carrying down, Lukas smiled faintly at the Steward as he apologised about the head of the family, if it made any sense. "Ah, its ok!" he said, scratching his head sheepishly. He smiled at the Steward, soft and genuine. "We - I understand. They seem good people. Thank you for showing us around! As for Questions...."Um. I'm sorry for asking this," Lukas asked Yukito apologetically, flushing a bright red. "but who are we meeting? The head of the clan..?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by cl.love


Kallen Vermillion



Image Life's too short to even care at all. ✘ ✘ ✘


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i.Dialogue : #4B0082 | Thought : #8B008B
iTheme: Cough Syrup by Young The Giant
iiiiiii FC: Katsuhira Agata | Kiznaiver
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Kallen smiled minutely at Lukas' response, his friend's anxiety and nerves in full view. But, there was no time to answer, with the introductions in motion. XX
Kallen, ever the observer, said nothing as introductions went underway, the conversation parting around him as Rosa and Risako spoke, the both of them teeming with confidence and the smallest ounce if arrogance. He wasn't at all surprised when Ambre also reacted negatively to Risako's statement, and he let out a quiet sigh as his sister headed off toward the exit, hardly making a move to stop her. Takiya got there first, and in the back of his mind, Kallen wondered if Ambre would challenge the guy to a fight for getting in her way. XX
Luckily, no such battles happened, and Kallen fell in step beside Ambre as they were led to their rooms. "Takiya is right. Mother will not let us go home until we have proven ourselves here, and solved the problem. For now, we should at least try to get along. The sooner we reach a solution, the sooner we can leave." He said, so much chastising his sister than giving a suggestion. He knew she wouldn't listen to him if she didn't want to anyhow. XX
He was impressed by the sheer size of the Kotonoha estate. The Vermillion mansion was indeed gigantic, but where the size back home was shown by three stories, here the grounds stretched as far as the eye could see, intricate gardens and beautiful architecture catching Kallen's attention. It was rather minimalist, and Kallen was enjoying it. He'd never seen the point in flaunting one's wealth by a show of meaningless objects, even if his own home did so. XX
When Yukito transferred a map of the grounds, Kallen was instantly in love with the spell, curious as to how it worked and if anything other than maps could be transferred. He almost voiced his thoughts, but became distracted by Lukas' question, almost feeling bad for his friend. "Takiya and Risako are the heads of the Kotonoha clan. Lady Minami relinquished her position to them once they were both of age." He answered, all eyes on him. Kallen fidgeted where he stood and apologized to Yukito for speaking out of turn. XX

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion
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#, as written by Kestrel
Ambre Vermillion




The force from one of her hosts running after her almost blew off her hat. Within a split second, the sir of the Kotonoha pair had put himself between herself and the doorway. Do you run after all the girls like that? Ambre snarked inwardly, watching the contours of her dress pull on her ankles as she prepared a quip and spell if he'd try to stop her. Yet, completely opposite to what Ambre was expecting; the young man bowed and apologised. She almost couldn't believe the contrast between siblings and clipped her sunglasses onto the neckline of her dress just to get a glimpse of it. He's for real.

“Not to return? You say that like she's-” The girl raised an eyebrow at the mention of her mother, but Ambre's own thoughts interrupted her speech. Though his gaze was fixed more at the ground than her eyes a second ago, Ambre didn't need to see his face to read the young man's feelings. That big of a deal, huh?

“Relax,” She sighed, placing a hand on the Kotonoha heir's shoulder. “You didn't do anything and besides, I should at least rest before going anywhere, anyway. I mean look at me,” Ambre pointed at the circles under her eyes, “I'm a mess.”

Soon they were told in more detail about their stay and brought to their rooms. The prospect of crashing in the nearest room sounded like everything she ever wanted. Face - pillow - unpack later. She dragged along the line, only speaking when Kallen approached her. “Oh yeah, I remember the days I cared about what Elise wants.” Ambre rolled her eyes at her brother – surely he knew better. “But what's with all these people apologising for others? Weird, right?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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kotonoha risako

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Magic Knight #2
hex codes: #E49E4F || #BDC3AD



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As soon as the words left her mouth, even before the Vermillion girl dashed out of the estate, Risako knew she messed up big time.

She also knew that her brother was well aware that she was much too proud to apologize. Takiya facepalmed himself - a funny sight, but Risako was getting off-track.

"Of all times to be sardonic and you just can't hold your tongue for this once time. Those slaps kaa-san gave you really are just for nothing?" Takiya snapped. Risako stayed silent as Takiya left to speak with Ambre, but not from shame. Risako didn't need to say anything. Her brother knew the answer, and he also knew she was too stubborn to apologize for her...misstep.

Risako simply waited until Yukito led the other Isharians and Vermillions to their quarters, before getting up to follow them. A pair of guards started whispering, but their quiet gossip ceased as soon as Risako laid her stony gaze on them. It wasn't particularly hostile at all, but Risako's amber eyes were imposing in a quiet way as she headed inside the estate.

You see, now that the guests were settling into their quarters, Risako actually wanted to get to know them. Not Ambre, though. Definitely not Ambre. Risako was more interested in the male Isharian. Lukas seemed like a person who wouldn't explode on contact. And he didn't seem like the most passive person. Risako had always envisioned Kallen as a person who was rather...introverted. Rosa was...well, she was Rosa. Risako never thought of her as a conversationalist. And Ambre...well, Risako didn't have to say any more.

Risako overheard some of the group's conversation as she started to (somewhat) approach them, unnoticed. Then again, she wasn't exactly heading directly towards them. "Takiya and Risako are the heads of the Kotonoha clan. Lady Minami relinquished her position to them once they were both of age," Risako heard Kallen speak, supposedly ending whatever conversation the five were having. Someone didn't know we were the heads of this family? Risako wondered to herself, bewildered. Oh, well. They know now.

Risako waited for the others to head to their selected quarters as she silently approached the room Lukas chose, knocking the door. These guests may not believe it, but Risako, despite her inability to work in a team, needed people in her life. Sure, she was far from a social butterfly, but contrary to popular belief, Risako could be a good listener. That is, if the circumstances were right.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by Anty
Rosa Isharian
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【 Wizard #2 】
#4C030A | #936A18


For a moment, Rosa was left dumbfounded.

The audacity to correct her wasn't particularly appreciated, but she didn't have the time or pettiness to start a fight now.... or, at least, that's what she told herself. She spoke as evenly as she could, a show of forced respect for their strenuous situation, and forced an awkward, considerably not-genuine smile - if she opened her mouth to say anything else, the situation would turn uglier quickly, something she couldn't afford to allow being a representative of the Isharian coven.

So, she stayed quiet, for then, and put all her effort into ignoring Risako's existence until they made their way to the rooms. Already her opinion of this little 'team' was going sour quickly, but she'd ride through it for the sake of the world, if not for the sake of the others here - she could only hope that things would get more bearable soon, lest her temper flare up in spite of her want to keep things... at least not violent. She could handle that.

She followed Yukito to the living quarters.

With her fist clenched and her expression seeming to radiate even more intensity than before, she took a few deep breaths as she stood in the hallway, her eyes settling on Yukito. She'd calmed down now, she could speak now, and there was little risk of her being too harsh now, though her outer appearance might betray that. Calm down, deep breaths, don't get angry yet.

Following Lukas' question about the head, and Kallen's response to said question, she spoke - though she didn't ask a question as much as she did state what she believed to be a fact, "That... aside, I'll need access to the pillar, preferably with someone to act as a guide, as to evaluate its defenses from the viewpoint of a wizard - at a later time, of course." She said, letting the words sink in for a few seconds. She'd go to her room when she was given a response - until then, everyone else could choose their own.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by Zallen


Lukas Isharian



Red | Darkred


[hr]
Ah. Whoops. Lukas felt embarrassment welling up inside him like water at high tide, slipping his hands inside his pockets. His fingers touched a couple of screws left behind from a magnet experiment, and Lukas felt himself relaxing as he rolled them around with his fingers.

"Ah, I see." Lukas smiled gratefully at Kallen (and he really was grateful for the information). "Thanks, Kallen!"

It wasn't surprising for Lukas to be out of the loop when it came to things like this - he'd spent years focused on nothing but magic and machinery and items without much care for anything outside of them. He was woefully out of touch with most of the clan drama and political ongoings, knowing only snatches from conversations with Rosa, Kallen and his idea buddies (if yelling and working on ideas at each other could be called friendship). If people were phones and socialites were apps, Lukas was that old model which occasionally required shaking to get a good current and had needed an app update since last year.

Still. Lukas should have known in hindsight - Takiya had carried himself with an authority similar to his mother than a fresh male new to adulthood, and now that he'd thought about it there had been rumours of the Kotonoha family head leaving her children in charge of the clan. Maybe he should start paying more attention to things outside of magic....

Rosa spoke up next. "That... aside, I'll need access to the pillar, preferably with someone to act as a guide, as to evaluate its defenses from the viewpoint of a wizard - at a later time, of course."

"Um. It's ok if we're not allowed to, though!" Lukas said to Yukito hurriedly, trying to soften Rosa's words. He shot Rosa a glance, half warning, half pleading - we're intruding on their territory, please lets just be polite just a bit longer until they're used to us - before going back to talking with the blind boy (what did the mask do, though?), expression transitioning into a sheepish smile so seamlessly the look could have been missed by anyone not paying attention, tone contrite and polite. "It's just, one of the reason's we're here is to help guard the pillar, so, um, it'd be nice to know what defences there are, so that we can, well, know how we can... help..."

... I'm making the situation worse, aren't I? Shit.

"W-Well." Lukas smiled, stuttering only a little as he tried to cover up his possible faux-passed with cheer. "We'll ask Takiya and Risako later." They probably wouldn't have to bring it up at the table - Risako was there, and Lukas was fairly sure she'd both listen in and tell Takiya later. "And, um, just let us know how we can help? Even if its not the pillar, and. Uh. It was nice meeting you, thanks for showing us around and the map, we'll just, uh, go to our rooms - I mean I will - ok I'll just." Lukas cringed, abruptly aware that he was babbling about things everyone would more or less know already but unable to stop himself. Oh god, he needed to die in a hole after this. "Shut up now. Sorry!"

And with that, Lukas took his bags and went into his room, face heating red enough to cause the fire alarm to sound and hopefully melt him like the Wicked Witch of the West (it didn't sadly, but one could always hope.)

After placing his bag down, the first thing he did was flop face first on the bed and close his eyes, exhaustion rolling over him now that he was alone. Still, memories from before played in his head like a reel of film on repeat, and before long Lukas was seated on the desk, bag half unpacked by his side as he focused in recalibrating the amount of magic the watch could hold. It was nice work, giving him something to focus on like an anchor at sea, and Lukas had no idea how much time had passed until there was a knock at the door.

Who is it?Stretching his arms with a frown, Lukas stood up and made his way to the door. Grasping the knob, he pulled it open just a bit, only to reveal a waiting Risako.

Lukas blinked, surprise on his face. "Risako- uh. Kotonoha Risako?" almost on reflex, a welcoming smile formed on Lukas's face. "Hello. Um. Do you need anything...?" He asked politely, keeping the door half-shut like a barrier between himself and his new visitor.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by chrian.
K O T O N O H A
T A K I Y A

┎──────────────────────┑

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┕──────────────────────┙

「Magic Knight 2」

#965660 | #DFA855

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When Lukas asked Yukito of the person whom they will meet at tonight's meeting during dinner. He wrongly speculates that it was the head of the clan. Though before the white-haired boy could answer, Kallen beaten him to the question, though the young Mage quickly apologized afterwards for cutting in abruptly. Yukito shook his head with a smile, "No, it's okay. I understand the fact that Takiya-sama and Risako-sama are now the leaders might not be very well-known so it's not a problem if you don't know it. But although Lady Minami had stepped down, she is still the main guardian, and I would say she's still the most reliable person around here. As of whom will you meet later tonight, let's just say that without this person, none of us would have been able to stand here today."

Right after, Rosa raised the question whether if she can be taken to the sanctuary where the Kotonoha's Pillar is being kept. Again, before Yukito could reply, Lukas jump in and try to support his sister's statement. It was as plain as day that this man is really nervous. "No, there is nothing wrong with that too. If you want to see the Pillar, you need to ask permission from Lady Minami herself. When she had accepted, I will personally take you there. Though it's best that you do not venture there by yourself even if you have had the permission. I know you all are very confident in your abilities, but down there, one wrong step means certain death."

He then stood in front of the rest of them, "Well, if you have any other questions, you can look for me anytime. I have been serving the Kotonoha's family for years now, and since you all are our respectable guest, it is my duty to give you the best service too. Please don't be afraid to ask if anything pops up. For now, I think everyone deserves a rest. We will meet again during dinner." Yukito bowed to them and took his leave as everyone also made their ways into their rooms.

Meanwhile, Takiya and the two IMSO polices accompanying him have made their way to the area where the strange presence was felt. Emergency surveillance has been established all across Tokyo, and every magician in the city has been instructed to report immediately should they detect any disruptions or strange presences which distinguished themselves from both human and magician alike within the magical field. It should be rather surprising that something would have turned up so fast right when the two Pillars have just been destroyed, but it is still within expectation.

