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Requiem for a Fallen

Arkanvale

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a part of Requiem for a Fallen, by Igari.

"General Country"

Igari holds sovereignty over Arkanvale, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

190 readers have been here.

Setting

The over-laying country in which The Order is established--as well as being the biggest concentrated location for disturbances from Spirits/Wraiths.
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Arkanvale

"General Country"

Minimap

Arkanvale is a part of Purgatory.

2 Places in Arkanvale:

6 Characters Here

Zilocke Thane [6] "What is a madman but one whose mind is not so easily understood by the conventional?"
Ilyana Ree [6] "Lift me up! You're a giant so I'm sure I'll see interesting things on your shoulders!"
Virie Raymbraint [5] "Hmph, human scum."
Ryu D'Tari [4] "Things are about to get extremely interesting... Why you ask? Because I'm here!"
Janus Abraxis [4] "Looks like it's my lucky day, chap. I could kill you, but i have all of time to torture you."
Leiriya [2] "Driven to the corner... does the prey survive?"

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sangre Millfeore
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"Your eyes are my admonishment. They remind me of blood. So, please don't look at me..."

A fleeting smile that had been burned to ashes from the canvass of life. Tears fell to the ground in abhorrent denial. He had always wondered why he did not do anything to prevent it. If he had moved or if he had only spoke, perhaps the outcome would have been different from the grand design of fate. Perhaps, he would have still be watching those gentle eyes staring into the vast weaves of time. Yes, how he loved those obvious yet impossible notions. However, he would never experience that ever again as blood tainted his hands. Whose blood was on his hands? He could not remember. Or did he chose not to recall for his sanity? Whatever it may be, he just wanted it all to be washed away by the falling rain. The freezing coldness that numbed his senses without discrimination.

"You should just die. If you die, everything will be better!"

The ironic twist of that statement was something he would not refute. It was a perfect suggestion. This was the probable cause that he was now lying on the soaked earth while his blood combined with the liquid from the skies. His heart was slowly fading from its rhythmic tempo. The breath that filtered from his nose and mouth was becoming a burden to his lungs. His warmth was being robbed by the crying weather while on his chest the symbol of his despised existence protruded proudly. Yet, the small blade was taken from its sheathe which was his body. A renewed flow filtered from the now unplugged hole. The rush of death quickened its touch on him. Somehow, it was a pleasant feeling to know that rest would come upon him. He welcomed it as a reprieve from this tiring life. So, let the demise come to him without fail.

"Did you want to die? Too bad, this isn't the afterlife."

How ridiculously disappointing. The end did not bestow him the blessing of peace. So, he must move on. In this world which he feels no affinity with, he remained in a never-ending loop. It annoys him that he had to blame the one who deemed to be his savior. He should have been left to rot and be food to the worms. His existence should have been just a figment of the imagination. Yet, it did not happen as he had desired. Life was utterly a villain in disguise.

"Come on! Don't be a wuss. You'll never know. May be you're alive because..."

Being alive meant something? How overrated. People tend to give meaning to everything even to the simplest of gestures. It was moronic in his opinion. Perhaps, it was the other way around. In any case, the continuation of that sentence was a puzzle piece to him. The exact words that was spoken to him was overlapping with something else. A memory of another, the story of another that mattered the most for now. Yes, someone who was needed or could just be a disposable piece to those above and below.

"It had been a long time my friend."

The one who had spoken was the Gatekeeper of Paradiso. Soft spoken and a gentle presence to those who would be judged whether to enter or to be dismissed to the whims of reincarnation, this was the Gatekeeper's function in the elaborate system that was slowly crumbling from an unknown source.

"Not long enough as it seems, Kiy."

This brought a smile to Kiy's face who seemed to be define the hue known as blue. As for him, he had an idea for the reason of such a summon. It also did not go unnoticed by him the presence of other Angelic Essences that had been called upon to do one thing which was to clean up house. The influx of Wraiths and Spirits was getting out of hand and this threatens the delicate balance of the souls. Somehow, he could careless about such transition. It could be a good change for the monotonous ways of the world.

"You have changed. Do you regret?"

The question lingered in the cosmos that was in the space of Paradiso. However, it was answered soon enough with a rather confident and unyielding tone.

"No."

Upon hearing the answer, Kiy's smile became wider and had a warm expression on his face. The Archangel who showed much promise was sent to the realm of men without an ounce of complaint. Perhaps, it was for the better. It was then the Gatekeeper decided to discuss the matter at hand.

"I called you here because we've been charged with a very important task. If you haven't noticed already, there are Spirits and Wraiths escaping Inferno at an increasing rate. We don't know exactly what has caused this, but we need to help stop it as soon as possible.

"Our Commander has charged you all to awaken fully in the human host you've taken and head to the Order of Exorcists. As Angels, you cannot Purge a Spirit or Wraith from a human's body, thus you need the help of the Exorcist.

"Inferno is also sending their Demon's to meet with the Exorcists as well. The Demon's are the only ones who can seal the breaks in their gate. They will need help as well to exorcise the Spirits and Wraiths.

"If you cannot get the entity to return to Inferno, then you must destroy it. Only an Angel can do this, the Demons can help you to fight it and even immobilize it. However, they cannot destroy them. Be careful, these Spirits and Wraiths are tricky and can be deadly.

"Now head to Resmyrd, where the catacombs for the Order of Exorcists lay. There you will meet your future companions. I bid you luck in this endeavor."


Then a flash of bright light returned him to the reality of things, a couple of books carried in his arm and a book in his other hand as it was being placed in its respective shelf at the local library. Yes, this was the human vessel he had the opportunity to assimilate himself with. The seals on his powers had been removed to extend his essence to awaken powers to aid the erasure of Wraiths and Spirits in this realm of men.

An expected surprise and confusion were present on his host's face. The books that was being carried fell to the ground. Fortunately, the library was still closed and the opening time has yet to come. In an effort to appease his vessel, they both conversed within the privacy of the consciousness. Thousands of questions and grievances were thrown at him by the human vessel. However, he had only answered one question and that was enough for the human.

"This time, you can finally die."

With that, the human consciousness that had resisted him so passionately dissipated. Acceptance flooded through the stagnant space of their minds. It was then the Angelic Essence was able to fully merge himself to the human host without resistance. The next time those eyes opened, there was now a more defiant tinge in those blood red eyes.

"It is now time for a new job."

After saying that, the doors to the library were opened. Sound of bells chimed which was used as a sort of alarm. He could only judge it as his employer who was a middle-aged man around his fifties. Noticing his presence, the elderly man greeting him with a pleasant smile.

"Good morning, Sangre."

Sangre picked up the books that littered the ground before answering the greeting. "I quit. I despise perverted old men."

Placing the books in its proper sections, Sangre then walked passed the rather shocked man who did not expect those words. He had known for sometime the lecherous looks being given to him the subtle passes of lustful implications. However, he ignored for there was nothing better to do until now. The only sound that rang through the library was the ringing of bells and closing of the doors. Once outside, he had only one destination in mind.

"Next stop, Resmyrd."

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Character Portrait: Caelestis Evaldiel
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Character Portrait: Xana Druj
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The local pub in this town was not nearly as good as the funhouse had been, Xana decided as she looked around to where all the regulars were sitting and gawking at her human form. Of course they would be--she was the most attractive thing in this whole forsaken city! She thrived on the attention and the stares and the feeling of mistrust--one that she did not always receive the opportunity to sample, but left a slightly sour aftertaste--that accompanied this inflated self-worth. This was how she fed, after all: by charging into situations and doing something to make herself the center of attention.

Speaking of "fed", she was rather fed up with the fact that she was the only one of the three in her group that had actually been allowed to leave the damn cathedral in the first place. She absent-mindedly drummed her fingers against the table she sat at, taking a sip from a glass of red wine every so often to help pass the time. She was bored, and despite the ideas of manipulating these mortals to amuse her for a bit, people would probaly begin to become suspicious if their once-sleepy town was suddenly overrun by madness because of the appearance of an otherworldly-red-haired maiden. Of course, the other infiltraitors might be rather amused by this tale, but for the time being, she was the only one who mattered at this point; the fate of the world, as little as she cared for this particular plane of existence, was at stake.

Out of the corner of one eye, the demon noticed a young man getting up from his seat and taking a few steps closer to her. He was curious--he reeked of this scent, as most who first approached her did, especially the young ones. Oh, they were so naive in thinking that they could potentially figure her out! She had centuries at least on these fleshbags, and they had no idea at all!