"This trail is pretty new. The lingering aura within this place is unique. I don't think I've ever encounter any living with a presence like this." One of the two polices, Tetsuo, spoke while examining the ground in the alley they are standing in with some magic dust. Every being with a soul emits their auras, and they often leave trails wherever they went. Of course, humans are oblivious to this, but magicians are highly perceptive of detecting one's aura. "Letting themselves to be known so easily like this, history is correct after all. These things are simply arrogant."

"That's to be expected. They considered us as lowlifes anyway. They wouldn't get any satisfaction from merely obliterate us. Toying with us seemed to suited their styles more." Takiya deduced, "Let's -"

Before Takiya could finish his sentence, an extremely sinister presence crept up behind them. Takiya quickly dodged by moving his body to the left. A fireball was shot from behind them, missed Takiya by mere inches before hitting the ground, leaving a rune behind. Instinctively, he unsheathed his sword, readied to face whatever that had caught them by surprised. But the being had already been gone for good, leaving absolutely no trail on its' wake.

"Did that thing just teleport or something?" Shinoda said, "If it manages to get away just like that without even leaving a trail, then this thing is going to be hard to chew."

"Forget about it. What's the deal with this rune?" Takiya shifted their attention to the newly carved runes caused by the fireball earlier. He examined it carefully, but simply gave up, since he's not a good hand with things like this. The same also applied by the other two, "No clue. Maybe my new companions can decipher this. Tetsuo?"

The guy nodded and handed him a big sheet of paper, which he placed over the rune and waved his hand through it. A few small lights emitted from under the sheet and the rune has been perfectly captured on the table. "Let's go and check up other surveillance channels. Whatever this thing is, I'm dying to slash it in half."

Dusk soon falls, and the three were on their way to return to the Kotonoha household, after having been chasing ghosts. It really seemed that their only clue is the rune, but at least they are confirmed that the Drakens are already at large in Tokyo. "Say, it has been nagging me but today's sight was really something we don't get to see everyday, huh? I didn't think you'd bowed to her like that." Tetsuo raised the question as they walked home. The three of them have been friends since high school so it was of no problem to ask something straightforward like that.

"You don't think I'm afraid of her or her baby tantrum, do you?" Takiya shrugged, "Ambre is notoriously known for being a rather mad scientist. And Risako just have the worst tendency to blow things up in the most crucial of moment. The last thing I wanted right now is to have a bunch of egoistic toddlers to run around shooting beams at each other. They may not care about their honor, but I do, and I don't want our names to be tarnished, especially in a time like this. It's not going to be easy managing a team like that but I've been through worse. So I simply took one step back, and waiting to take three steps ahead."

"Well, your ability to kick a team into shape is never questionable, after all." Shinoda replied, "We lackeys couldn't do anything to help you, so good luck handling them with a straight face before they blow your gasket."

"I hope so too." Takiya said as they entered the estate. The guards are staying on their vigilant guards as ever. Yukito was waiting for him at the door, "Takiya-sama, dinner is ready and Lady Minami is also attending. She's waiting for everyone to arrive." He nodded and walked with his apprentice to the dining room, which like the rest of the estate, has a traditional style. And the first one he saw when he stepped in the room was none other than his mother sitting at the end of the dining table.

Minami was wearing her usual white kimono and drinking tea in a calm manner, yet her overwhelming aura can easily impose a sense of superiority on anyone. Even though she is no longer the head of the clan, her words still have weight in every matter is because of this reason.

"Good afternoon, dear kaa-san." Takiya bowed to her before taking the seat on her right side.

The middle-aged woman placed her teacup on the table and asked, "Judging from your look, I assume you bring bad news."

"As a matter of fact, yes. I will get down to it later." He replied, "So is she going to show up here, or we have to go all the way down there?"

"I believe it would be disrespectful if we don't meet up with her there. She certainly has many things to tell you younglings in your upcoming battle, that is to be expected." Minami calmly said, "Now, I'm almost curious to see how the other four almighty magicians that have been sent to us will be."

"I wouldn't get my hope up if I were you, kaa-san." Takiya remarked in a slight sarcastic manner as the two waited for everyone to show up.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian
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#, as written by cl.love


Kallen & Lukas



Image A bond that prevails when life grows dark. ✘ ✘ ✘


Image

i.Dialogue : #4B0082 | Thought : #8B008B
iiiiiii FC: Katsuhira Agata | Kiznaiver
iiiiiDialogue : Red | Thought : Darkred
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii FC: Castor | 07 Ghost
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Lukas blinked again. There were a lot of things he could have said about that (the only time an opponent would get the drop on him being when he allowed that person to get that close, for example), but it’d be a bit too impolite to say to someone he barely knew - especially since she was right. “...okay…?” He said instead, unsure what to say. When Risako mentioned marriage, Lukas’s eyebrows went up in surprise - he hadn’t wanted to marry her either.

Ew. No. Oh my God, no. I don’t even like people that way, no, especially someone I just met. Lukas thanked whatever gods were out there for leaving him blush-free as he nodded, continuing to listen with a faint polite smile on his face.

Um. Yeah, I know where to go, don’t worry. Thanks for offering, though.” Lukas said politely. “I think I’ll go change before heading down, though. Thanks for offering to help. See you at dinner!” He beamed at her, waiting for her to turn before closing the door shut with a quiet click.

His smile slid off his face like water off glass as he locked the door, heaving a quiet sigh of relief. His shoulders felt lighter as anxiety Lukas hadn’t realised he had melted away, unknotting inside his stomach. Talking to a new person, especially one with such an intense personality… had been nerve wracking, to say the least.

Lukas glanced at the clothes he’d left hanging on the wall. Choosing a white button-down shirt that had a thin red and blue stripe sewn on one sleeve, Lukas had just taken off his shirt when his phone buzzed in his pocket.

---


Kallen, after settling into his own room right next to Lukas’, had discovered that shoji doors were incredibly bad at keeping out sound, and he’d ended up unintentionally eavesdropping on the entire conversation between his friend and Kotonoha Risako, a person Kallen himself wasn’t too keen on spending time with. She and Rosa were much too brazen and impolite for his comfort, and while he was used to seeing it from his own sister, it didn’t make the action any less frustrating to observe.

Hearing the soft clack of a door shutting and footsteps fading away down the hall, Kallen turned from where he’d been unpacking his alchemy books and pulled out his cell phone, typing out a quick text to Lukas despite the fact that he easily could have spoken to him through the wall.

Egg |
I heard your conversation with Miss Risako through the wall. Are you going to be alright? It sounded rather intense.

Once he noticed the notification chime of his friend’s cell in the room next door, Kallen set back to unpacking his books, spreading them out on the floor beside his futon in a haphazard manner, not truly caring for order. He received a message back almost immediately.

Glassabi |
ye, ill b alright, probly. (^_^;) u heard thro th wall? how?

Egg | The walls are made of rice paper. It is not very good at keeping sound in or out.

Glassabi | ah. ill add muffle-charm 2 the rooms later, i guess. srry if we disturbed u (>_<;)

Egg | A muffling charm would be smart. And you did not disturb me, do not worry. I am more concerned over what your decision will be regarding her proposal. But that should wait, dinner is soon and neither of us are dressed to meet Lady Minami.

Glassabi | aaa, that’s right! was ½ changing oops. Lady Minami used 2b the hd of the clan, right? n the decision, haha…. im not sure wat 2 do tbh. shes right tho. + its a gd deal. thoughts?

also d u want a muffle-charm fr ur rom? i can make urs xtra-strng :)


Egg | Yes, I would. It would be good in case something explodes while we are here. We should hurry though. Should I wait for you?

Glassabi | if u want sure! lmost dn chng. ill wait fr u outside?

Egg | Sounds good, I am just going to change my shirt, since it got wrinkled from sleeping on the plane.

Quickly pulling out a clean button-up from his suitcase, Kallen changed and re-donned his tie, deeming himself fit to meet someone of high status. He knew there would be no point in trying to tame his hair, it wasn’t going to budge no matter what he did to it. When he opened the door, he heard small clicks coming from the right.

Turning his head, Kallen found Lukas leaning against the wall, looking down with concentration in his eyes, twisting a rubix cube deftly in both hands. Unlike Kallen’s fluffball head, Lukas’s red hair was slicked down neatly, and he looked dapper in green jeans and a white dress shirt that had a thin red and blue strip on one sleeve. Kallen held out a hand. “
Shall we?

Lukas gave a start, shoulders jumping like a startled bird before he noticed it was only Kallen. Relaxing, Lukas grinned and straightened from his slouch against the wall, daintily taking Kallen’s hand like a pirncess at a ball. “
As you wish, my lord. ” He said jokingly, laughter bubbling in his voice.

The two friends arrived at the meeting hall together, splitting as they entered in order to take seats on opposite sides of the table next to their respective sisters. They both bowed respectfully to Lady Minami before sitting, waiting for the meeting to begin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by Kestrel
Ambre Vermillion




Any room was good enough for Ambre. Glaring at the magical parchment from the corner of her eye, a sleep-drunk Ambre slugged herself through mansion corridors. Since when are feet that heavy? Ambre asked herself, directing the guard who had taken her luggage “Thatta way.” with a myriad of loose hand movements. A fraction of her mind wondered if the guard even spoke English, but truth to be told, Ambre really was too tired to give it more thought.

The Japanese futon was ideal to trip and fall flat on. “Arigato!” Ambre thanked the guard she heard wheel her luggage, but her arms struggled to push her body back up to face him. Before she could turn, Ambre heard the door close. Probably for the best. She thought to herself, sinking deeper into the futon.




Though Kallen and Lukas made little commotion, Ambre woke up to the realisation her brother and his friend were dolling up. Already? She complained internally, twisting and turning. Ambre hadn't slept nearly enough to her liking and leaving the mattress was about the last thing she had in mind.

Her face still muffled in the pillow, Ambre's stretched her arm and let index finger write letters in the air. With a wpm that could make any secretary jealous, commands appeared in a luminescent Courier New font around the room. Each string of words was sucked in one the conveniences in the room. The futon and her wheeled carriage, but also a coffee machine, security camera, her mobile phone – like magnetism; all kinds appliances were attracted to one another. Each piece interlocked with one another, forming a mode of transport. Within seconds, Ambre was lying in a self-transporting bed-buggy.

Tapping onto the keys of her phone, a slightly less weary Ambre copied the path to the conference room from the magical parchment – before her improvised vehicle was on it's way to the meeting. The security camera acted as a collision detector to correct the sloppy route she programmed and the coffee machine worked a double shift; alerting everyone of it's presence as it crushed beans.

“Ohayō!” Ambre waved at the bewildered servants. “Don't worry, it's totally safe!” She tried to assure them – Though she still wasn't sure if any of them could understand her. Ambre sighed. At least the other guests spoke English – as did that... Yukito, was it? The blindfolded young man had completely escaped her curiosity earlier. Well, for now she hoped she could make herself understood with what little the travel guidebook had taught her.

The bed-buggy carried on it's way, the coffee machine beeped the black gold was ready. Ah, finally! Ambre sighed of relief, as she crawled to the pot to pour herself a cup. As she let herself fall back onto the mattress, however, Ambre suddenly noticed one of her host's servants in the way! The woman – not understanding what she saw, was stifled by fear. Yet for whatever reason; her bed-buggy hadn't picked up on the obstacle and was driving her way still on full speed. It was then that Ambre realised, that in her half asleep magic, she'd forgotten to include manual controls!

Within a split second, Ambre used her magic to let one of the front wheels fall of her bed-buggy; throwing it for a sharp turn to the side! Her construction splintered one of the shoji doors – and she inadvertently barged into what appeared to be Rosa Isharian's room!

“Ow, ow, ow.” Ambre moaned, pulling herself out from under the splintered door. She looked back, relieved to see at least the servant was safe, before turning back to Rosa with a sheepish smile.

“I know this is a little unorthodox but-” Ambre weaved letters in the air, which one by one were sucked into the pieces of door, “We've been summoned. Care for a ride? Ambre tapped on the mattress of her bed-buggy as the shoji door reconstructed itself before the dark-skinned wizard. “It's actually mostly safe – and has coffee! Want some?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by chrian.
K O T O N O H A
T A K I Y A

┎──────────────────────┑

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┕──────────────────────┙

「Magic Knight 2」

#965660 | #DFA855

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Takiya sat and waited along with his mother while conversing with her about things that are going on around the city, how the current magicians' community is faring after the news about the demise of the two Pillars broke out. There was panic, obviously, but luckily nothing too serious had occurred. The best thing everyone can do now is join hand and try to protect what was remaining, so that all that they have spent for millennium to preserve will not become futile. The heaviest burden is still weighing on every member of his family, Takiya knows it for sure, but retaining a cool head is one of the many things that he was taught, so he can too need to do what he can, and hopes for the best.

The first one to join them was Risako. She bowed respectfully to their mother before sitting down at her own seat besides Minami, while flashing a cheeky grin towards Takiya. The middle-aged woman nodded and acknowledged her presence. Takiya simply shrugged at it, as he never really cares of whatever she is up to as long as it wasn't too troublesome. Like what she did earlier that day. The two of them are polar opposites and they certainly not the all 'loving, caring for each other' kind of siblings you would normally see on a manga or a TV show, but all in all, they are still siblings, and they have known each other for all of their lives, and they got each other's backs whenever needed. That's for him is more than enough. Their mother seemed like she didn't know about the little commotion that happened yet, but Takiya finds no need to tell her just to make his sister look bad so he just leave things as they were.