"Uh, 'scuse me, ma'am," the young man bowed his head and spat on the ground by the feet of her table.

Curious herself, Xana raised an eyebrow at this somewhat uncouth display of behavior. "You have my attenion..." she purred in a neutral tone. "Best you don't do anything to lose it now..."

"Well, uh..." she noticed the man's face turn slightly red. Of course he had not been expecting an answer like that--it was rather unlady-like, after all. She could feel his confusion and his fear rising a bit, melding with the tang of mistrust from the others that were watching. Somehow, she liked this combination. It brought a bit of a smirk to the corner of her mouth, but she did her best to mask it as much as possible.

"Come now, darling... You obviously had something important to tell me, otherwise you would have stayed with your friends and bad-mouthed me from the corner..." The red-headed woman took another sip of her wine, not budging from her chair but placing her free hand on her leg and massaging the bits of exposed flesh there.

The young man was flustered now--she did not need to feel the apprehension wafting off of the boy's skin to know that he was blushing profusely. In the limited light of the bar, she could even make out a bit of a glistening building up across his arms--he was sweating This was just too easy for her!

"Ma'am... 's j-jus' we n-n-nevah seen you 'round th-th-these--"

"P-p-p-parts?" Xana finished the man's sentence, even going as far as to mock his sudden development of a stutter. "Of course you haven't, and neither have your friends. I just blew into town yesterday and have found that you... [b]bore[/i] me here..." The demon placed the glass down on the table after taking yet another sip of wine. "Why don't you try doing something different, hmm? Excite me..." She stood up from her chair and flashed a wicked smirk at the man, figuring that he would have no idea how to react to this unexpected turn of events.

Suddenly, the man's face went pale as the redhead brushed her fingers down his arm. "M-m-m-ma'am..." he stuttered, trying to regain his composure from losing control of the situation. "I'unno what y-y-y-yer talk-k-kin' 'bout, b-b-but y'b-b-b-b-best..." his voice trailed off as the woman walked around, trailing her fingers around his lower back.

"Go back to your friends..." she whispered, leaning close to the man's ear. "Let them know that if they want to add a bit of spice to their otherwise complacent lives, they'll come find me later..." With another quick brush of her fingers across the man's cheek, she grabbed the glass from off the table, finished her wine, and then brought the glass back to the counter and handed it back to the barkeep with a quick smirk and a wink.

"'Bout time y'd'cide tah leave..." the surly man grunted as he took the glass away. "Reg'l'rs been spook'd e'er since ya came in, lady... Ain't nev'r seen no strang'rs waltz in 'ere 'fore, 'spesh'ly dress'd like tha'..."

The red-haired woman placed a few coins on the counter and rolled out her neck as the trembling man slowly made his way back to his compatriots in the corner of the bar. "Don't think of me as a stranger then,,," her voice oozed, the words wrapping themselves around the barkeep's arms and torso as she winked again. "Think of me as the long-lost lover from a dream you've never had..." With that, the red-haired woman made her way to the front of the bar, raising her eyebrow slightly in the direction of the group of regulars in the corner and smirking out of the corner of her mouth before walking out the door.

Of course, their emotions lingered and followed her as she left--she would not perish the thought of leaving them behind! All sorts of different sensations wafting through the walls--disgust, confusion, curiosity, lust--each one of them blending together for the demon to feed from.

But there was something else... A tug, a pull beckoning her to travel away from the city. It throbbed and pulsed with her very being, sympathetic to her existence despite how faint she felt it. This sensation was rather familiar to her--most definitely demonic in nature. Was it... a gate? She pondered the situation--she could wait another day or two, spend her time feeding and manipulating the mortals as best as she could in the meantime... plus that angel--what his (or was it a her?) name was, she could not remember--reacted so well to her prodding... or she could go and explore on her own--the call was out there, and honestly she was unsure as to when the others in her group would be available to assist her in her endeavors...

Angels and exorcists be damned... Let's take a look at the gate...

So the demon set off on her own accord, following the ebb and flow of the gate's energies. Of course, it would take a while to get out there, and unfortunately, it was getting rather dark out...

"Nothing a little fire can't fix..." Xana smiled to herself as she felt the skin of her human form begin to melt away in a flash of heat. She was far enough away from the other city at this point that she could see it on the horizon and know that she had not been followed out this far, especially by any of those foolish mortals that thought they might actually be worthy of her time... They had another thing coming if they really wanted her that badly after her little stunt in the bar...

The demon slithered across the rocky ground, a small orb of fire burning above her palm acting as a beacon. She could feel the energy of the gate nearby now--it was not nearly as strong as other gates in the past had been, but she could most definitely distinguish it from any other source of power that could possibly exist out here. In fact, she had found it strange that she had neither seen nor heard any sort of rogue activity that would really have warranted her attention... Perhaps the town she had just left behind had been dealing with something along those lines--they were close enough to the gate, after all--but it wasn't her problem now; if the angel and the exorcist ever decided to get off their lazy asses and do what they were assigned to do, they would be the ones to take care of it, not Xana.

Over one rocky outcrop, she came across a large pile of rubble in the middle of a clearing. As the demon made her way closer to the stones, she saw that there were strange markings in the stones--unusual runes that no human should ever want to decipher, lest their minds warp into twisted abomanations of their former selves... not that demons minded the hubris of the mortals and chaos they would cause when their minds broke. At the demon's touch, the runes began to glow blood-red.

Xana chuckled. Of course the gate would be broken--they had warned her, after all. Had the exorcist or the angel been here to help, they would do nothing but offer unnecessary moral support at this point. This was the reason the demons were bothered to help at all, despite the fact that they all knew that their pride as gatekeepers and gaolers was on the line because of this sudden exodus of rogue wraiths.

The demon placed both of her hands on the stone, muttering in some incomprehensible language all the while. The light few more and more intense as a dull humming sound began to reverberate through the night. Stones suddenly began to levitate, whirling around in the air before rearranging themselves in a bizarre insignia pattern in the air. Xana chanted louder and louder, faster and faster, the stones not intimidating her at all. The light of the runes was growing more and more intense, bathing the ground around the demon in an eerie red hue.

Suddenly, Xana threw her hands toward the sky, uttering one final powerful syllable. Another flash of light--suddenly, the stones had disappeared. The only sign that there had been anything in this area at all were the outlines of light that intensified along the ground as the demon slithered closer and over their location. She smirked and rolled her head around on her neck as she turned back toward the direction of the town she had come--

Xana...

Atop the rocky outcrop she had slithered over moments earlier was a cat with a red collar around its neck.

"What are you doing here now?" Xana growled, not satisfied at all with this new development. Usually, the cat meant that she was needed elsewhere, although she had no idea where she would be forced to run off to this time...

The Apokailon requests your prescence in Resmyrd once more, Xana... The feline continued to stare straight into the demon's eyes as if to challenge her authority.

"First I'm forced to leave without the damn fleshbag and the angel, and now I have to go back!?" Xana could feel the rage building inside. She felt the flames springing to life across her arms. "If Treylion wants to speak to me so badly, why does he not come to me out here in the middle of nowhere? Does he not realize that I'm already doing what he's asking me to do?" She knew that the venom behind her words was ill-placed, but at this point it did not matter nearly as much to her.

The Apokailon personally requested you to meet with him... The only information he was allowed to divulge to me was that he had some information that might be of great interest to you or any of the other demons for that matter... The cat leapt closer toward the snakey demon, unfazed by the display of pyromancy that Xana showcased. He seemed especially interested in making sure he told you before anyone else...

The flames flickered away from across Xana's arms as she raised an eyebrow toward the feline. "Secrets, eh...?" she mused, rolling her shoulders out to reduce the stiffness building up--that human body cooped her up more than she was actually comfortable with. "Fine, I'll humor him... but only if I don't have to walk back in that ridiculous human skin..." The demon shivered at the thought, which was ironic considering she had just set her skin ablaze only moments earlier.

That can be arranged...

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Character Portrait: Virie Raymbraint
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#, as written by Igari

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"Uhhhh, Mistress, are you sure this is a good idea?" The loud voice of Reika was the only noise that pierced the silence of the night--and it was irritatingly loud at that. A dirty look from Virie caused the girl to silence herself, though she puffed up her cheeks as if to keep all of her words inside. This breath holding only lasted a few more seconds or so before the youkai exhaled loudly, coughing and gasping for air as though she had been deprived of it for overly long. The exorcist did not shift her gaze towards her blathering idiot of a companion and kep moving forwards, cloak sweeping behind her and rustling slightly.

Reika had resorted to holding her hands in front of her mouth now, breathing out extremely noisily through her nose. Finally the fox couldn't take it anymore and freed her hands from their position, flailing her arms around in the process. "Mooo iiiiii!" She exclaimed, Virie just eyebrow raising in the process.

"Reika," She said firmly, unamused and her tone carrying with it the mild edge of a threat. 'I don't read your stupid gay love comics nor do I speak the absurd language in them." Reika flailed her arms even more furiously, fanning some air towards Virie's face.

"They're not stupid, they're real I tell you! Just look at Ryu, he's the prime example of an uke!" No comment left the exorcist's lips, the woman more preoccupied with progressing through town. Reika continued to rant in the background but she paid the creature no heed--there were bigger things to concern herself with. When she had set out with her "companions" a few days previously, she had not anticipated the three of them being split up quite so soon or easily. She preferred being alone--or as alone as it got when Reika was around. The youkai admittedly wasn't all that bad when she was sleeping.

Whatever the case, she was now the sole occupant on the road--and the town was still a good 20, perhaps 30 minute walk away. She adjusted the brim of her hat, alternating the hand that was carrying her book as she did so. Demons Below. Just what was so bad about letting some spirits or wraiths run free? The more the merrier--in her opinion anyway. Having groups of them upon the surface was, frankly, better for her in all honesty. It meant more targets and more potential absorptions that could be conducted. And who cared if some several hundred humans got slaughtered or possessed in the process? It only strummed up chances to be rid of the pests and exorcise them once and for all.

Hmph. Stupid wastes of space. The whole bloody surface should be shot of them--most of them. The bare minimum should just be kept alive for having a purpose, the others most definitely eradicated. Now that she thought on it, why was she even bothering with this wretched mission in the first place? She couldn't see any problems with this situation... But she had given her word to the demon commander and she wasn't about to go back on that. Virie sighed, resigning herself to the task at hand and away from her wishful thinking of piles of dead bodies. Oh well. Perhaps she could murder some "innocents", all by "accident".

"... and then you take the beady thing and you shove it up his--Mistress, were you even listening?" Reika pouted, Virie suddenly becoming aware that the youkai hadn't shut up the entire time she had zoned out. "Pooooooooo. Why don't you ever--"

"Reika, do you sense anything?" Virie cut her off as they approached a fork in the road. She was itching to murder someone. She got possessed by these fits of bloodlust every so often and now that she was out in the open, now was a good as time as any.

"Well..." Reika trailed off, hovering in her spot as her tail swished in the air. The youkai closed her eyes, seeming to concentrate as much as she possibly could (which wasn't a whole lot, to be realistic) before snapping her eyes back open. "That way!" She said, pointing to their right.

"Excellent," And with that, Virie proceeded to walk in the opposite direction. Reika floated there, confused and went to glide after the exorcist. The woman shot her an extremely dirty look that made the fox stop in her tracks. "You will go that way Reika."

"B-But... shouldn't you go after... the..." Even for as stupid as she was, the demon could figure out things... sometimes.

"I highly doubt that our other two "companions" stuck together--the angel scum is too weak and the demon too flighty. You will go that route, if you locate the angel, contact me." She didn't say anything further, only turning on her heel and walking away from Reika. The girl shivered a little, unused to being alone in a long while. Well shit, she better go hunt down the bishonen man then and tell him his uke fate! A devious grin flashed on the youkai's face as she followed her Mistress' directives and headed along the alternate route.

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Character Portrait: Culsa Alastor
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Culsa let out a heavy breath as she watched the night sky. She was bored and a bored demon was never a demon you wanted to encounter. Although, demons of any mental state were usually better avoid but when Culsa was bored, she got stabby. Never good for the wandering blood bags. The demon lazily regarded the body lying to the side. She had gotten hungry and munched on another druggie. Never good since she got a little...fuzzy after drug tainted blood but beggars can't be choosers. And besides, there was something tasty about blood from a person completely off their tits. She had been wandering about chewing on brain stems since her little group had wandered out of the exorcist battle royale. The little angel had taken off to do some angelic business or something almost immediately and she had never even met their exorcist. This did not bode well for the whole "put the damn spirits and wraiths back where they damn belong, those little escapist shits" thing. Although, it did allow Culsa the opportunity to get some yummy sustenance.

However, as nice as it was to go on a blood sucking rampage, stuff did manage to get a bit boring. No one to pester, no mischief to cause. Hell, she couldn't even go scare the crap out of people by dressing up as Death anymore. The humans were getting wise to her. The pricks. The demon lurched to her feet. She should probably go find something constructive to do. Or at the very least, make a little mayhem. Maybe she could be a black dog again and chase people, pretending to be a hell hound. That sounded fun, or at least, more interesting than sitting around doing sweet FA all night. Culsa stumbled forward, colours blurring into a big swirly mess of stuff. Damn druggies. Couldn't they try being a bit more reserved in their dosages? Well, at least it wasn't an alcoholic. They always stank and their blood was a weird taste. And after a little intoxicated blood, the world suddenly became a lot more sideways. Culsa blinked back the influx of colours and shapes before stepping forward, into a puddle of blood and other fluids. Human were always so icky. She made her way over to the exit of the alleyway, booting a decapitated head harshly as she did so. That guy was annoying and a pervert. He had tried to make a grab for her before she ripped his head clean off his shoulders. Where were people's manners these days?

That and watching the guy's head bounce down the alley was kinda hysterical. It occurred to Culsa that she must have been the cause of many cold cases. She never cleared up after herself and she wasn't exactly going to broadcast the fact that there was a dead body lying about. It took away from the hilarity when a jogger discovered a rolling head. It was always the joggers for some reason...The demon stumbled down the road, her blood stained clothes warning people away from her. She supposed she should change. Blood drenched hair and wet red clothes did tend to draw attention. She opted for a stray dog look, her fur a dark brown and ears ruffled. She had to say, she looked pretty cute. Not as intimidating as her preferred wolf form but nice nonetheless. Besides, if that damn gatekeeper's cat came sniffing about, she could kill it and claim she thought it was a stray. Always a plus.

She sauntered down the street, her tail low and eyes keen. Dogs obviously weren't as drug sensitive as humans were. Although, she did tend to burn through the effects of drugs quite quickly. More of a tolerance to them. Her canine nose picked up a myriad of scents but she controlled the instinct to run like a mad woman (or mutt) after the tantalizing smell of food. (What kind of human would be making food this late at night?! She would never understand those walking blood bags.) Instead she sought out a helpful scent. Not those damn humans or freakish angels. She sniffed the air for the scent of a demon. A demon that might have a better idea of what was going on. Although, hopefully not one of the higher ups, they always got a little pissy when she tracked them down and asked questions. She finally picked up a demon scent and trotted off to find someone who actually knew what they were doing.

Hopefully.

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Character Portrait: Zilocke Thane
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The window (glass, quite a rare construction around these parts) slammed open with a decisive bang, and a thick cloud of black smoke roiled out onto the streets, startling a pair of passing drunks, who blinked disbelievingly at the issuance of smog from the small, apparently boarded-up workshop. The cloud was followed, however, by a head, this crowned with a length of most distinctively-hued hair. The associated face wore a half-grazed grin, made all the more absurd by the soot streaking in seemingly-random patterns over his nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead.

Upon seeing the passers-by, the smile only stretched, in a way that made the one walking closer to it shift slightly sideways, nearly tripping and knocking into his friend. “No-no,” a rumbling bass intoned in what might have been a sing-song fashion. “Don’t you mind me. Just an everyday disaster, this is. Carry on, carry on.” The head, and the shoulders that had accompanied it out the hole in the wall, disappeared back inside, and the drunkards scurried off, shaking their heads and supposing that the alchemist must be as mad as they said.

Ah, but ‘they’ said so very many things, didn’t they? Things that no self-respecting person would claim to have uttered, but all believed anyway. Couched in the guise of the mysterious ‘they-voice,’ so much could be spread, laid in the minds of people like good earth gone fallow with poison. Not that he minded so much, anymore: ‘they’ were his best weapon against responsibility, for ‘they’ named him irrational, crazy, mad, absurd, and so many other lovely synonyms for out of his damned mind, Rachelle, and stay away from his bloody shop if you know what’s good for you! So perhaps, when things all fell on their respective sides and the battle-lines of reputation and gossip were drawn, ‘they,’ those indistinct, indiscriminate, tactless, nonexistent, powerful people were his friends.