Coming in soon after is the male representatives of the Vermillion family and the Isharian clan, who were Kallen and Lukas respectively. Like earlier, the two of them seemed to still struggling to be comfortable, as if they are fearing of doing anything offensive. It's still their first day here so it was no surprise, but he is beginning to have doubts whether they would be able to work well when thrown into a team setting, as they didn't look like they have ever worked in one before. Takiya is not the one to judge from the outlooks, however, as they are the heirs to the most powerful Mage and Wizard clans, their magical prowess is not something to question. He will see this through though. As much as he hates being soft, he's not dumb as not to know the situation they are all in. Thoughtless things will only bring unnecessary problems, and that's the last thing he wanted at the moment.

Ambre also joined them a short while later and it seemed that Rosa will not be joining them, probably due to jet lag, and she is currently resting in her room. Minami, who had been remaining quiet, spoke up, "Now that most of us have arrived, shall we get on with our dinner?" She announced and glanced at Yukito, who nodded and clapped his hands, as the servants brought forward trays of food and politely placed one in front of each one of them, "For dinner tonight, we will have a traditional Japanese meal. Please enjoy your food." The white hair boy said before taking his leave with the other servants.

They all began to eat their meal. While they were eating, Minami spoke up and gained everyone's attention, "As you all may have known, my name is Minami, the former head of our family. My current duty is the main guardian of the Pillar under our protection. It is a pleasure to meet the heirs to the famous Vermillion and Isharian family." She said in a polite and formal manner, yet her overwhelming aura can still imposed a sense of respect, "I assumed that the three of you have had a long journey from your home countries here. I hope that our household is comfortable enough for you to stay. Do you have anything to share or any opinions of your upcoming missions? I would love to hear them before we get to our discussion."

As everyone took their turn to speak, Minami listened to their guests as they express how they felt after they have arrived. When they are finished, she nodded to them, "I see. It was very interesting of you. I apologize for any inconveniences you may have during your stay here, but I hope the six of you will work well together. Now, for the main part, I believe Takiya have something to show you all." She glanced over to her son.

Takiya nodded to his mother before taking the scroll containing the rune he had taken earlier out, "When I went out on patrol earlier, I came across some sorts of being that I didn't manage to identify. It disappeared before I could do anything, but this what it left behind." He rolled the piece of paper out and set it in the center of the table, "I'm not really knowledgeable with things like this so perhaps you guys can figure out what it meant?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion
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#, as written by Kestrel
Ambre Vermillion




On her lonesome, Ambre wheeled through the last corridors. Rosa had looked incredibly tired and declined her offer. Ambre had to admit she felt for the woman after her own flight. Planes could be the devil.

Last of the magicians to arrive, Ambre jumped off her improvised vehicle and took her chair at the dinner table. She asked the servants – at least the ones that weren't blindfolded – about what each and every dish was. Though Ambre couldn't quite get all the details out of them before they left and the middle-aged woman, presumably Minami, began speaking.

Heir? Ambre's smile soured. Perhaps Kallen didn't mind being addressed that way, but the to the girl that word was like wasp poison. For as short as their mother was, her shadow spanned all from London to the very dinner table. Ambre was quick to stuff her face with a bowl of rice to hide her expression – lest protest come out of her mouth.

“Oh, right, iti- ita...” Ambre swallowed her first bite, furrowing her brow as she rummaged her pockets for the traveller's guide. She pulled out the tiny page and flipped through the pages, before proclaiming “Itadakimasu!”

When Minami asked for the magicians thoughts on the mission, Ambre shrugged. “Is just guard duty, right?” She wasn't exactly worried about their fighting chance. After all, Ambre hadn't put herself between the drakens and pillar when Vermillion's fell. Her concerns were elsewhere. “As for the place, it's very different so.... I've made myself comfortable.” Ambre cheekily grinned thinking of her bed buggy. She was going to make a lot of changes over the coming days.

As Takiya called attention to a rune he found, there was nothing Ambre could do or tell about that. “You good?” Ambre poked Kallen with her elbow. Contrary to her, Kallen had paid a lot more attention to the household's lessons. “I wanna check out something else.

“Surprise necked the other pillars right? I can do something about that.” Ambre spoke up, “Anyone free to show me what kinda security you got over here?” She didn't know if Takiya or Risako wanted to stay for Kallen to work his magic on the rune translation, but Ambre preferred to do something instead of twiddling her thumbs.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by cl.love


Kallen & Lukas



Image A bond that prevails when life grows dark. ✘ ✘ ✘


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i.Dialogue : #4B0082 | Thought : #8B008B
iiiiiii FC: Katsuhira Agata | Kiznaiver
iiiiiDialogue : Red | Thought : Darkred
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii FC: Castor | 07 Ghost
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Traditional Japanese food. Sitting up straight in his chair, Lukas laced his fingers together underneath the table and, with as much subtlety as he could muster, stared at the white haired boy - Yukito, if he was remembering it right - from before as they were in the room. This mostly meant glances every few minutes or so that lasted a bit too long before Lukas felt Kallen’s foot prodding at him and he remembered that it was impolite to stare. He'd look away then, doing his best to remember what the blindfold looked like in those few seconds of sight, before giving into curiosity and glancing curiously (if a bit self consciously) at the blindfold again, stopping only when dinner arrived.

If Rosa had been there, she would have stopped him from staring so much. As it was, Lukas had no problems letting his mind wander while he ate, giving the proper Japanese greetings in a quiet voice that could barely be heard, mind whirring away with half formed ideas.

Lukas was curious. The boy was somewhat obviously blind - or maybe he was in some weird masochistic training - but he was moving around like he could see. There were different degrees of blindness - actual blindness and being unable to see a foot in front of you without spectacles, for example. Which was Yukito? Did the blindfold help? It didn't seem magic, but that might be because of the distance. Or was it the innate magic that the knights had that helped the boy retain his grace? All of this faded, however, when Lukas realised the dilemma in front of him.

Silently, anxiety thrumming through him, he nudged Kallen with his foot. Raising the two sticks in his hand as if he was about to pick up Rice, he raised a questioning, somewhat helpless eyebrow.

The question was clear. How do you eat with chopsticks?

Kallen said nothing as his friend stared not-so-subtly at Yukito. He inched the smallest bit closer to his sister, not feeling entirely comfortable in a new environment but not willing to make his discomfort known to their hosts. He didn’t want to be rude. Seeing Lukas’ difficulties, Kallen let out a quiet sigh and reached across the table, fixing Lukas’ fingers so they were holding the chopsticks correctly. It took a few tries, but Lukas caught on quick.

While there was a good reason for them all being there, it didn’t change the fact that several of those in the room had problems of their own, from their egoes to insecurities to simply a general unwillingness to surrender to anyone else’s “control,” or in this case, suggestions.

Do you have anything to share or any opinions of your upcoming missions? I would love to hear them before we get to our discussion.

Lady Minami, I am grateful you have invited us into your home, it is a great courtesy, and an honor to know how highly you think of us. However, if I am entirely honest, I would much rather be home right now.” Kallen replied bluntly, bowing his head slightly to convey respect despite his words. It was no lie- he was willing to do just about anything to help, but he couldn’t lie and say he didn’t miss the familiarity of his home.

Silently, Lukas agreed. He… really didn't like being in a strange place, let alone in another country for who knows how long. It was nerve wracking trying to figure out what the culture was like, and what to do - exhibit chopsticks serving as a good example. Still…

What about Rosa? She wouldn't leave. The world was at stake, and owed his mother and all those who’d died in the invasion. At that memory, Lukas felt his stomach twinged with guilt for even wanting to go home, for wanting to be comfortable. He didn't deserve to, not until he'd found a way to fix what he'd done. To right the wrongs he had caused...

Outwardly, a faint smile on his face that showed no hint to the guilt and anxiety settling within him, Lukas took a deep breath, steeling himself. “
If it's alright with you, Lady Minami, could you clarify what you mean by missions? Do you mean guarding the pillar, or do you mean something else? And.” Lukas hesitated, biting his lip before going on, somewhat hesitantly. “Um. would it be alright if I - if I took an empty room as a workshop..? I could use the room you've given me, but… it will be a bit cramped if so…

Kallen nodded along with Lukas’ request, knowing that both their experiments could often get out of hand, and that they’d both brought along enough books and tinker projects to fill their rooms entirely. The request was passed over momentarily to be discussed at a later date, and the conversation progressed onto newer topics.

Kallen’s eyes lit up at the sight of a rune, and he grabbed at the paper eagerly as Ambre slid it toward him and Lukas. “
You good?” Kallen looked to his sister and nodded with the smallest of smiles. “Yes, I will be alright.

Lukas blinked, leaning over to look at the picture Takiya had given them. “
A rune circle..?” He said out loud, eyes widening in surprise. It turned into a frown as he continued to read, eyebrows furrowing with thought. “Seems like anglo-Saxon runes. Some of them, anyway…” he pointed at a squiggle inside a smaller circle. There were four of them, pointing in opposite directions like the marker of an invisible cross. “These seem more like symbols.

Kallen nodded in agreement. “
It is not a summoning rune. Did it do anything when touched? Perhaps it is for a delayed-reaction spell?

No, if it was touch activated, it'd have been activated by now.” Frowning, Lukas left his seat and walked over to Kallen’s side to get a better look at the picture. “It’s a pretty complex circle - look, see the sun symbol and the four miniature circles around it?” Lukas tapped at the four circles in question, pointed in the ordinal directions of a compass. “That one's got a different meaning than the main four circles here.” He tapped at the larger circles pointing in the cardinal directions of a compass, in the outer ring above the previous four circles. His eyebrows rose, eyes alight with interest. “But it's still interconnected with the main circle… fascinating.

As Lukas and Kallen talked, their demeanor changed. The anxious look on Lukas’s face melted away into interest and a comfortableness that etched a faint smile on his face, and even though he was hunching forwards, there was a lightness in his shoulders as if a ton of weight had been lifted off of him. His voice, usually soft and hesitant, retained its soft quality but no longer wavered like it took effort to speak, becoming more confident and direct. Kallen’s shift was subtle, a glint in his eye showing an interest that had been an emotionless facade earlier. There was an audible lilt in his speech, his voice brightening simply from the conversation topic.

Seated shoulder to shoulder and pouring over the photo, talking like they were the only people in the room, the two almost seemed like students trying to figure out a puzzle problem in a game.

Lukas tilted his head. “
These runes seem really familiar though… Kallen, what do you think? Do you have any idea what they mean?

Kallen frowned, staring at the symbols for another moment before shaking his head. “
I am afraid I have forgotten. It has been quite a while since I have studied runes.

Ah.” They fell silent, pondering. A moment passed. Then Lukas snapped his fingers, face brightening with the grin of an idea. “Wait - remember that book I lent you last summer? ‘Runes of the Ages’ or something, I forget. Do you have it with you?

Ah, yes! I brought it along so I could return it to you. I believe it is in my suitcase.

Sweet!” Lukas got to his feet, somewhat clumsily. “Let's go get it then! It could help with figuring out what the runes say.” Grinning, Lukas turned around - and promptly remembered that he was surrounded with people he barely knew.

It was like getting a splash of cold water in the face. Lukas could feel his enthusiasm falling faster than water down the drain. Body freezing into place like a corpse, blood going cold and leaving his face pale, Lukas’s smile froze into a corpse's grin as he abruptly remembered that no, they weren't alone, they were with a bunch of strangers in a foreign country and oh shit he'd fucked up with the first impressions all of them were going to laugh at him like all of the people before -

If Rosa had been there, it wouldn't have been so bad, because she was the one person who had known him most of his life and he knew she wouldn't judge or laugh. In fact, she'd fight off all the people who'd even snicker. As it was, she wasn't there in this room full of people and Lukas could feel his brain freezing, his train of thought unraveling into uncomfortable panicking spirals that he couldn't force back together no matter how hard he tried. Taking a deep breath that didn't seem to help, Lukas forced his body to turn, in a slow, awkwardly robotic movement, towards Lady Minami.

L-Lady Minami,” he said quietly, looking down at the floor. He didn't dare to look up and see the expression on her face. “We - I-I mean, can- may-” Lukas stuttered to a halt, voice stalling uncomfortably in his throat, shoulders hunching in on himself as his hands began to shake with both the anxiety that was oh god people and the humiliation of not being able to piece a single sentence together like a normal person and generally spazzing out and basically oh god why couldn't he talk normally like Rosa or Kallen or Ambre or literally anyone else.

Once Kallen noticed Lukas starting to spiral back into anxiety, he was quick to react, taking his friend’s hand and gently pulling him up. Lukas squeezed Kallen’s hand like he was about to fall off a cliff. “
Lady Minami, Takiya, I am afraid we will need other materials to be able to translate this. Please excuse us momentarily.” He said, bowing once again to the others before all but dragging Lukas from the room, grabbing the rune paper on his way. Lukas remained silent, but the hand Kallen was holding twitched with gratitude, and Kallen sighed. I hope one day we can both get over our issues with other people...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion
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kotonoha risako

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Magic Knight #2
hex codes: #E49E4F || #BDC3AD



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Minami nodded, acknowledging Risako's presence as the latter sat down. Takiya shrugged indifferently in response to Risako's cheeky smile. One could easily tell that the two siblings weren't exactly the closest. But in the end, they were still family. They may not seem like the most compatible, being polar opposites (not in the opposites attract kind of way, obviously), but the two Kotonoha siblings had each other's backs when it was needed. Risako would lay down her life for Takiya. Of course, she would absolutely never say that out loud. She was far too cheeky and far too proud for that. Risako felt like part of her mind thought she was only cheeky as a defense tactic. That part of her thought that being indifferent and sassy, in a sense, would make it far harder for anyone to find out Risako's weaknesses. While her personality did make it difficult to find a weakness, the other part of Risako thought she was just cheeky because she was born that way. The Magic Knight came to the conclusion that both sides of her were correct.