He loved it.

Whistling a jaunty little tune to himself and uncaring if it carried out into the street, Zilocke Thane went about resorting his extra materials (salt-peter, sulfur, fire…) into their proper vessels, and these he restocked onto his shelves, the order seemingly incredibly random, enforcing no alphabet but only some clandestine numbering system that few were taught and fewer understood. He enjoyed things of this nature: the esoteric, the obscure, the absurd. The absurd most of all—it was just as hard to know as the esoteric, only nobody thought to try and know it, because it was, well, absurd! Positively delightful.

The minor explosion had, of course, been completely intentional, as had the fact that it took place before witnesses. He had been getting a little too much legitimate business lately, and it was leaving him very little time to experiment as he would have preferred. Making medicines and so on was all well and good for some people, but it bored him, so very much. He preferred other pursuits, and putting people off in this manner had the added effect of causing them to assume that this was what all of his research looked like. It transformed his esoteria into absurdity in the medium of public opinion. Esoteria? Was that a word? Probably not, but it should be. He resolved to use it in a conversation sometime, just to see what kind of look it would get him from the other party.

But alas, the day grew late, and though he would have much preferred to stay and keep working, his irritatingly-human body demanded nourishment and rest, and most of his currently ongoing experiments involved sunlight anyway, so it was perhaps best to get home. Brushing most (but not all, oh no) of the soot and debris from his clothing, he exited the shop with the soft, merry jangle of bells and buckles and the whisper of fabric, pulling the door closed and locking it with a large brass key hung about his neck. Not bothering to turn the sign (it always read ‘closed’ and people learned to come in anyway if they really needed something), he wound his way through the city streets until he came at last upon his modest dwelling.

As he hadn’t been back in over a week, there unsurprisingly a piece of communication left on his door. Probably another warning about the new public nuisance ordinances… he was about to light it on fire in his hand when he caught sight of the seal on the back. Oh? What did the Order want with him? He was quite obviously a good-for-nothing alchemist with as little sense as a magpie, and he was quite certain they knew as much. Maybe he was finally getting his wish and they were informing him that he was no longer required to check in yearly and update them on his activities. He did have fun with the forms though—‘describe the nature of your current work.’ Well, mostly I combine things with other things and watch the pretty exploding lights. Sometimes, I accidentally cause structural damage to the surrounding area, and every once in a while, I go for a walk, preferably in the company of a pretty lady, eating figs if at all possible. Me, that is, not the lady. Though she’s perfectly welcome to some, naturally.

He didn’t envy whoever had to make sense of his forms.

As it turned out, the note was an official summons, requesting his presence at the cathedral… a few days ago. Ah. Well, someone was bound to be displeased about that. The Order was the one bureaucracy that would even notice his absence, and definitely the only one that would care. He wasn’t important, they just liked to be obeyed. Briefly, Zilocke debated actually going, but discarded the idea. Being fashionably late could be fun, but even if he were, he’d still be where they wanted him to be…

Actually, scratch that. Might as well do something completely unexpected and actually show up. Humming pleasantly to himself, he ducked into his house to pack a few items and grab some food, but he was out on the road in less than ten minutes, all told.

Time for an adventure, it seemed.

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Character Portrait: Caelestis Evaldiel
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Character Portrait: Virie Raymbraint Character Portrait: Lucian Faust Character Portrait: Janus Abraxis Character Portrait: Ryu D'Tari Character Portrait: Akira Hikaati Character Portrait: Sangre Millfeore
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"Huh?" The blank expression of the youkai greeted the angel as she stared back at him. She didn't really understand his concern at all, he had just been fighting this TOTALLY badass looking monster... Which was kind of cool. But also kind of sucky at the same time. Since he hadn't stayed still long enough for her to sketch out the scene and turn it into an amazing, glittering, butt-smacking awesome hentai. "Er... uh..." Oh, what had he asked? No, he hadn't asked about her yaoi collection... no one knew about that...

Oh yeah! The mistress, that was who he had been asking after. "She sent me here after you!" She giggled absently, clearly not comprehending the situation enough to put two and two together to realize they were actually in danger. "She told me to wait until she got here and then uhhhh... I guess surprise butt sex, I dunno." She said casually, shrugging her shoulders. Whatever, she didn't see what the big problem was in the first place. He was panicking for no good reason! Mistress would be here soon enough and this was prime time to grill him for answers, anyway.

"Oh hey, now that I have you here. So. Janus." She began, a sneaky grin coming on her face. (She was quite literally ignoring the horrid growls coming from the town) "He has a firm ass, right? All tight and stuff! 'Cause I saw you looking at him earlier and I was totally convinced that maybe you know, you had the uh, man hots for him. Which it's cool if you do. Because that'd be awesome."

If Ryu was even remotely disgruntled by her statements, the youkai was paying them no heed. She was going off into her own little fantasy land where Ryu and Janus frolicked through fields together, holding hands and doing other... lovely... things... Mmmm... She drooled openly, totally lost in her thoughts and completely tuning out the destruction from the wraith that would probably find them sooner than later.


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Virie had kept her thin lips upturned ever so slightly as she traveled with Janus, making sure to allow him to take the lead as they progressed towards the next town over. Since there little "conversation", the two had taken to an odd bout of silence. She stared at his back openly, observing the slightly broadened shoulders and the way in which he walked. He was cocky but then again, he was a demon, of course he would be. He was certainly a good subject for her observations.

The woman tapped her chin, a smirk flashing across her face briefly as a malicious thought passed through her mind. What would he look like if she murdered him right here and now? Would he rot along with his pathetic human flesh or would his demonic form take over? Did demons even die if one murdered their little meat puppet forms? To be "fair" to Janus, he was an archdemon, so perhaps the probability of flat-out murder wouldn't be as easy or as high as she would've hoped.

Hm, but now that she thought on it, would killing him let her take his place? Clearly killing lessers would do her no good in the long run--they were mere toys in it all and easily disposable by those higher on the demon spectrum. But how delicious he would look with his flesh strewn about the ground, an expression of rage, loathing, and faint shock upon his face... Just the mental image was enough to make her shiver with anticipation. Soon, not yet. She had to observe his ways first and learn all she could before she took those measures.

She blinked, ah, they were already at this hovel of a town already? She had thought it would take longer. What an absolute pigsty this place was. She wrinkled her nose, raising the sleeve of her robe so that it covered her face. Absolutely disgusting.
Now where was that stupid familiar of hers? She did tell her to go off and find Ryu but the odds were high that the retarded demon messed up those simple orders. She took a few steps forward but it did not take her long to sense that there was something else in this shithole of a town. Her eyes almost lit up--ah, there was no mistaking it. This was no small-fry spirit. This was a wraith, a beautiful beautiful wraith that would be all hers for the taking...

She clicked her tongue at Janus. "Come dog, there is hunting to be done," She said, a little excitement rushing to her voice as she followed the scent of the creature.

Janus' eyes twitched disdainfully at the insolent welp, following the altered course of her direction. "Just make sure you keep up this time. The faster we get this over and done with, the less I have to deal with you worthless flesh bags."

The exorcist was starting to realize, with a bit of amusement, that he would probably always have a snarky remark ready for her no matter what she said to him. Good, it was always best when they put up a struggle first. "Cute and a welcome relief for us all," She said curtly, narrowing her eyes at his former comment. "Given your height, it's a wonder you can even keep up as it is. So do be sure you're not the one to bite your own words."

"Given my height?" he asked, rolling his eyes incredulously, "Then I'd hate to see you struggle to keep up. Maybe I should get your broomstick for you, your majesty?"

He was feisty, she'd give him that too. She licked her lips as a few devious thoughts came into her mind. She'd have to make good use of that later. She didn't indulge him with a response and just flicked her hair over her shoulder. She was close enough to where the ends of her hair hit him lightly. Virie glanced to the distance, squinting her eyes. It was definitely nearby, now it was just a matter as to where it was hiding.

She was about to dismiss this part of the town entirely when she heard the low rumble of the creature. Ah, there it was, her lovely wraith. Without turning to see if Janus was following her, she picked up the pace and was already taking out her spellbook. Perhaps she'd be able to eat this one if she was careful.


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Sweets. He smelled sweets.

Even with his brief glimpse into this possibility, having it so close by was...

Akira entered into the room with several plates but the one that caught the demon's attention most of all was the one containing pastries. This had always been a peculiar weakness of his--he had never quite been able to figure out exactly what it was about human desserts that made him love them so. Whatever it was, he could barely even contain the enthusiasm he felt as the plate was put down on the center table.

Before the other two could even think about reaching for them, he grabbed one of the pastries quick as a flash and put the delicacy into his mouth. So soft... so airy... and creamy too. Still just the way he remembered. He adored sweets and unfortunately, they were a treat he could not acquire in Inferno. Lucian did not waste any time in snagging all the sweets, one after another. He pushed them into his mouth, unable to contain himself.

It was only when he reached the very last one that he looked up, noticing that the other two were quite literally staring at him. He had, for once, forgotten to pay proper attention. He blinked, a redness coating his cheeks in vague detail as he quietly put the last pastry down. Hm. He would have to be a tad more careful...

He leaned back gradually, crossing one of his legs over the other as he raised en eyebrow. "That was appreciated," His usual monotonous tone was broken by an uncommon smile, very small but still faintly noticeable. He took a breath, releasing it along with his smile.

"The situation in the town square remains, however," He said shortly, bring their attention back to the reason they were together in the first place. Regardless of the fact that he had assisted Akira earlier, there was still a foreign presence they would need to deal with. It would be best to take care of it in the course of the night--the creature would be more difficult to find tomorrow if the sun rose. He pursed his lips, not saying another word as he observed the other two quietly through impassive eyes.

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Character Portrait: Virie Raymbraint Character Portrait: Lucian Faust Character Portrait: Janus Abraxis Character Portrait: Ryu D'Tari Character Portrait: Akira Hikaati
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Tch, the binds didn't hold well at all.

A frown had touched upon his lips as he regarded the exorcist behind him passively. Hm, if they were going to have a chance of winning, he was going to have to draw the heat away from the two of them and have their enemy only focus on him. He lightly stepped in front of Akira again, pushing the exorcist back slightly. He sent a look over his shoulder to signal that he would be taking over temporarily.

The humanoid wraith stayed its distance, watching, observing. So it wanted to play that kind of game, hm? He could play as well.

Lucian's dull eyes turned towards the spirit who was still pressed against the ground with his magics. He'd have to do this just right. He lifted up his palm slightly, releasing some of the gravitational pull on the creature. It wailed in pain but the demon was already used to such noises. (He did reside in Inferno, after all) Manipulating the aura around the spirit, Lucian coaxed it upwards, the spirit spitting and yelping as its body was lifted into the air.

Re-focusing his stare on the wraith, he flicked his wrist to the right--the spirit's body bridging the gap and slamming into the wraith's side. It did not seem to faze it--well, he hadn't been expecting it to. He only needed to grab its attention. With no concern for the howls or sputtered protests of the spirit, the demon continued to use its body as a means of unconventional attack.

He knew better than to apply his magic directly to the entity. He'd have to distract it first and then maybe they would have a shot...


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They had followed the rumble of the creature, Janus having scouted ahead of her silently with his cocky air of superiority. The young witch was little fazed by this in the slightest. She was clearly better than he and whatever things he did to prove her wrong were, in the end, futile attempts. She flicked her hair over her shoulder and narrowed her eyes, left eye flashing scarlet. Where was that little sneak? Truth be told, she had absolutely no intention of sending this being back to Inferno. Reika had yet to turn truly serious which indicated that this wraith could not be overly powerful. Therefore... it was food.

She smirked lightly as they crossed into the deserted town center, moonlight bouncing off the fountain in the centermost area of the plaza. She crossed her arms, frowning distinctly. Now where was that stupid winged idiot? Hiding somewhere, she'd imagine. He was too much of a wimp to face things directly.

"Oi, idiot, we're here to save your sorry ass." She called out, not caring who or what heard her. Honestly, if the wraith approached them first, then it was all for the better. She'd get her hands on it one way or another.

The center of town had a fountain there, water pouring out and glistening in the moonlight. The night was ending soon. Ryu hurdled into the center of the deserted town, his breath short in his chest and Reika still clutched tightly in his fist. At that moment, he hardly cared if she was still breathing or not, so long as the annoying little thing was quiet. Not much annoyed him, but at that moment, he wasn't having a good day.

Behind him, the possessed human came crashing after him, growling inhumanly as it wildly sought to kill him. Ryu spared one glance behind his shoulder to see how close it was before turning back around. Just across the open plaza was Virie and Janus. What luck! A smile spread across his lips as he rounded the fountain and skidded to a halt next to the exorcist.

"Virie! Janus! So glad you're here! It's possessed a human, so there is little I can do with it."

Her smirk grew wide as she regarded him and the witch lifted up her skirts, striding over to Ryu and promptly kicking him down with her heel. "Stay there, useless sack." Her eyes had an amused glint to them as she stepped over him, not paying him a second glance. It was time to feast. She could almost taste it upon her tongue... it made her mouth water. Reika instantly detached herself from the angel, tripping over herself midair as she rushed to cling to the exorcist's hair.

"Mistress! He didn't appreciate my pictures of ass pl--" A single look from her master silenced the youkai who dived deeper into the long violet locks. Stupid creature.

Virie's spellbook hovered before her as the mage delicately skimmed fingers over the cover, the book skimming through several dozen pages before settling on a slightly fringed page. Yes, this would do the trick nicely. She could play off of that... She muttered a verse under her breath, the water in the fountain beginning to distort as it warbled to match her words. The water was forced against its natural flow, arcing upwards and around the marble fountain. The moonlight bounced off it, the ground progressively beginning to pick up moisture as dew and mist began to form.

She didn't want any interruptions and a little bit of fog would do the trick nicely. Already she was flipping the page, not missing a beat as she extended out her palm and delicately leaned forwards to blow air across her fingertips. A small whirlwind began to form and spiralled from her, spinning against the ground as it hurtled towards the creature. Time to see how powerful it really was.

Ryu stared up at Virie in shock. That woman... was definitely ill news. Evil. Completely evil. That was all he could think as she stepped over him and approached the growling creature. He felt his heart clench in his chest as he watched her. She was definitely up to something. Standing, he brushed himself off with a bit of hurt dignity.

"Damn that woman," he cursed, a rare occurance. He lifted his eyes again and found that he'd lost the woman in a fog that was coming off the water next to them. What was she doing!

"Virie! You're supposed to exorcise it! What are you doing?" He called out, fearful for what the answer may be.

The woman didn't bother to answer him and only laughed lightly, her dark chuckle carrying over to him smoothly through the fog.
The wraith cursed at her, the language not quite human and hardly coherent anyway. Its dark eyes narrowed at her as the magic whirled towards it. Lifting its arms, it covered its face as the power engulfed the wraith. A sharp scream filled the air, the witch's magic cutting through it. It was fighting to keep hold of the body that it was inhabiting. For the moment, it was winning, but the wraith had a feeling this woman didn't have just one spell up her sleeve.

Tsk, why was it putting up a fight? This was going to be over fairly shortly. Besides, Janus wasn't a dumbass, unlike her other companion. He was sure to be exploring and scouring the fog. Her spellbook turned to another page, the woman chanting new verses with an eerie light about her. "Hush little baby," She cooed in anything but a comforting voice. The wind spell stopped in an instant but there was no breather, the woman having focused energy within her palm.

A small orb of fire rotated above her skin and it jutted out in several different directions, miniature streams of flame all shooting out towards the wraith. The light was going to cut through the fog but she wanted this over and done with, even if she had to take a bit of a risk.

"Hush little baby, don't say a word~" She cooed again, the nursery rhyme coming off as more demonic than anything else. Reika shivered in the witch's hair--privately, the youkai hated it when her master fought. It was always kind of creepy.

The power of the witches spell engulfed it once more, almost immediately after the wind spell had faded. Her words were chilling, reminding the wraith of something akin to a demon. Was this woman even human? Probably not. Finally, it lost its hold on the human it had been inhabiting. A curdling scream echoed as it was forced out of the woman's form and into the space between the human and the witch.

"I won't go back to hell..." it growled, the shadowy form rippling around with Viries' magic, "You can't make me! I will kill you first!" It screamed then lunged at her, trying to get through her power.