Soon after, Kallen and redhead Lukas came in. The two, similar to earlier, were acting as if they were treading on thin ice. They seemed cautious, in a sense, as if they worried they were about to say something offensive. It seemed like the boys were like that.

After those two came in, Ambre Vermillion arrived. She came in on an improvised vehicle - probably something she magicked herself. Perhaps it was a Mage thing? Risako was never quite good at crafting - or putting things together with magic. The only possible way she could be creative was coming up with a weird attack plan. Everything about Risako's fighting style was strange. Even she had started to wonder why she refrained from casting spells on her weapons. It was similar to a drug addict abstaining from cocaine, Risako supposed.

Risako noticed that Rosa never arrived. Probably due to jet lag, something of the like. Risako never had stable sleeping arrangements, especially when it came to her internal clock, so jet lag never affected her. Not that she traveled a lot.

"Now that most of us have arrived, shall we get on with our dinner?" Minami raised her voice. The older woman glanced at Yukito, who nodded and clapped his hands, as the servants brought forward trays of food and politely placed one in front of each one of them. "For dinner tonight, we will have a traditional Japanese meal. Please enjoy your food." Yukito finished speaking, and took his leave with the other servants.

The group began to eat their meal as Minami spoke up once again to gain the six's attention. "As you all may have known, my name is Minami, the former head of our family. My current duty is the main guardian of the Pillar under our protection. It is a pleasure to meet the heirs to the famous Vermillion and Isharian family." Risako swallowed her food, her throat dry as her mother spoke. Risako was always the immature one, the one who was only respected due to family name and skill. It wasn't easy to be like Minami. "I assumed that the three of you have had a long journey from your home countries here. I hope that our household is comfortable enough for you to stay. Do you have anything to share or any opinions of your upcoming missions? I would love to hear them before we get to our discussion."

Ambre shrugged in response. "Is just guard duty, right?" No, it's not just guard duty, Risako thought immediately. If it were, the Isharian and Vermillion Pillars would still be standing. Risako was sure Ambre knew that, she just liked to reassure herself sometimes. "As for the place, it's very different so.... I've made myself comfortable."

“Surprise necked the other pillars right? I can do something about that,” Ambre continued speaking. “Anyone free to show me what kinda security you got over here?” Risako, coincidentally, was feeling the urge to check the security of the Pillar. Some of the guards really made her want to watch them like a hawk.

Not a coincidence, Risako reminded herself. The universe is hardly so lazy.

Risako spoke up. "I was about to check on the guards," she said, brushing off imaginary dust as she stood up. "Feel free to come along." Risako shrugged at Ambre, before turning to Minami.

"Kaa-san," she bowed slightly, before turning to exit the room.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion Character Portrait: Rosa Isharian
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#, as written by chrian.
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Minami listened to Lukas’ and Kallen’s request for a bigger room that they can use as a workshop of sorts, in which she nodded, “There are still plenty of empty rooms in the quarter the six of you are staying at, I believe. Please feel free to use them if you want. But I would appreciate it if you perform anything that might cause damages somewhere else.”

When the two young boys excused themselves to get working on the rune, she affirmed their leaves and then turned to Takiya, “How about you? You don’t have any works to do?”

He shook his head, “Not at the moment, I guess.” Takiya gazed at the back of the two girls as they made their ways to the well, “I suppose I should go with them. Not that I was saying our defense system is bad but it’s never a waste to check everything carefully.”

“In that case, shall we join? I need to return to my position.” Minami said as she put the cup of tea down and stood up. Takiya nodded to her mother and the two of them then catch up with Risako and Ambre.

Ambre had folded her arms behind her head and followed Risako. She waved goodbye to those left at the dinner table and then saluted the bed-turned-kart right outside of the room - her lip devilishly curling as Risako passed by her improv invention.

“So it’s just guards, then?” Ambre asked Risako.“Didn’t the same guys serve the food? They sure must be busy.”

Risako shrugged as she continued walking. ”Our guards are trained to take the heat,” she said nonchalantly. ”It’s strict in Japan. No one in the right mind wants to be eaten alive.”

“I don’t suppose you’ve heard of a thing called Craigslist.” Ambre smirked, taking in the sights of the mansion. She let her fingers trail the walls and windows, checking each slightly differently looking material. “- but guarding dinner, do you think drakens would poison food?” Ambre asked, though her eyes still lingered on the architecture. “You know, they didn’t exactly storm Elise’ pillar. There’s only two things that broke in her mansion.”

“Hey, you two. We’re coming with you.” Takiya called as he and his mother approached them, “Gotta make sure you won’t be killing each other in the process.” He said with a hint of sarcasm.

Risako scoffed, rolling her eyes. ”Yeah, I’m sure you’re a wonderful guardian,” she retorted. ”But maybe stick to babysitting. It suits you.”

“If only someone wasn’t a toddler who thought it’s cool to screw things up in the most crucial of moments, I wouldn’t be having this much experience now, would I?” Takiya shrugged, “Whatever. Not that I’ve never been surrounded by a bunch of three-year-olds my whole life anyway.”

”So pretentious,” Risako retorted. She flashed her elder brother a dry smile. ”Then again, you’ve always been the perfect one. I sucked that up a long time ago.”

“At least you know your place.” He said bluntly and just went ahead, not even bothering over her any longer.

“You two just never seemed to change even after I have kicked you into your positions like this, don’t you?” Minami commented. The Vermillion girl rolled her eyes.

When they made it to the well situated at the center of the estate, the guards nodded to them and stepped aside. It looked like any other normal wells from the first look, but looking inside, there was a long ladder leading all the way down to the bottom. “Do you want to take the ladder, or do you want to jump?” Takiya asked.

“That’s a looooong way down.” Ambre whistled as she peered down the well. “I think I’ll take the scenic route.” She answered, tapping her fingers a bucket next to the water hole. The metal fractured in tiny pieces, before re-attaching itself in the form of a tiny chair and handlebar, which on it’s turn connected itself to the rope atop the well; forming a makeshift manual elevator. Ambre hopped on the chair, saluted the magic knights, and hoisted herself down.

Impressive. Takiya thought as he watched Ambre tampered with the bucket into a chair. This girl has quite a reputation of being a rather unorthodox mage of her family, and what she’s just did is the reason why. He’ll see how will this apply to actual combat, which if they are unfortunate enough, will be rather soon. Magic circuits then began to appear on his legs, magically enhanced them, and Takiya jumped into the well. He saluted Ambre in the same manner that she did earlier as the two of them free-falling.

”You two have always been polar opposites,” Minami commented to her daughter. They still haven’t entered the well yet. ”You’re everything Takiya isn’t.”

Risako smiled in almost a bitter manner. ”Basically, I’m like a mishmash of flaws.” Risako didn’t give her mother a moment to respond, merely nodding at the guards before jumping in the well. Although Risako was known for not using magic in combat, it seemed that she had something against magic in general. Although that wasn’t the case, Risako had always felt compelled to restrain from magic use as much as possible.

But Risako actually had a form of common sense, and quickly used a spell to make her landing safe and - for the most part - silent.

It was pitch black when the four of them made it to the bottom of the well. The surface they landed on was not the dirt or stone ground, but a wooden surface. Minami clapped her hands and the torches lit up on both sides of the wall, revealing a linear passage. “Well, feel free to assess our defenses. I think it’s needless to remind you, but watch your steps.” Takiya said to Ambre as they moved on.

“The steps better watch me.” Ambre’s grin shimmered in the torchlight. She tested the wooden floor from her seat, tapping her shoe against it before jumping off. “Not rotten?” Ambre muttered to herself, then shrugged. “Show me what you’ve got.”

“Okay, you might want to get on that chair of yours.” Takiya said while they walked. It was a rather long pathway, and protection charms as well as traps were placed within every three meters. These are all Drakens-counterspells and crafts, and with just a slight touch will trigger them. They were placed in tricky positions, which makes them hard to avoid unless one is flexible enough to sneak through the small spaces between them. Of course, as for the three Kotonoha members, this is something they would be able to do with their eyes closed, so they have no problem navigating through the complex trap system on the pathway. Ambre, on the other hand, had to tip-toe into Takiya’s footsteps. The whole sanctuary is placed under a very strong barrier, left behind by Sakura the White Valkyrie herself, which makes it virtually indestructible even if it was bombarded with a nuclear bomb.

At the end of the path, there was a door, enchanted to let only the heads of the clan to walk through. Any others who touch it will immediately trigger the alarms and the whole trap system of the sanctuary will be activated against them. Takiya stepped forward and channeled some of his mana into the door, which opened it. And they stepped through the door, only to find another big, octagon-shaped chamber.

There was a door on each side of the room, and one might expect that only one of them is the correct way which leads to the Pillar. In fact, none of them are. Filled inside the rooms are guardian statues, magically crafted and armed with magical arms that can counter Drakens. The moment one tried to open one of the doors, the whole army of guardians will rain down against them.

Instead, the correct way to lead to the Pillar lies right underneath them. On the ground, there was a Dragon symbol - the insignia of the Kotonoha family. Hidden beneath the first and last crystal-shaped symbol on the circle above the Dragon are two ‘keyholes’. To open the final pathway, two weapons specifically crafted for the Kotonoha are needed. They must insert the hilt of the said weapons simultaneously into the ‘keyholes’, otherwise, the alarm will go off and all the efforts one had spent to make it all the way here will be wasted. Takiya and Minami did the job and insert the hilt of their swords into the ‘keyholes’. The ground then slowly shifted, revealing a spiral stairs leading not too far below.

And, they have made it to the Pillar, situated at the center of the last chamber. Asides from the three families who guarded the Pillars, no other magicians is aware that the Pillars are in fact the three Drakens who defected to human side back in the war of myth so long ago, given up their lives to shield our world from threats beyond our realm. In Kotonoha’s case, the Pillar is a statue of a giant eight-headed dragon, or more correctly, a petrified Yamata no Orochi. Around the chamber, there are also several giant guardian statues, armed in the same way as the ones in the former room, and surrounding the Pillar itself is another barrier. This one is another one left behind by Sakura before she passed on, and can only be dispelled using the magical sword she once wielded which is currently being kept in the Kotonoha’s weapon storage. And finally, the final challenge one must pass in order to touch the Pillar is to face Minami, the current most powerful Magic Knight in the world herself, who spends nearly all of her time guarding over it.

“And that should be the ins and outs of our defense system.” Takiya said to Ambre as he looked up to the petrified dragon. He could only imagine how magnificent this being can be when it is still living. “Any questions?”

“Seems pretty jumpy.” The Vermillion mage remarked, touching the walls of the Pillar’s chambre. Tiny sparkles of light trailed behind her fingertips, but in her eyes sparked various letters running from left to right over the lids. “Our ancestors sure liked to make thing complicated, but you know, the thickness of the above floor is… Thirty-five and a half centimeters!” Ambre pointed at the ceiling. “Magic can muffle the echo, but that’s obviously not a foundation.”

Turning away from the ceiling, the girl’s attention turned to the room’s default most ancient of guardians. “The stone soldiers look pretty scary, but because they’re not part of the building...” Ambre snapped her finger, causing letters to appear on the wrist of one of the statues. “You can throw off their aim, just like this. Little earth magic should do the trick too.”

Ambre threw her arms behind her head, her pupils following along the words written on her lens. “I mean I guess it’s pretty good, but you know, it´s a good thing I’m not scaly.” She smirked, tapping the floor once more.

“So what do you suggest?” Takiya asked, “If I remember correctly then this whole structure was not simply crafted from just rocks and stones. Sakura built it herself using some sorts of material I don’t really know of, but it certainly is much more durable than the usual types. I mean, I can cut through diamonds pretty easily, but I can’t do the same with anything inside this whole sanctuary.”

“I’m not saying I could break all of this in just a day’s time.” Ambre rolled her eyes. The letters on the statue vanished, though they still faintly reflected in her eyes. “- But the drakens breached two defences already. They barely scratched a thing in the house besides Elise’ pillar. No matter how good the fortification, it doesn’t buy us anything but time. There’s a few improvements sure, but what we need-” Ambre’s lips curled the cheshire cat’s, “-Is information.”

“Well, if we need information about these winged bastards, I think I know the exact person-” Takiya was abruptly cut from finishing his sentence by a familiar voice echoed down the chamber. It was Yukito.

“Minami-sama, Takiya-sama, the runes!” He sounded out of breath. “We have an intruder in the mansion! Everything is getting chaotic above!”

Takiya was visibly surprised at the statement, “How could this happen?” He said, then shook his head, “Doesn’t matter, if they are here, it could only mean one thing. Let’s go.”

“I will stay here. This is my post.” Minami said as she went and stood in front of the Pillar, having her sword unsheathed, “You three go and see what is going on.”