Her smirk widened to its fullest--finally it was out! Now it was time to get to business. The cloak that was wrapped around her body was easily undone, falling to the ground a foot or so away from the exorcist. She pulled off her dress as well, letting that fall behind her and leaving her in a light camisole and garters. She wouldn't want to ruin her clothes, not for what she had planned. An almost savage grin unfurled on her features as she brushed her hair up, putting it into a ponytail. No, she wasn't sweating this.

The wraith lunged at her and the woman made no attempts to dodge it at all. She merely opened her arms wide as if accepting its presence and the entity made contact with her skin. It howled in triumph, as if it truly believed it had gotten through her power. How petty. A sharp laugh escaped from her lips and she wrapped her arms around her torso, still laughing uncontrollably.
Reika spun away from the woman, falling atop the bundle of clothes on the ground. "M-Mistress, isn't that a lot to--"

"Be quiet!" The woman snapped, settling her vivid eyes upon the youkai. The demon yipped and covered her face with her hands, trying to avoid her master's gaze. Still, the smile did not leave her face--she could feel it, the power that this wraith possessed. It was trying to expand itself, fill inside of her. She absolutely loved that feeling, always right before she devoured. It was simply the sweetest.

The laughter abruptly stopped and the woman suddenly froze, bent slightly backwards with her arms outstretched. Her eyes were glassy and unblinking and she could've almost been a statue for how paralyzed she looked. Slowly, very slowly, she began to close her eyes as her teeth gnashed together. Almost, it was close, almost, almost, wait for it...

And there it was, the pulse of energy at her core. Right before the wraith wrapped its clammy little hands around her mind, the woman allowed her spirit energy to pulse inwards. She heard the screams of the creature reverberate in her head but she paid it no mind. Her spirit energy was seeping inside of her body, gradually encompassing around the wraith as it began to gnaw on its essence. Soon it would be a part of her. And then her task would be complete.

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Character Portrait: Ilyana Ree
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She was most certainly lost...

She'd been traveling for days... DAYS. Actually, it had only been a few hours! But when you're short and have small legs, distances seem a lot longer than they really are. And she missed diapers. They were a lot more comfy to travel around in! But apparently, girls her age (or humans this age) didn't wear those anymore so she was stuck with big girl panties. Oh well, she'd waddle around in them if she had to! Maybe she'd find someplace where there were more comfy big girl panties and ones that felt more like squishy pillows. Made sitting on her bum easier.

The small girl was actually trying to find her bearings, see, she was sent here for a reason. That reason was still confusing to her--it had something to do with large ants... or... large black... large... something something's. They were evil, large something something's! And she was sent to battle them with her bubbly barrage! Though that seemed a bit incorrect. A part of her thought there was supposed to be someone else... or was it two people? She liked friends so the thought of two more people made her excited!

She was jolted out of her thoughts as she suddenly felt her world tipping downwards. Ah! The lightning had come to exact its terrible revenge on her! It always made such loud noises and now it was making the earth go tops tur... oh oops! She giggled with a small blush. She had only tripped on a nearby rock. She was okay.

She brushed the dust off her knees and straightened up again, sticking her thumb into her mouth as she looked about. She had no idea what to do next. She'd been walking in one direction for awhile now but with no changes and no luck, she was starting to doubt a little if she took the right path.

A loud explosion brought her attentions to a location not too far from her own. Huh? Loud noises?!

She yelped and promptly scampered over to the nearest tallest person, in this case it was a passerby who was on his way into the main part of town. He exclaimed in surprise as she bounded up his back and wound her arms around his neck. "W-Waaaaah!" She began to sob profusely over the disturbance and the man, utterly confounded, stood there in shocked silence. Fortunately, the noise didn't last long but her cries, on the other hand, did not subside in the slightest.

The bewildered man had put her down for he had been heartily confused by this bawling girl but that only made her cry louder and louder. A reddish hue tinged her cheeks as the small angel wailed in fear. She fell to her knees and cried into her hands. She had already forgotten what she had been trying to figure out. Now she just wanted the bad noises to stop.
And maybe for someone nice to come pick her up and make her feel better.

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Character Portrait: Xana Druj Character Portrait: Zilocke Thane Character Portrait: Liriael Amaryllis Character Portrait: Takeuchi Hiroto Character Portrait: Ilyana Ree
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Liri didn’t pretend to be offended when the demon left her behind to go find an exorcist. Why should she? It was probably what the woman wanted—to watch the staid angel get all righteously furious or who knew what else. She claimed no knowledge of demonkind, but it was apparent to her that this Xana was not overly fond of her, and would probably gain something from her displeasure, if only satisfaction. Liriael, however, simply felt no particular amount of displeasure, and saw no need to fake it. It was true that their inability to extract the spirit from this human woman was somewhat frustrating, and Xana’s treatment of the innocent vessel less than satisfactory, but that was nothing they could do anything about until they found an exorcist, and somebody needed to watch the possessed woman in the meantime.

So Liri planted herself on a clean patch of grass, the battered human lying prone beside her, and sang the Dirge of Binding beneath her breath—the woman was so weak that it scarcely took any effort to contain her, so the crosslegged angel placed a soft hand on her brow and smiled, just barely. The spirit was obviously unhappy with this, but it wasn’t it she sought to soothe, and even when it tried to fight the effects of her spellsong, it struggled in vain, the smooth flow of notes ensnaring the limbs of its host-body and rendering it worse than useless in the end. At least it couldn’t do any more damage to the human it enslaved, this way.

It was quite some time before she sensed the demon’s presence returning, and this time, Xana was accompanied by what seemed to be a spiritually-aware human. Not a full Exorcist, perhaps, but at least a Meister. She was almost certain that was what they were called, though the knowledge did not come from herself. It must be the Nightingale, though why her own host would know anything of such matters, she could not say.

At their approach, she stood, brushing stray grass from her fitted tan trousers and folding her hands behind her back. At this point, the spirit’s struggles had rendered it even weaker, and her soft singing dropped back to a hum, no more than that being necessary to keep it in line. She may have even risked speaking, but she did not want to take the chance. Besides, so bound, the woman would be easier to exorcise. She did, however, dip her head in greeting to the dark-haired young man behind Xana.



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Really, Zilocke thought to himself, it was all somebody else’s fault.

He’d been perfectly content to mind his own business while he passed through this town (or was it a city? He didn’t care enough to check), but apparently, not everyone was content to let him. He’d stopped in a tavern and purchased himself an ale—never mind that it was early in the morning, he’d been walking all night—and then left again, taking a turn through a rather rundown area of slums, when four gentlemen in raggedy clothes had stepped out in front of and behind him, wielding an assortment of nicked blades and rusted polearms. Amateurs, really.

He’d stopped and bid them all good morning, but of course, they were more interested in his belongings than his words. He could understand that, maybe: material items were quite interesting, and words so cheap. But he doubted very much they wanted the banded, engraved silver at his arms for the sake of its unique alchemical properties. Or maybe the reason they hadn’t talked to him was because they weren’t very good with words. They certainly hadn’t used many before the first one tried to jump him.

It was with a mildly-perturbed expression on his face that the Mad Alchemist stepped aside, raising an eyebrow at the loud whistle of the battered scimitar through the air. “My good sir,” he enunciated, as though genuinely shocked, “you really should be more careful. A blow like that could take a man’s arm off!” He shook his head and brought one hand up to rub absently at the stubble on his cheek. He knew he’d forgotten to do something before he left—apparently, shaving was it. He mused on the merits of using his silver wristband to fashion himself a straight-razor, ducking under the next swing with a casual ease that looked entirely accidental.

It was, without a doubt, infuriating, and all four of them were after him then, and dodging became entirely too much work for his lazy sensibilities. So he’d done what any reasonable man of moderate alchemical talent would have done in the same situation: dropped into a crouch, sketched a small circle in the dirt, and caused himself a nice, ground-rocking explosion. It was more noise and dirt than actual destruction, of course: he tended to vandalize only his own property, not the already-ramshackle dwellings of strangers.

Either way, the impressive plume of dust was more than he needed to make his escape, and he did, cackling to himself like a deranged person as he emerged from the cloud of smoke—laughter which ceased when two new pieces of information came to him at once: the crying of a child, and the sense that there was metaphysical matter nearby. Fortunately for his curiosity, they were in the same direction, and that was the one he picked, strolling along the street as though he belonged there—as though he owned it, even.

He didn’t like making children cry, and he had a feeling that this one’s distress was rather his fault. Not every day something exploded this close to you, and though the poor thing had been in no real danger, he supposed she had no way to know that. As he approached, however, he found that the metaphysical matter drew closer as well. Interesting: either the child was possessed by a spirit or… no, this was definitely something different. Angel, if he had his guess. Not that he cared—he was actually more concerned with the fact that she was adorable. Kids were great, honestly. He liked them a hell of a lot better than grown-ups, and if this one just so happened to be celestial also, well… no skin off his teeth.

Crouching in front of the girl with the faint chiming of bells, he folded one hand into a fist, then extended his index finger from it and poked her in the forehead, just gently. “Hey, kiddo. Pst.” Removing his hand, he reached into one of the many pouches at his belt and pinched a tiny bit of a bright blue powder. In the dirt between them, he sketched a tiny transmutation circle, then dropped the powder into it with a flourish. Rubbing his hands together dramatically, he clapped them, pressing both to the circle. Before their eyes, a delicate blue flower erupted from the ground, growing and unfolding its petals. The circle and the powder both disappeared, and Zilocke plucked the flower from its spot and held it out to the child. “See? Why cry when the world is so beautiful?” He grinned, and it might have even been genuine.

Really, it was just equivalent exchange. He'd made her cry, it was only fair that he do his best to make her smile, too. Even if it really was all somebody else's fault.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Virie Raymbraint Character Portrait: Lucian Faust Character Portrait: Janus Abraxis Character Portrait: Ryu D'Tari Character Portrait: Akira Hikaati Character Portrait: Zilocke Thane Character Portrait: Ilyana Ree
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Lucian was met with a bizarre and slightly unexpected sight. His mind had not been on Akira at all, admittedly, or on the status of their little group.

He raised his eyebrows slowly at the sleeping male who was curled up with the cloak he had given him. Honestly. It was like looking at a large baby. His eyebrow twitched as he leaned over the exorcist. He could snatch the cloak back but that would only wake the other and he didn't want to deal with any questions right now. Besides, Akira had to rest to recover from the battle. He needed rest but... his mind was too active to allow that to happen.

There had been something wrong with that whole battle--something... amiss with that situation. The figure, the wraith, they had been fortunate to get out of it as relatively unharmed as they had. His eyebrows furrowed as he sat on the edge of the bed, clasping his hands in front of his mouth as he propped his elbows on his legs. He had to figure out what was happening. But things were so different this time around.

The demon had never been without his sight before, had never felt so... blind. He honestly didn't know how others coped with it, not being able to see into the possible futures. How they stumbled around so aimlessly without a care or thought to what was going to come to pass. And with the compounded fact that even if he used his visions, they might be unreliable... it put him in an awkward fix.

Did that mean his time magic would not be effective at all here? There was no way to test it... not without alerting anyone. He had a feeling that that man, this time around, was in touch with his time manipulation. And he couldn't let it be known that he was doubting his own powers. That was weakness--a weakness he could not afford.

He glanced at the sleeping Akira. The exorcist was still as oblivious as ever, so unknowing, so... tch. There was nothing to be done of the matter. He might as well feign sleep till the other woke up. He could live without it. He laid down in the other bed, closing his eyes as he tried to make sense out of the predicament.

Things were just one big convoluted mess.


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Oh she saw it alright. The look that stupid wretch of an angel gave her. She grinned maliciously at him and tucked her hair behind her ear. If it weren't for the smile, then maybe she could've been deemed as maidenly. As it stood... she came across more as leering creepily than anything else. That demon was already walking ahead of them, barely glancing over at the duo as he started to begin on their way back to the HQ.

Ryu called back to her but she wasn't paying attention. Anything the whiny winged idiot said she did not have a care for. No. She was more interested in this demon Janus... Much more interested.

He had not said anything at all. But there had been a brief pause, a second, in which their gazes had locked. Janus had known. And his silence was all the affirmation she needed. He wouldn't be getting in her way. After all, she knew about him, she had been watching him since they had first grouped up. He loved the rush of battle and this situation with the rifts... it provided the perfect outlet for him. The perfect outlet for them both.

The only hitch in this little scenario was...

Her eyes swiveled over to the angel and she narrowed them slightly. She had to think of a way to get rid of him. To push him out of their group. There was no need for an angel--they would not be aiming to purge demonic presences anyone or anything. He would only be getting in their way. And if he were with them, then there were the odds he would be reporting back... to his even stupider commander.

She waltzed ahead of the idiot, smirking at him as she passed before falling into pace with Janus. Reika was thankfully distracted by some weed on the ground so she wouldn't be interrupted... at least not immediately.

Virie let her hand brush Janus' arm as she leaned closer to him, settling him with a thoughtful expression. "I have a proposition for you," She began smoothly, her voice silky. "While I do hate you as much as I'm sure you hate me, I feel we may just hate each other a tad less than that idiot back there," She said, tossing her hair over her shoulder.

"When we go back to headquarters... why don't we just leave him there? I have no use for him and he will only slow up my... ambitions. But perhaps if an accident were to... befall him when we reached Resmyrd, there would be no choice but for him to stay behind. And we, of course, as his ever-so-noble companions would carry on in his stead." She smiled back at Ryu, now in a sweet fashion before returning her gaze to Janus.

He was a demon and true to his nature. And if there was one thing demons liked more than making bargains, it was pursuing their own selfish goals.


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Her face was a bright red, cheeks puffed up and eyes squeezed shut with her incoming sobs. She was still frightened, hiccuping and continuing her wails Bad things always happened when there were loud noises. Icky sounds that made her ears hurt! But then, the sun was suddenly destroyed in the sky and terrified, she opened up her eyes wide to see what had caused such a thing to happen. She hadn't tampered with the--oh! The sun hadn't exploded after all.

It was a tall man, a really tall and large man with long red hair. He must've cast a shadow since he was so big--he blocked out the sun's rays! She had thought the chiming noise had been the sun going boom but it had just been bells. She couldn't see any on him though, where was he hiding them? She sniffed, wiping at her eyes as she stared at him.

Hey, kiddo. Pst.” He pressed his finger to her forehead before removing it. With some grandiose hand gestures, the powder he had taken out of his pouch soon disappeared.. only to be replaced by a flower! She stared at it, wide-eyed at the blue petals. How had he made that appear?

“See? Why cry when the world is so beautiful?” She sniffed, not remembering when she had stopped crying. She scrunched up the corners of her dress, dabbing at her eyes as she gazed at the flower he was offering her. With her small hands, she plucked it from his and stared at it, pushing her nose right against the petals to breathe in the smell. She inhaled too quickly and sneezed off to the side, several times in fact.

She sniffled again but smiled as she looked back at the flower, oblivious to her running nose. "Are you a magic man?" She asked, deciding to put the flower behind her ear so it wouldn't get lost. If she kept it in her hands, she might accidentally crush it since she tended to hold on to things tightly. "I like magic, I can do it too!" She said excitedly, reaching into her pocket to take out her globe.

She wasn't a very complicated girl at all and rarely understood the significance of secrecy. So she had absolutely no qualms about showing off her abilities to this strange magic man who could make powder into flowers. She blew over her snowglobe, some bubbles appearing out of the other side and floating over to his face. They popped on contact with his skin and she giggled, blowing again to repeat the process.

Yes, she had completely forgotten the reason she came to Purgatory in the first place.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucian Faust Character Portrait: Akira Hikaati Character Portrait: Zilocke Thane Character Portrait: Ilyana Ree
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#, as written by Igari


Lucian Faust




He felt breath hitting against his cheek, a warm presence that could only be associated with the exorcist that had been sleeping not too long ago. My my. This was rather bold of him. There were a multitude of, admittedly, none too decent thoughts that went through his mind. (C'mon, he was a demon, really) And he was absolutely certain that all of them would catch Akira off guard and be completely successful. Perhaps he shouldn't be that me... nah.

He lazily opened one eye rather slowly and reached up, grasping Akira's collar to pull the human closer to him. "Come now, I don't think I'm as daunting as Sleeping Beauty. I've even taken the time out to make sure I don't have on any of those ridiculous frills. So go on, my prince, awaken me from my slumber." He said with a cool grin before closing his eyes casually.

His heart shot to his throat, closing off any attempts at getting air back into his lungs as he was suddenly pulled straight down towards Lucian. How the hell... was the demon awake this whole time? The exorcists eyes widened in shock and embarrassment. If only the darkness were a bit darker... he was sure that the demon had seen his brilliantly red face with their proximity.