Takiya nodded to his mother as he and the two girls climbed back out of the Pillar’s chamber and the entrance shut behind them. However, Takiya stopped right when he has just walked past Yukito. Unexpectedly, he unsheathed his sword and slashed his apprentice, who merely managed to dodge by the skin of his teeth.

The white haired boy seemed shocked, “T-Takiya-sama? What are you doing?”

“You almost got me there.” He said, pointing the tip of the Masamune at the boy, “Who are you?”

“I am Yukito, of course!” The boy stammered, but his hand moved to the hilt of his own sword and he widened his stance, inching away from the others.

“I should have known I couldn’t afford that nap.” Ambre mumbled to herself, as she gestured to Takiya and Risako to make them aware of the boy’s movements. “What’s different about him?” She asked, “Who he is doesn’t matter, what he’s trying to do is.”

“Let’s just say that he is Yukito, and he is not. I simply know it. He’s my apprentice, after all.” Takiya said, “But one thing for sure, he’s not going to let us go up without a fight.”

Risako narrowed her eyes. ”Yes,” she mused. ”You can feel that it’s not him.” She cocked her head to the side, wearing her signature smile that got under almost everybody’s skin. ”I’d hate to sound rude, but are you visually impaired as well?” Before Risako could give the fake-Yukito a chance to respond, she slammed her fist into the side of his face. She refrained from recoiling from the surprising amount of pain. It definitely wasn’t a lot of pain, but Yukito’s cheekbone couldn’t hurt that much. Risako set her jaw, no longer oblivious. ”Draken.” she hissed.

“Jumping in the middle of a trap-riddled room?” Ambre wagged her finger. “This isn’t something as smart.” She pointed at Yukito’s cheek; a barrier had been raised to cover it. “Doesn’t that look a lot like what you used to land?” The Vermillion girl asked.

Yukito smirked, but his teeth were razor-sharp. He untied his blindfold and tossed it away, revealing his two usual closed eyes becoming menacingly red, “The lots of you are smarter than I thought..” He cackled, slowly unsheathing his sword. Crooked nails spawned from his finger-tips and bone horns grew from the sides of his head. “This body was Yukito’s, but now… It is mine. The little whelp is under my control. He still lives of course…” The possessed Yukito twisted his neck 90 degrees to look straight at Risako. “But I’m not so sure if that’s going to be the case if you actually land a punch like that.” He said in his demonic voice, before charging at Risako, readied to slash her.

“Over me first.” Takiya jumped in between them and block the attack of the possessed boy. They engaged in a locked stance. He felt overwhelmed a bit because Yukito is surprisingly stronger than he is normally. With an instance, he magically enhanced his arms as magic circuits appeared on them and pushed the boy back. This caused possessed Yukito to stumble a bit backwards, and without hesitating, Takiya sent several energy slashes from his sword towards the boy. He managed to dodged the few first ones, but the latter managed to hit as an explosion was caused from the collision.

Yet, the possessed Yukito still managed to raise a barrier in time to block them. “Damn it. He’s tough.” Takiya commented, “We need to surround him. I’ll get behind him. Try to draw his attention.” He said to the two girls.

“I think he means you.” Ambre tagged Risako in, taking a pair of sunglasses and a lighter out of her pocket and placing it in the magic knight’s hand. Words lit up on the two items and they warped into a makeshift knuckleduster around Risako’s hand. The soft plastic from the sunglasses protecting her hand, but coating of the lighter giving it a hard surface. The remaining materials crumbled and scattered on the ground.

Ambre took a few steps back, carefully threading the exact path back they’d taken towards the pillar chamber. “Takiya, the chair!” She shouted at the other Kotonoha-sibling, waving at him as if she were lost at sea.

While Ambre distracted the possessed Yukito, Risako analyzed the knuckleduster the blonde had magicked. She narrowed her eyes as she skimmed her gaze over Yukito. Sure, Risako wasn’t superhumanly strong under normal circumstances, but she could still land an extremely powerful punch. It wasn’t a matter of brute force, but rather precision, opportunity, form, timing, and hitting the point of weakness. If she struck when all the variables were perfect, Risako could take down the most powerful of opponents. It wasn’t easy, but it was a risk worth taking.

While they keep the white-haired boy busy, Takiya enhanced his legs and ran across him by his side at great speed. He made it to Ambre’s chair, which was still levitating a few feets above the floor, “Ambre.” He shouted to the Mage girl as he pushed the chair towards her direction, at the same speed as earlier.

“I don’t think so.” Yukito yelled, sending an energy wave towards Ambre’s midriff with a swing of his sword.

As if she were in a limbo-contest, Ambre threw herself backward. The attack sheared past her; taking a lingering lock of hair with it. The second right after, Ambre caught hold of the chair and let its momentum swing her across the room. Mid-air, the girl rattled a string of spells; enveloping the chair and travelling way up the rope to the foundation of the chamber itself. Like a snake that defied gravity, the rope slithered across the walls; building rails all across the room. Within mere seconds, the chamber was a swinging jungle of ropes!

Yukito’s eyes lit up like a crimson flare; sending one attack after another at the mage. “Queen of the jungle!” Ambre taunted and stuck out her tongue, as she jumped from one rope vine to another - but Yukito’s attacks were slashing through her construction one after another! Each subsequent swing of his sword seemed to be driving the girl into a corner, but when Ambre tagged the wall of the stone well right above where Sakura’s barrier ended; the bricks came loose! The stone collided with Yukito’s energy slashes and the rubble and dust from the clash rained down on Yukito. Squinting his eyes, the possessed apprentice narrowly avoided Ambre’s counter-attack - but in doing so his back was completely exposed to Risako!

Risako noticed the opportunity as soon as it revealed itself. She drew back her arm, slamming her fist in a particularly weak part of Yukito’s spine. The well-known pressure points were the typical temple, cranium, etc., etc. But although it wasn’t a very common pressure point, hitting a precise point in someone’s spine could cause serious damage.

Risako’s hit was near-perfect. Yukito crumpled to the ground, his vertebrae dislocated. Risako, despite the cheeky grin on her face, knew not to let her guard down. The injury might not seem as serious as it looked. If that was the case, the possessed Yukito could recover quite quickly. Losing this battle would be more consequential than ever.

“Step back.” Takiya dashed forward and stood in between Risako and the possessed Yukito. He approached the now seemingly unconscious possessed boy and knelt with one of his foot down, examining his apprentice. Suddenly, Yukito’s sword, which was disarmed from him due to Risako’s hit earlier, flew straight from right where it was laying towards Takiya’s face.

But right before it could hit his face just by mere inches, the sword suddenly halted and remained mid-air that way, as the possessed Yukito began to stir. Surprisingly, Takiya’s expression remained calm, as if he was expecting this to happen. As the boy sat up, he hung his face with a very unsettled expression, “No… it’s futile to resist… You cannot… disobey me…!” He said with his demonic voice, before screaming out loud, as blended in between the demonic tone was Yukito’s real voice.

“Yukito, are you still there?” Takiya asked, visibly that he was fully concerned. The boy collapsed again, “Ta… kiya… sama!”He panted hard and held himself back, as if he was struggling to fight the being that is possessing him. As he gazed up to Takiya, his face was half that of his normal state and half possessed. Though his words are still broken, he then tried to said in a hasty manner, “I… If… I die… I want you… to know that… I…”

Before he could finish his sentence, a powerful shockwave was sent from Yukito throughout the whole chamber. As Takiya was standing in close vicinity to him, he cannot evaded it, but he managed to conjure a barrier to shield himself just in time before the shockwave hit him. However, the impact was so strong that it sent him literally sliding a considerable distance backwards on his feet, once again widened the space between him and Yukito.

The white hair boy then stood up once more, this time his eyes had once again become menacingly crimson as it was earlier, as his appearance turned demonic again. “He sure puts up quite a fight.” The being that possessed Yukito spoke with its’ demonic voice through him, “But no matter how hard he, or any of you lowlifes try, it’s no use. The only way to kill me…” The being grinned in a mocking way, “...is to kill this boy.”

Risako bit her lip - hard - in order to refrain from voicing her rather harsh opinion on this matter. Her demeanor may not suggest it, but Risako thought logically rather than emotionally. A lot of magicians hated her for this; her cheeky nature combined with her strictly logical thinking made her seem extremely insensitive. Despite the respect Risako held for Yukito, due to her nonemotional thinking process, she would suggest for him to be killed.

Under normal circumstances, Risako would have absolutely no problem voicing this opinion of hers. But in the end, this was Takiya; he was her brother, whether she liked it or not. Risako had enough sense not to straight-up tell her elder brother to kill his apprentice.

But no matter how much Takiya might hate the idea of slaughtering Yukito’s body, he was going to have to accept that there wasn’t much room for choice in this situation. Risako was rarely clouded by affection for others, so she knew this better than anyone.

“Tsk.” Ambre scoffed. Still clinging onto the wall of the well, her voice echoed through the room below; “And it would tell us that, why?” The mage asked the knights. “His first intention was to lure us away from the pillar. Demons are a wizard-thing, which means-”

“Die!” The possessed Yukito roared and swung his blade in a half-moon motion; sending a huge wave of energy straight at Ambre, but she had climbed high enough to put Sakura’s barrier between herself and the attack. It scattered before it could even touch her.

“I told you, it’s not smart enough to be a Draken.” Ambre revelled in her earlier words as she laughed haughtily. Her glee echoed through the room, taunting and further angering the demon. “You two keep it down here. I’m sending a Rosa or Lukas to deal with this problem.” Ambre’s lips curled into an impish grin. “Unless I find this thing’s wizard first…”

“There’s no need to tell me. I’ve already known it. Just go and do what you need.” Takiya said to Ambre while she was leaving. He shot several energy slashes and draw the attention of the demon towards him and his sister.

And with that, the well’s walls expanded into a staircase Ambre ran up to; leaving the two siblings to fend off the enraged demon.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by cl.love


Kallen & Lukas



Image A bond that prevails when life grows dark. ✘ ✘ ✘


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i.Dialogue : #4B0082 | Thought : #8B008B
iiiiiii FC: Katsuhira Agata | Kiznaiver
iiiiiDialogue : Red | Thought : Darkred
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii FC: Castor | 07 Ghost
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Kallen let out a sigh of relief once they finally reached the guest quarters, pulling open the rice paper doors that separated their rooms so they could work together more easily. “I am hoping we can decipher this rune before anything bad happens. It would be good to know what the purpose of it is.” Setting the rune down on the low table, Kallen hurried to his suitcase, unceremoniously tossing clothing and other books all over the place in search of the book he was looking for, Lukas helping out as much as Kallen would let him. There would be time for tidying up later.

Kallen reached the bottom of his suitcase, and scolded himself internally, an uncharacteristic frown settling onto his face. “
I am afraid I left the book at home. What should we do?

Oh.” Lukas blinked, pausing mid-reach to a book on the bed. He withdrew his hand, fiddling anxiously with the ring on his finger instead. “Oh no.

Without the book, they couldn’t decipher the rune circle. Of course, they could try it from memory, but the accuracy of the translations would drastically fall, which, considering the circumstances of the discovery, would be less than wise. Biting his lip, Lukas frowned, ruffling through ideas in his mind.

Teleporting? Not yet perfected. Express book order? It’d take a couple of days at least - it’d take too much time. Checking if the library and bookstore had it? Doable, but it was more likely than not that it wasn’t there, and it would also be too time consuming.

Too little options for a book that was in England. Lukas sighed and tilted his head back, resting it gently against the wooden beam supporting the wall. It was too bad they couldn’t just reach right into Kallen’s room to take it -

Wait….

Lukas opened his eyes, memory flashing into his head. “
I think I have an idea. Remember the thing we talked about during the summer?

Kallen nodded slowly. “
The portal spell? The one we have yet to ensure works properly?” Lukas nodded in affirmation, ignoring the unsure tone in Kallen’s voice, as if he were skeptical about using the spell. Which Kallen was, really. They’d yet to actually test it, and the possibility of something exploding was incredibly high. “That could work. We need to find a doorway that no one is going to try and come through.

Turning on his heel, Kallen stepped over to the closet. “
This may work. Did we write down the coordinates to my home back in England? I am hoping I found the exact coordinates to the closet in my bedroom, it would be considerably time-consuming if we have to make our way there from the front door of the estate, and we cannot risk anyone trying to come into the room through the door we are using for the portal.” He said, ruffling through his luggage again to pull out a small sheet of paper with numbers written across it. “Here.” Passing the paper to Lukas, Kallen went in search of chalk.

Thanks!” Holding the paper gently in his fingers, Lukas turned and peered around the room for a suitable place to use the circle. They needed a door, or at least something that resembled it. Approaching the cupboards where the futons were kept, Lukas inspected the door.

It was made of wood and plain rice paper, kept on one side of the room. It was wide enough for two people to enter, and tall enough to reach the ceiling. When Lukas pulled it open, the door slide smoothly sideways, revealing nothing but two empty cupboards that were large enough for someone to use it as a bed. Nodding to himself, Lukas slid the door shut and turned to Kallen.

Sliding door will work!” He called to his friend, noting the coordinates of the door. “Just need something to write on it and we should be good, although.” Lukas hesitated. “We could do this in an empty room if you want? In case it, uh, explodes or something.

Kallen shook his head. “
There is no time to waste on trying to find an empty room here, I assume it will take much longer than we should give ourselves to working on this. We should set up some blast-resistant charms on the walls before we begin, though. And those muffling charms.” He said, hoping the charms would be enough to ward against damages in case the spell went awry- which, considering their track record, was a very high possibility.

Finding the box of water and smudge-resistant chalk in the mess of his luggage, Kallen tossed the box to Lukas and sifted through the immense collection of books he’d brought along, picking up his personal notebook and flipping through it for all his notes on the portal spell. “
This door is not going to be used from the other side so we do not need to worry about the portal breaking. We never fully discussed whether or not a rune circle would still work if drawn in a square…

Oh yeah! Um. A square wouldn't work, too many lines.” Lukas said apologetically. Kneeling down, he pulled the lid of the box open and began to rummage through the items inside. He pulled out a piece of chalk and a sheath of paper, shuffling the papers into neat mini-piles. Closing the box with a quiet click, Lukas muttered a couple of words under his breath. The black chalk began to glow, a sort of dimness that sucked in the surrounding darkness and made the surroundings brighter, and Lukas began to scribble as many charms as he could, using the box’s lid as a writing table.

Muffling charms, anti-explosion charm, anti-possession charms in case we accidentally open a door into the demon realm, gravity stabilization in case we open a door into space or make a warp hole… As Lukas wrote, the black lines the chalk left behind glowed that same faint darkness before fading back into ordinary black charcoal lines - with the papers below that pile bearing an exact copy of the one above it, like a magic photocopier.

While Lukas did the charms, he began to talk. “
The magic in the rune circle runs like electricity in a circuit- one that constantly loops around inside the wire to recycle the energy used.” Chalk skittered across paper. “That's only for the outer circle, though- mostly because it acts as a containment field for the spell, decreasing the effects of its radius. If there’s holes in the containment field, the magic wouldn’t be contained, which is why circles are used. Here, could you help me hang these around the room?” Lukas handed the charms to Kallen, getting to his feet at the same time. “Um. It’ll help decrease risks. I’ll go work on the circle while you do so?

Of course.” Taking the charms from Lukas, Kallen stood and hurried about the room, plastering them across the walls, floors, and ceiling, pulling any open doors closed so as to secure the room. He got the pages to stick to the wood frames of the rice paper walls, manipulating the wood to create hooks of a sort. Please forgive me for damaging your walls, I promise to return them to normal soon.

I hope they’ll be ok with us doing this...” Lukas began to draw on the door, hands moving in sharp, practiced lines. “Oh, right! A square wouldn't work, because it comes out as four separate lines - an open circuit. The magic would leak out of the corners like water, leaving no magic to power the circle into completing its function. In contrast, a circle is like a closed circuit because there is only one line, which is connected to the edges - like so.” Lukas gestured to the now complete circle like a professor demonstrating his teachings to the class, tapping at the drawing gently with one hand. “It's a continuous loop that is locked into itself, and as there's nowhere for the magic to leak out from, it is recycled throughout the circle, allowing it to be reused endlessly until someone breaks the line.

Lukas continued to draw on the door, adding a smaller circle into the larger one and writing runes in the small space in between, moving with comfortable expertise. “
Of course, an oval could probably work since it's made out of one line similar to a circle,” He said absently, completing the last rune, “but if it's got sharp edges, it won’t work because the sharp edges would act as leaks since they're not fully connected. Our best bet for this would be the circle, since it's standard form and the best when it comes to stability.” Brows furrowing in concentration, Lukas quickly added the necessary workings to the circle. Within a few minutes, the circle was complete. Taking a step back, Lukas frowned and tilted his head, taking in the circle with a critical eye.

Not good enough. Leaning forwards, Lukas added a couple more strokes to the circle before standing back again, looking it over just as critically as he’d done before.

That should do it!” Lukas decided with a nod, a faint smile of accomplishment on his face. “Probably, anyway.” he muttered under his breath, turning towards Kallen. He looked around the room, black chalk held loosely in his hand. “What do you think? Are the charms set?

Yes, they are all in place.” Kallen said with a nod, stepping up to his friend’s side. “The charms may not protect the room if one of the walls is reopened, so we should test the spell quickly before anyone disturbs the room. As far as any sense of a checklist goes, we have protected the room - to a certain degree - and we need to make sure the door we are using is closed when we activate the spell. Did you remember to put the coordinates into the rune?

Mm.” Lukas nodded. “Should be the right ones. Now stand back a little, please.

Kallen moved back from his friend a bit, giving him space but still staying close enough to where he could shield Lukas if he needed to. Lukas, for his part, dug through his pockets. “
Where is it, where is it…. Ah.” With some maneuvering, Lukas produced the object most Mages required when they had to cast their spells: his wand.

It was a smooth metal rod encased in yew, around the size of Lukas’s palm and thin as his pinky. As Lukas fiddled with it, however, the wand somehow grew and grew, until it was the size of a conductor's baton and just as thick. Taking a deep breath and pushing down his nerves, Lukas focused, tapped the circle with his wand with a hand that was only slightly shaking…

And said the words that would activate the circle.

The circle glowed. A red light shone up amongst the word like fluorescent light, waveringly pale and mixing into the darkness of the chalk like flames turning into ash. There was a faint sizzling sound like oil in a newly heated pan, white smoke arising from the rice paper door, but no fire happened. There was a rush of magic, pouring from Lukas into the circle until the requirements were met. Lukas gingerly pulled the wand away from the circle, cutting off the connection, and waited.

And waited.

Apart from the sizzling noise fading into the background and the circle glowing a pale, eerie red that was barely visible in the light, nothing else happened. The white smoke stopped appearing. Quietly, Lukas waited some more.

After nearly three minutes had passed, Kallen stepped forward slowly, looking over the door and setting a hand on Lukas’ shoulder. Lukas jumped a little, as if he’d forgotten that Kallen was there. “
I believe the spell is finished. I am going to see if it was successful.” Kallen said wryly. Before Lukas could stop him, Kallen was moving toward the door, pulling it open. Nothing happened when the door opened. However, it was definitely not the futon closet on the other side.

We succeeded.

Y-Yeah.” Lukas said dumbly, staring into the room. He shook his head, a slowly widening grin forming as if he didn’t quite believe his eyes. “Oh my god, yes! It actually worked! We did it!” Bounding forwards, Lukas raised his hand in a high-five to Kallen, eyes gleaming brightly at the door. “All that research really paid off - ah wait a second, please.

Looking around, Kallen grabbed an empty piece of paper and quickly folded it into a makeshift crane. Pulling out his wand, which shrank to the size of a pen, Lukas fiddled with the settings for a couple of seconds. The metal rod changed from a baton to a pen, and he hurriedly wrote something on the crane.

After a few seconds, the paper crane sprang to life. Lukas held it out obligingly towards Kallen’s bedroom through the door. He snatched his hand back as it left its perch and made it peacefully through the door, fluttering around like a butterfly in Kallen’s bedroom before landing on his desk. When Lukas gestured it to come back, it did, passing through the portal with just as much ease as it did before. It fluttered around confusedly for a couple of seconds before landing on Kallen’s bed.

Ok, it didn’t burst on fire or anything on both trips in and out.” Lukas observed. “We can't really be sure unless we use something of flesh and blood, like a puppy, but I think it’s safe to enter.

Just on the safe side, he threw one of Kallen’s books into the room. Nothing happened except for the book landing with a thump on the floor.

I am glad you are willing to sacrifice an innocent animal to the cause.” Kallen said cynically, moving through the door and into his room.

It was a room of mess. The room was filled to the brim with haphazardly stacked books and paper, overflowing from the shelves onto the table and bed. Clothes littered the floor like makeshift carpets, and the bedstand held a couple of empty glasses. Near the window was a balcony full of pots that had plants of many species, all thriving from the sun shining through the window and reaching outside, climbing over the gate and floor in a rush of green.

As they stepped in, the door to Kallen’s room slid open. A middle aged woman holding a broom and dustpan like weapons to war appeared. She blinked at Kallen and Lukas, eyes wide with surprise. Without surprise or hesitation, Kallen approached the woman and set a hand on her shoulder. “
Forgive us, ma’am, we are only here momentarily. If you could wait on cleaning for five minutes, that would be well appreciated.” The woman nodded and hurried out of the room, glancing back at Lukas a few times before disappearing, pulling the door closed behind her.

Kallen hurried across the room and picked up the book, dusting off the cover as he went. “
Ah, there it is.” He stepped over to his bedside table and picked up the book they were looking for, the title reading ‘Rune Translations.’

Making his way back through the portal and into the Kotonoha estate, Kallen flipped through the translation textbook, searching for the symbols they needed. They were interrupted before they could move on, however, as not long after he’d returned, Ambre came rushing into the room. As the door opened and the muffling charms deactivated, Kallen heard footsteps and shouting, a clear sign that something was wrong. “
What happened?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion
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#, as written by Kestrel
Ambre Vermillion




Down the well wasn't the worst of it. The second she stepped back into the Kotonoha mansion, Ambre witnessed the entire household in peril. Guards were interlocked in duels with grotesque slime monsters, but there were far too many for them to deal with. “Get back!” She shouted at the guards, but she barely even waited. Ambre widened her stance and spread her arms; beginning to cast a spell. Large chunks of interior crumbled within the blink of an eye. Exposed pipelines twisted violently to uproot from the floor. From the walls, the wiring snapped and sizzled sparks of electricity. Ambre squinted her eyes and bit her lip; with so many guards nearby, she had not an inch of room for error here. The pipelines screeched as bent, the wires wrapped their selves around the pipes and their ends dangled in front of them. Taking one last breath, Ambre took aim for the slimes and blasted them with jets of electrified water!

The slimes she hit convulsed and smelled as if they were burning; the few that escaped her high voltage barrage crawled out of her sight as quickly as they could. The broken pipelines were leaking water; flooding the mansion. Large spots on the floor were scorched completely black. What a scene. Ambre thought to herself; a sentiment reflected by many others in the room. The guards stared at the Vermillion girl in disbelief of her reckless stunt. “Do you even have the time to bask in my glory?” Ambre quipped – well aware their eyes said something completely different. It's always like this. She lamented internally, but there was no time to waste; she had to find Lukas or Rosa. “Go, go, go!”

The guest quarters were closer than the dining room, Jetlag or not, you're coming to solve this. Ambre thought to herself, as she ran through the corridors. Yet before she could knock on Rosa's door, Ambre could sense a powerful but strange magical presence from Kallen's room... Her heart skipped a beat. It can't be. She thought, her fingers shivering as she grabbed the handle and opened the door.

“What happened?” Kallen asked. He seemed unharmed but somewhat confused by his sister's sudden arrival. Ambre's heart dropped from her throat back into her chest, silently thanking her lucky stars her brother was safe.

“They're under attack.” Ambre panted as she stepped into Kallen's room. “There's a demon near the pillar and slimes are everywhere. Where's Lukas?” Without waiting for an answer, Ambre threw open the door separating Kallen and Lukas' rooms and barged in. “Lukas! We need an exorcism! There's a demon possessing a boy. The white-hair one that handed out maps. Look,” Ambre pulled and unfolded the enchanted parchment out of her pocket, waving it in front of the young wizard. “Right here is a well, it's the entrance to the pillar chamber.” Ambre pointed at the centre of the estate. “Takiya and Risako are holding him back; they'll tell you what do to.”

“Meanwhile, we-” Ambre placed her hand on her hip and turned to face Kallen, “- have another wizard to catch.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion
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#, as written by Zallen
Lukas gave a wave of his wand after Kallen was a foot away from the portal, a sharp flick aimed at the circle. The circle was wiped in half like an eraser on a drawing in photoshop, and when nothing exploded Lukas let out a silent sigh of relief and wiped it clean with his wand.

"Alright, that worked. Here, um, give me a second." Fumbling at the bracelets decorating his wrist, Lukas detached a brown charm that was in the shape of a book the size of his fingertip. Delicately, he pressed it against the runic book, mumbling an incomprehensible phrase under his breath. The book charm glowed a faint red that enveloped the book like a scanner before fading. When Lukas removed the charm from the book and tapped it, the charm book flipped open, pages ruffling to the middle as it glowed the color of old parchment. A beam of light shot up, and like a flower unfurling its petals in bloom, a hologram of the runic book appeared. Lukas moved away, leaving Kallen free control of the book.

It was a charm Lukas had created in his early years, one he used to keep a record of books he'd liked, similar to a Ereading function on a phone. Although I should probably start using it on all my books now, in case something like this happens again, Lukas thought self depreciatingly. Reaching his hand up, Lukas quickly flipped through the pages, typing rapidly as he compared the picture to the holographic book.

"Ok, I think I got it." Lukas said out loud, frowning in concentration. "These outer circles represent us. Each symbol represents each clan - Kotonoha, Vermillion, Isharian. I don't understand what the fourth one at the top means, but maybe its something that they have in common? Maybe its related to the middle of the circle-"

Ambre burst through the door, interrupting whatever Lukas had to say. As Kallen and Ambre chatted, Lukas moved absently to the side, mind buzzing with equations and combinations as he deciphered the circle.

They'd been mistaken about it not being a summoning circle - the middle of the circle was decorative, an image of the sun, but it was a cleverly designed timer for a disguised summoning circle. Combined with the words deciphered from the runes, it was clearly an attack on the house. But what was it -

“Lukas!" Ambre yelled. "We need an exorcism!"

"Aaa!" Lukas flinched as Hurricane Ambre broke into the room, giving a small yelp of surprise that was thankfully lost underneath Ambre's explanation. As Ambre gave him information, Lukas's face grew clouded with worry and concern. The boy - Yuki - that gave them the map was possessed, Takiya and Risako where holding him back, they needed an exorcism at the pillar chamber. "Got it," Lukas said with a nod after Ambre finished. He turned to leave, but paused as an idea crossed his mind. That'd be pretty helpful...

Lukas turned back to the map, adding code as he kept half an ear out for further chat. "We, um, deciphered part of the circle." He explained rapidly after Ambre finished, fingers flying over the hologram. "It's a disguised summoning circle - probably used to summon the demon by that wizard you mentioned, but it seems to complex for something like that." Lukas frowned thoughtfully. "There was a symbol and rune in one of the inner mini-circles that resembled a demon though, so maybe-" a beeping sound interrupted him, and Lukas glanced down at the map. "Ah, its done."

The map now resembled a simplistic video game map. Red, purple and yellow trackers shaped like tiny arrows marked where Lukas, Kallen and Ambre were respectively, located via the maps. Wherever the maps - and by extension their owners - went, the trackers would go on the map, tiny arrows representing them like a video game protagonist. At the well near the center of the pillar chamber, a green beacon shone brightly, indicating the location Lukas had to reach. Lukas made a note to add the Kotonoha siblings to the map later - after meeting up with them, maybe.

"Alright, I'm off." Lukas said briskly, striding towards the door. He tucked the photo of the circle into his pocket, book charm long since deactivated. With his free hand, he withdrew his wand, holding it in his hand like a gun (too tightly like an amateur duelist, anxiety roiling in his stomach). The explanation of the wizard and circle didn't sit well with Lukas, doubt and suspicion niggling at his mind like barely connecting circuits, but there was no time. Exorcist first, then think about it later. Lukas reminded himself, opening the door, and with that he began to run towards the location.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion
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#, as written by Kestrel
Kallen & Ambre Vermillion



Beaming gratification, Ambre watched Lukas fly off. “Watch ‘em go.” She poked Kallen’s side with her elbow. “Too bad they chose to bring out a living armour of all things, against me.” Ambre shook her head then stretched out her other arm towards the Dullahan. Her spells jumped from the ramp and latched onto the Dullahan’s armour. “Time to can this tin man, scatter!

Rather than breaking their opponent in a million tiny pieces as the mage girl expected her disassembly spell to do, the letters were swallowed up in the Dullahan’s aura. Before Ambre realised what happened, it raised its sword and within the blink of an eye; the mansion’s walls were reduced to dust!

Kallen hurried to dodge the swings and pulled his sister to the ground, dragging her away as thick pillars of rock came up through the wooden floorboards as a shield between them and the Dullahan. He didn’t expect it to hold for long, so Kallen focused on getting away.

I believe the Dullahan may be invulnerable to our attacks. It absorbed your spell without any show of effort, so we should assume magic does not affect it.” He explained, frowning when he heard his stone wall crumbled in the background. “We may have to find a more creative way to defeat it than using a direct offensive approach.

“Hah, nerd.” Ambre laughed - though she took Kallen’s observations to mind. Rising above the makeshift shelter, Ambre cast her disassembly spell once more, but on the ceiling this time. Cracks appeared in it and within seconds it gave in. Wood splinters and pieces of tiles fell from the gaping hole in the ceiling, before dropping an entire bathtub on top of the Dullahan from the floor above!

Kallen pulled up some of the floorboards to cover their heads, holding Ambre close and keeping a close eye on the cloud of dust where the bathtub had crashed. The dust cleared, and he caught sight of the tub thrown off to the side, the stone wall that had been broken moments before now put back together and shielding the Dullahan. Kallen was up in a second and once again pulling Ambre away from the creature, his thoughts racing a mile a minute.

The Dullahan can absorb all our magical attacks and replicate the spells. I doubt we are able to defeat it with magic attacks.” Kallen tried to explain as they ran, the gaps between words growing as Kallen ran out of breath. He stopped at the guest rooms and let go of his sister, heading straight for the rune book. “Fortunately, the Dullahan is a summoned creature. If we find the summoning rune and break it, the creature will disappear. The only problem is locating the rune.

“I think it’s too soon to run out of breath, Kallen.” Ambre warned her brother. Not a second later, the headless horseman trashed into the room, door and all, heading straight for Kallen. Right before it could swing its sword at him, the floor under his feet crumbled; making him fall out of the Dullahan’s path the second it lashed out at him.

“Just because we can’t use magic on him, doesn’t mean we can’t use it on our selves!” Ambre shouted at her brother, “Get out of there!”

Kallen clutched the rune book close to his chest, a wave of his hand softening the soil at the bottom of the hole so it didn’t hurt when he met ground. “Well, I am certainly not leaving without you.” He grumbled, shifting the ground beneath his sister so she would fall down with him and hurriedly closing it up so they were protected, though only temporarily. It was pitch black, and Kallen touched a hand to one of the walls, a couple of bioluminescent mushrooms growing out from it.

Opening the rune book and flipping through the pages, he found a picture of the summoning rune required to bring a Dullahan into the surface world, holding it up so Ambre could see. “This is what we are looking for. Summoned creatures must follow direct orders, so whomever made the contract with the Dullahan must be relatively nearby, and a majority of summonings are short-term, so the rune will be nearby as well.

“They’re a wizard thing, but that’s not the only thing crawling around. There’s a possession demon near the pillar and a slime who knows where.” Ambre replied, keeping her hands above her head to keep the sand out of her hair, (without success). They could hear the Dullahan trampling the floor, though it was unable to dig through the hard ground Kallen had put between the monster and them. When Kallen and Ambre turned out to be smarter than worms, the Dullahan seemed to leave the guest room above.

“Didn’t Takiya mention runes at dinner? Did he say anything about where he found them?” Ambre asked as the Dullahan’s footsteps quieted down.

No, but I believe I heard a guard mention the Ginza District, and he did mention that it was found in an alleyway. That was for the rune Lukas and I are deciphering though, and it isn’t a summoning rune.” Kallen replied, closing the rune book and tucking it under his arm. “I am not sure how long we will be able to stay here safely. The Dullahan could be setting itself against the Kotonoha staff.

Suddenly, Kallen's phone rang. “Are you going to take that?” Ambre asked, though her narrowed brow betrayed her suspicion. She grabbed Kallen's phone from his pocket, but the number on the display was unknown.

Ambre picked it up, “Hello, hello?” She tried to say, but dropped the phone from her hands. With eyes spurred wide-open she looked at Kallen, as her brother's phone landed on the speaker button. On the other end of the line, the Vermillion siblings heard only screaming.

Kallen couldn't help but cringe at the sound- one he had heard only once before, when their own house staff had been killed in the explosion that had destroyed the Vermillion pillar. The guilt he still felt over their deaths came flooding back, and Kallen hurriedly hung up the phone, reaching his arms up to touch the ceiling. The dirt easily began to wedge itself around and underneath the two of them, lifting them up to the surface.

“...Kallen? Ambre’s lip quivered as she caught sight of her brother’s expression. She squeezed his forearm, waiting for his answer.

Once light broke, Kallen dropped to a crouch, checking to make sure no one was in sight. The Dullahan was not immediately nearby, though screams and the cracking of wood could be heard in the distance. Glancing back and forth between his sister and the door of the room, Kallen finally ruffled Ambre’s hair and thrust one fist on the floor, the dirt from their shelter crawling up into a stone box around her.

“Kallen!” Ambre reached for her brother, but fell onto a stone wall. “Damn it! Kallen, don’t you dare!” She shouted, punching the stone box. The glimpse of light she’d just so briefly caught vanished in an instant. Her knuckles bled and her heart jumped up her throat. “Don’t you dare Kallen, don’t you fucking dare! I’m not letting you go alone!”

The wooden floor under Ambre’s feet pulverised into sawdust, but she was too late. Kallen’s cage already had a bottom. Ambre threw her shoulder against the box with all the strength she had, but Kallen’s magic didn’t budge. Neither did Ambre. “Kallen!” She shouted, unwaveringly tackling the box… But Ambre couldn’t even hear her brother anymore. She could feel her shoulder swell up and the sawdust irritating her eyes. The girl dropped to her knees in a whimper… “Kallen…”

Kallen checked to make sure the box was secure and tucked the book safely next to it before racing out of the room, following the sounds of battle. He ended up in what had once been the guest quarter’s entrance, the walls and ceiling now gone, shrapnel and torn rice paper littering the ground and the smell of death lingering in the air.

There were already bodies. Not many, which Kallen was grateful for- it seemed the Kotonoha staff knew how to protect themselves and each other. But there were still bodies.

Bodies that may not have been there had he not retreated and hid from his opponent.

The Dullahan was standing above the chaos, showing no emotion or hesitation as it threw down another wall. Kallen erected a wall of dirt and grass to shield him from shrapnel, and when the barrage ended, he moved the wall around a group of fleeing servants, trapping them in stone much the same way Ambre was back in his room. It was the best way to keep them safe, as the Dullahan didn't seem to be able to dig through it.

Testing the waters, Kallen thrust a small mound of dirt and grass straight at the Dullahan’s chest. The mound was dissolved and instantly fired back at him. Kallen dodged with a frown, confirming that he wouldn't be able to use magic to fight. Seems I will simply have to use hand-to-hand.

Waiting for the Dullahan to strike first, Kallen dodged its attack, ducking under the swing and sliding over the grass to punch it in the gut. His hand cracked painfully on hard armor and he reared back, swearing under his breath. The hit had done no damage, not to his opponent at least. The Dullahan took his pause as an opening and backhanded Kallen across the courtyard.

Struggling to grasp his breath, Kallen dug one hand deep into the dirt, encasing a few more of the servants in stone and hoping the shelters would hold. He stood, keeping all the attention on himself, and picked up a decent-sized rock from the ground, waiting for the Dullahan to charge. When it finally did, he just barely ducked beneath its swing, shoving the jagged edge of the rock in between the cracks of the creature’s armor.

The Dullahan jerked back in what Kallen hoped was pain, and he threw the rock at it as it retreated. He quickly learned that it didn't like being injured.

Kallen, having already grown tired from lack of proper battle stamina, found it harder to keep up with the Dullahan’s suddenly frantic swings at him. Some of his hair littered the soil where he'd been too slow to dodge, and he'd bitten through his tongue at some point, blood spilling over onto his shirt. The Dullahan did not slow down, and Kallen grunted as the blunt edge of its longsword hit him across the chest, pushing him back a few steps.

Kallen dodged another swing of the sword, a dodge too close for comfort, only to find the creature anticipating his move. The Dullahan’s horse turned faster than should have been possible, its back hooves kicking him several feet away, his head cracking on one of his own stone cages, effectively knocking him unconscious. The stone cages dissolved with him.

A ray of light passed through Ambre's earth prison. As the sun touched her face, Ambre looked up to see her cage was falling apart. She tried to pick herself up, but her left arm wasn't responding to her. It was swollen and bruised, from her shoulder to her elbow. Her knee was blemished black and pain seethed through her entire leg. Clenching her teeth, Ambre raised from her crumbling prison. “...Kallen? She whispered against her better judgement, but her brother was nowhere to be seen.

The sawdust recollected itself into the shape of a staff that the girl could lean on. Cold sweat ran down her spine and her heart hadn't left her throat. Ambre saw the book Kallen had left under the newly formed pile of dirt. A bookmark was stuck between the pages... He couldn't have/ She feared the worst.

The staff trembled in her hand as Ambre walked through the corridors. She heard screaming and shouting faintly – as if she was wearing earplugs. She dragged her feet. Ambre's body was telling her she was going to a place she did not want to be, but like a moth drawn to a flame, the girl could not help but follow the echoes down the mansion.

Two of the Kotonoha guards, a male wizard and a female knight, ran past Ambre. “Miss Vermillion?” She could barely hear one guard speak as the knight turned around. The knight must had been in her early thirties. Her left eye was shut and judging by the sweat on her brow and scratches on her face, she must had fought recently. “What's going on, are you alright?” The knight asked, but Ambre didn't answer. The woman shook her head, then ran ahead ahead. Ambre followed.

Each step she took, her sense of pain seemed to fade, voices grew softer – and her heartbeat, still beating like a drum, almost felt like it slowed down. The two guards lead Ambre back to the guest quarters. The walls were torn down and past them, she recognised domes made of dirt… Kallen!

Rushing forward as fast as a leg and a staff allowed her, Ambre turned round the corner. The familiar silhouette of a headless but mounted knight loomed over one of the domes; it’s sword repeatedly slamming down against a reinforced katana, drawn by the woman knight that had passed her earlier. Like Takiya earlier, the woman’s veins lit up like magic circuits, strengthening the muscles in her arms and legs; but with each and every strike she was forced further back… And behind her laid the unconscious body of Kallen!

Time slowed in front of Ambre’s eyes. She could not tear her eyes away from her brother. The sound of the clashing blades muffled. The wizard guard was shouting at her, but she couldn’t hear what he said. Even her own heart, Ambre could no longer feel…



“Kallen, Kallen, I did it!”

Ambre's memories flooded her mind. She saw herself, with small, cement-covered hands, standing in a pile of dust in her mother's mansion. It was the first time she'd successfully cast a deconstruction spell; and the living room wall had felt it! There was a giant gaping hole where nicely layered bricks were supposed to go and Ambre – at six years old, had ran up to her brother's room and dragged him downstairs by the sleeve.

“I touched it and it went boom!” The girl beamed at Kallen. She could hardly contain herself, jumping up and down as she pointed at the hole. “And look, look, now it's gone!”

“Wow. Did you do that? You are amazing.” Kallen ruffled his sister's hair, smiling in a way even Ambre rarely saw him do.

“I did, I did!” Ambre grabbed her brother's hand and pet herself with it more. “I'm going to show mum, then she'll let me go to school!”

For a second, Kallen's smile vanished. As if Ambre had been speaking of the devil, Elise Vermillion came down the stairs. Ambre felt a gust of wind swoop through her hair and then the corridor; taking out the dusty mess she had created.

“What is this!” Her mother gasped, but unlike her brother, Elise did not smile at all. The woman's brow narrowed – and for a split second wrinkles blinked in and out of existence. “Who did this to the house?” She shrieked in anger. Ambre balled her fists.

“I am sorry mother, one of my spells went wrong.” Kallen answered, before Ambre could even say a thing. She tried to protest, but Kallen covered her mouth. “It is my fault.”

“Well of all-” Their mother could barely restrain herself. “Kallen, we're having a word right now!” Elise barked at him and grabbed Kallen by his sleeve. Ambre tried to run after her brother, but her legs were too short to keep up. Kallen turned his head and smiled at her, silently hushing her by putting his index finger to his lips as Elise pulled him up the stairs.



The Dullahan had forced the knight her back against the wall. With a fell swoop of its sword, it knocked up her katana and with its heels, the monster spurred on the horse to trample her! The knight raised a force field in a knick of time, but was thrown back through the wall, into the kitchen. For a second, the Dullahan hovered over Kallen, but decided to pursue its opponent.

The memory faded from Ambre’s head. As did the feelings from her heart. The scene in front of her, the knight defending Kallen, the wizard handing out shield charms to all the servants emerging from the domes… She could see it all in slow motion. Ambre’s mind had never felt so clear. She tore her body from her thoughts, as every step she took after the knight and the Dullahan, she sizzled with magic. Ambre brushed Kallen’s cheek with her fingers as she passed him; he was still warm.

Inside the kitchen, the Dullahan had its opponent on the ropes. There was a dent near the midriff of it’s armour, but it still fought ferociously. Ambre could see the knight’s lips move, trying to tell her something while she was fighting, but Ambre still heard no sound.

The mage her mana seeped into the entirety of the kitchen. Each cupboard, each drawer, each oven, she could feel their presence like extensions of her own body. As the Dullahan raised its sword once more, the beams tore from the floor and the exposed water pipes burst; throwing Dullahan and horse of their feet and tossing them across the room.

The entirety of the estate began to rumble, as a golden glow spread like cracks through the kitchen. The knight ran up to Ambre, but the girl could not tell what she was saying. The floors fragmented and - with pipelines spurring them, the kitchen floor rolled like waves around her. Knives rattled in their drawers and gas stewed from their stoves. The knight grabbed Ambre’s shoulder, but the mage’s magic overtook the knight’s clothing; sewing her legs together. The knight was then toppled by the maelstrom of wood, water and tiles underneath her, as it roughly tossed the woman out of the kitchen.

The horse could hardly catch it’s footing. The Dullahan tried to stab it’s sword in the floor to absorb the magic, but to no avail. The mana ebbed and flooded faster than it could pinpoint Ambre’s spells. An indiscriminate chaos of magic tore down the foundation of the kitchen. Chunks of wood and stone rained from the ceiling, Fire-alarms screeched. Sprinklers and pipelines stormed water everywhere. The Dullahan’s horse climbed atop a kitchen counter, using the isle for a short gallop, before it jumped at Ambre.

A burst of gas met the Dullahan mid-air and the stove flickered; blasting a stream of fire at the horseman’s side! The Dullahan was blown off it’s horse and both crashed into the floor. The horse landed inches in front of Ambre, who promptly opened a drawer with her staff. The kitchen knives glued onto it, forging a heavy spear, which Ambre, barely glancing at the beast, plunged into it’s neck. The horse convulsed and it bled and burned - but the girl’s eyes were fixed on the Dullahan.

The headless armour was at the mercy of Ambre’s maelstrom, tossed around like a ragdoll by the waves, it could no longer get up. The raging seas split before their creator as Vermillion mage approached the Dullahan, bowing for her each time her spear tapped the floor. Behind Ambre coiled gas lines; like snakes they leered over her shoulders. One wave after another, they spit fire at the Dullahan; boiling it inside of it’s armour.

If it screamed, Ambre couldn’t hear it. Once it was a medieval harness, but now the Dullahan’s form was broken, malformed and melting. As if paying the girl their respects, the closer Ambre came, the calmer the floors and walls that had so violently trashed her foe became. The Dullahan lied at her feet, convulsing with the last of its strength inside of its red-hot armour. Ambre knelt down, being so close to the glowing iron brought sweat to her forehead, but the girl did not care. Her index finger touched the armour, the blaze consumed her skin, but Ambre’s senses were too numb to feel the pain. Her magic spread throughout the harness; transforming its protective layers into spikes bent inwardly. The limbs melted together. The visor closed. The Dullahan’s armour warped into an iron maiden; with the monster still inside.

Slowly, Ambre could feel her heartbeat returning. Pressure built up in her ears - as if landing a plane. Her knees submitted to the sudden weight in her chest, she would have tumbled over if it weren’t for a pair of hands catching her fall. It was the Kotonoha guard, the woman knight, who pulled Ambre against her breast. A beeping noise filled Ambre’s head, although she knew for sure the woman was supposed to be talking. “...Kallen?” Ambre muttered. The woman pointed her finger outside where her wizard companion was performing first aid on the white-haired Vermillion boy.

“...Thank… You.” Ambre’s voice was hoarse and small. She let the knight support her in the spear’s stead and for a brief moment, she felt the weight slide off her chest.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kotonoha Takiya Character Portrait: Kallen Vermillion Character Portrait: Kotonoha Risako Character Portrait: Lukas Isharian Character Portrait: Ambre Vermillion
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#, as written by chrian.
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T A K I Y A

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「Magic Knight 2」

#965660 | #DFA855

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After the demon possessing Yukito had been expelled from his body, the white hair boy laid where he was struck, motionlessly. "Yukito!" Takiya called out hastily as he dashed forward towards his apprentice, unwrapping him off the prayer bead and held the younger boy up in his arm. His breath was weakened, but fortunately, his heart was still beating. His eyes, demonically reddened only a while ago, are now back to their primitive state. Yukito then stirred and mumbled weakly, "T...Takiya-sama... is that... you?"

Takiya smiled lightly and brushed some of Yukito's stranded hair away, "Yes, it's over now. Just rest."

As if a sense of relief and assurance had just washed over him, Yukito's consciousness left him completely as he nudged over Takiya's shirt. Holding the boy up in his arms, he stood up and turned to Risako and Lukas, "Let's get outta here. I have a feeling our estate has already been wrecked into a ruin up there already. But don't let your guard down yet." With that said, the three of them made their way out of the sanctuary. For now, the Pillar will be safe, as Minami can take care of any other intruders should they have the guts to face her head on.

And as Takiya expected, the scenery outside the well is a complete mess. Every corner of the estate was reduced to ruin. One good thing though, is that there seemed to be no more monsters wandering about, as the guards have apparently dispersed of them for now. However, most of them are all worn out and wounded, as the few lucky unscathed ones are trying to clean up the mess that the attackers left behind and tend for the less lucky ones.

So, the Vermillions and the Isharians are also like this when they were under attack... Takiya thought and sighed. Never had he thought they would be struck with such severe casualty like this. All of the security tasked with the duty of supervising the estate are of the top elites, yet there are those who have died for their causes. This could only proved how much the odds are against them in the upcoming days, not to mention that the Drakens are even yet to step into play. They need to step up their games now, or everything they are trying to fight for is lost.

"Takiya-san." Shinoda and Tetsuo called over to Takiya as they approached him. They too didn't look very bright after what had happened, but at least they are still alive.

"Glad to see you two didn't end up in body bags." He nodded to them, "How's thing?"

"It seemed that the situation was much worse than we anticipated, but luckily the body count is kept at the lowest possible. I think we have warded them off for now, but I have no ideas when will they strike again. Hopefully we'll be more ready when that happen."

"What's done is done, we'll see if we can rejuvenate the situation before we face another storm." Takiya remarked, "Let's focusing on cleaning things up and heal our wounds for now. Get me a medic." He then carried Yukito into the nearest room that hadn't been destroyed yet

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It was the third time those two trying to corner me up and tried to beat me to a pulp already. I don't know what exactly that had happened. All that I've ever seen in my life is darkness. Yet, this time, I don't know why, but I felt as if a hidden strength within me had told me to fight back, to live on even though I have no directions to aim for, and to no longer running. And before I could even notice, I have taken them down.

"Hey boy, nice putting these two scoundrels down. You okay?"

Another man approached me, and I have no idea who he is, or how he looked like. But I can faintly felt that he is extending his arm, offered to lift me up. Unlike the two I beaten down, this person exerted no ill intentions towards me, but he is much, much stronger than them, and at the same time intimidating. I felt like if he wanted to kill me, then he would be able to do it in mere seconds. That was enough to send chills through my back, as shook my head violently and curled into a ball.

"Hey, no worries. I'm not going to harm you or anything. Tell me your name?"

"... I... don't know... For as long as I know... I have been wandering on these streets..."

"You're visually impaired, yet you managed to survive that long by relying on your other senses alone, completely unaided. That, I must say, is simply remarkable. I don't think I could have been able to pull that off if I were you."

Although the man is still quite intimidating, at the same time, his words also felt so... tender and genuinely caring. Never in my life have someone treated me that way. And somehow, strange feelings I have never had before filled my heart.

"Thank... you...?"

"Say, I think if you are trained enough, you will be very strong one day. I certainly can use a hand like you around my place." He extended his arm once again towards me, "So what do you say? Will you come with me and be my apprentice?"

Those words for me were like a lifesaver, and I certainly would be a fool to pass such an offer. But somewhere in my heart, I think I accepted it simply because that I wanted to know more about this man, and to be closer to him. So, like someone who was offered a rescued hand after having drifting on the ocean for ages, I reached out my own hand to him.

"Yes."

"That's good. My name is Takiya, I came from the Kotonoha household." The man called Takiya helped me to stand up, as he patted my shoulder, "You have beautiful white hair like snow, and since you don't know your name, from now on I will call you 'Yukito', how does that sound?"

I don't think I have ever smiled so happily in my life before, as I was quick to accept my new given name. I must looked really silly back then, but I don't think I care, as I know for sure that... I was saved.


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Two Days Later

Everything slowly went back into order as two days slowly passed by after the attack of the monsters on the Kotonoha estate. As far as things are concerned, no Drakens were involved in this attack, but the monsters surely must have taken orders from someone. The explanations are still on Lukas and Kallen, who have been researching the magic circle that Takiya found, though after their encounter with the dullahan demon, both Kallen and Ambre have been shaken up quite a bit, and Kallen have been outcold ever since. One good thing though is the wrecked Kotonoha estate is now restored with the help of Ambre and the guards, and those who survived the attack are now healed and revitalized, prepared for any further movements from the invaders. Those who unfortunately given up their lives have also been given proper burial.

On other news, Rosa somehow had disappeared during the whole ordeal and was nowhere to be found. The search for her had been going on for the past two days, yet there were no positive results so far. The Isharian household on the other side of the world was quick to be informed by this and they have promised to send another one of their wizards as a temporal replacement for Rosa until she is found.

They were all shaken up by what had happened, but they all know the risks, and they needed to be vigilant still.

Yukito began to stir as the sunshine peaked through the curtain of the room he was lying in. "Morning, sleepy head. How do you feel?" Takiya, who was sitting next to the futon he laid on, asked with a light smile.

"Takiya-sama?" He abruptly sat up when he heard the familiar voice, then turned his face away while blushing a little, "I... I'm fine. Better than ever, I suppose."

"You've been out cold for two days already, you know." Takiya filliped on Yukito's forehead, which caused the boy to let out an 'Ow' why rubbing the place where he was hit, "Just how careless you are to allow yourself to be possessed like that?"

"I... I'm sorry. Everything was in such a ruse back then..." He gripped the blanket, feeling guilty for having caused trouble for his master. But then, he was taken aback when Takiya ruffle his hair, "Just kidding. I was worried, you know. Be sure to watch your back next time." He said with a smile.

Yukito's face scrunched up as if he wanted to cry, and then without restraining himself, turned to Takiya and hugged him, buried his face into his well-toned abs. "H-Hey, what's wrong?"

"I swear... I'll never leave your side... Takiya-sama... I'll give up even my life for you..." The white hair boy mumbled between sobs, which left Takiya to blink in confusion, as he was left stunned by the sudden emotional outbreak of his apprentice. But he just let Yukito to hug him anyway.

"Yeah, I know. You're important to me too, so don't come dying." Takiya ruffled the boy's hair like a mother comforting her child and smiled.