He tried to pull away, but the grip was tight and he couldn't get very far. With his heart thumping rapidly in his chest, Akira wasn't entirely sure what to do next. Why had he thought it was a good idea in the first place? Oh, right... he'd been feeling a little odd right before. Damned dream.

"L-let go... please," Akira stuttered, causing him to be even more flustered than before.

Lucian re-opened his eyes, raising his eyebrows very slowly at the other. This was honestly a bit too easy. "Sure," He said as he let go, but not before he gave a downwards tug to throw Akira off balance.

A sharp cry of surprise left his lips as he felt the demon's pull. In the next moment he found himself toppling off the bed from his precarious perch and thudding hard onto the wood floor. The exorcist groaned slightly as he rubbed the back of his head with his hand and propped himself up on an elbow.

"What was that for? Damnit..." he cursed softly, wincing lightly.

The demon shrugged before straightening with a yawn, more for show than anything else as he wasn't tired. Now, he could've simply slid off the bed and helped Akira up like a decent person. But Lucian wasn't a decent person, not in the slightest. So instead, he rolled off the bed and angled himself so he could effectively pin the exorcist to the ground before there could be any protests.

"You seemed troubled," His voice was now almost a soft purr. Really, letting his guard down around a demon. "Bad dreams?"

Akira's eyes widened again as Lucian dropped down over him. Before he could even get away, he was pinned there. Damn the demon was strong... but then again, Lucian wasn't really human, now was he? His heart fluttered at Lucian's question. Was it even possible to keep secrets from him?

"I... I-I'm fine, Lucian," he stammered breathlessly, "It was... nothing," he turned his head sideways, looking away from Lucian. He bit his tongue, that was probably a stupid thing to say.

"Mmhmm..." Lucian trailed off as he lifted one of his hands to run a finger down the side of Akira's cheek. "So it's 'nothing' that has you all flustered and makes you gaze upon my face while you think I'm sleeping?" He asked slowly, as if completely oblivious to the position he had put the exorcist in.

"It was..." Akira stopped, a sigh leaving him. Telling Lucian that it was nothing again wouldn't solve the problem. The touch across his face had multiple affects. It sent shivers down his spine, it felt pleasant also and his mouth went dry slightly.

"I... I don't know who it was, or even if it was real, but a cloaked man came to me. He told me that I couldn't get away, that you couldn't protect me. He has plans for me. For everyone. Then he..." Akira stopped, his free hand clenching into a fist. Could he really tell Lucian that the cloaked man had killed him in his dream? It even sounded crazy just thinking about it.

The archdemon narrowed his eyes slowly. Things were more serious than he had anticipated. If even now, in dreams... He had to keep a calm mind, however. To let Akira see even a moment of discomfort would be unwise for the two of them. He kept his composure as he regarded the exorcist, prompting him. "Then he?"

"Shoved his hand through my chest," he answered softly. He took a moment before he continued, "I woke up right after. I can still feel where he injured me," his head turned to look up at Lucian then, "I don't know why but I just felt like... I'm missing something in life. There's so much more I should be doing that I'm not. And I think... I think that..." frustratingly his blood boiled at the thought, burning his cheeks again, "You're part of that."

Lucian regarded him carefully before wordlessly getting up with a frown. Troubling. "Go back to sleep," He said dismissively without looking back at Akira. "You need it more than I do."

Akira sat up. He watched Lucian closely, eyes slightly narrowed, "You really think I can go back to sleep after that? Something's up. What is it, Lucian?" He stood up and went towards the demon. Was he hiding something from him? The sudden request for him to go to sleep was slightly... off.

"Don't hide anything from me. If it involves me, I should know about it."

Lucian glanced over at Akira and shook his head slowly. There was no way he could tell him. And by his reactions... well, he'd give the exorcist points for being tenacious. He sighed, turning to face his companion before stepping just close enough to grab Akira by his collar again and force the other to bend down a bit.

"Something like that? Would you perhaps want something more pleasant to dream about then?" He asked with a growing smirk.

He was avoiding the question. Damn him. Well, fine, he would let Lucian win this one. However, that didn't mean that Akira was done asking or pressing for answers. He was pulled down towards the demon, strong hands gripping his collar a second time.

"What would make me dream of something more pleasant?" he asked, genuinely wondering what it was that Lucian meant.

"You really make this too easy," He murmured with a slight roll of his eyes. He leaned up, keeping his gaze even with Akira's. This exorcist really didn't have any idea, did he? Under different circumstances, perhaps he'd feel bad for taking advantage of that innocence. But as it stood... nah.

He pressed his lips to Akira's calmly but didn't close his eyes, probably more for the sake of partially unnerving Akira than anything else. "Sweet dreams," He said, pulling back while simultaneously leaning back to pick up his cloak. He turned on his heel and headed towards the entrance-way, pausing briefly to address the exorcist one more time. "Oh, and try not to make a mess." He opened the door and let himself out. That should keep Akira busy... for now anyway.



Ilyana Ree




"Zeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!" She chimed happily as soon as she heard this new nickname. It did indeed make that funny noise with her name too! The one where the letters seemed to go together but they had different sounds at the very beginning so they were different words. She liked this tall man! He was fun and he could do magic too! Just like her! She was going to have lots of fun with him and they were going to battle the shadow ants with long capes. And then maybe get food because she had a rumbly in her tumbly that made her want to eat something.

His tune was mighty catchy! He had a hum that she liked. She may not have been as gifted as the other angels but if there was one thing all angels could do, it was to sing well. Maybe it was some trait they all shared? She never really knew. But the young girl happily joined in, her melodic voice matching his with almost eerie perfection. She moved her arms about to keep the tempo since if she wasn't careful, she could lose her place!

This man could REALLY fly fast. They must've been going 7 billion miles an hour! And that was a lot of billions! She couldn't even count that high, she only ever got as far as ten. But she knew a billion was more than a hundred... not as much as a thousand... oh wait, was she confused again? No, billion was the highest! Yeah, a billion was the highest there was so he was going that fast for sure!

She giggled to herself, lost in the music. The magic man didn't seem too rushed at all but she enjoyed the flight they were sharing. She wished she could really fly like him. Maybe he'd give her lessons! Also, maybe he'd help her train her grizzly bear to fly too. She had one, but it was in a large mountain cave. And it growled at strangers. But it liked her! She liked to throw fish at its face so it could eat. Heh!

Oh, was that a city? Ohhhh!

Her eyes lit up at the approaching surroundings. She hadn't even been paying attention! How had he gotten them there so--WHOA. He must've been a SUPER SPEEDY WARPY MAGE MAN. Wow! Zee was so cool and so amazing and he was her friend! They were definitely gonna be really powerful together. Aww, he was slowing down, they weren't flying anymore. Frowny face!

Then there was a ginormous flutter of doves, oh, no, those were wings coming their way. And not just any pair of wings. She knew who they belonged to and the little girl squealed joyfully.

"Rai rai!" She laughed before immediately jumping off the man's shoulders and rolling on the ground. She wriggled over to him while pretending to be a caterpillar. "Weeeee, what are you doing here?" She said with a very large smile, eding over towards him before wrapping her arms around his waist in a big hug.

The angel commander managed a smile as he gazed down at her. Ever the innocent one. It was a somewhat bittersweet feeling to see the little Ilyana--not all angels had escaped taint as she had. "Hello Ilyana," He greeted her with kindness while gently taking her hands away from his waist. The girl was a sweetheart but her grip was too tight for comfort. "I see you made it here alright?"

"Yes!" She nodded enthusiastically, waving her arms about. "The magic man got me here with his flying powers and he gave me this pretty flower!" She gestured to the flower in her hair. "He was really really nice and now he's going to help me battle shadow ants with long capes! Wait... are YOU here to battle them too, Commander?" She asked with wide eyes. Wow, this was just too amazing!

"Ah... not exactly," He chortled. "And by the magic man, could you by chance be referring to him?" Rai looked over at the man. This must've been the exorcist, Zilocke, that the order had told him and Treylion about. "Come Ilyana, there are warm biscuits inside and I'm sure you're hungry from your journey. There will be much to--"

The girl was already bounding off with a loud "weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!" towards the building as she flapped her wings. Her mouth was watering at the thought of food in her belly, yum yum~ "I'll race you, Zee!" She called over her shoulder, trying her best to run there so she could get the biscuits first. They were her favorite yummy treat after all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xana Druj Character Portrait: Liriael Amaryllis Character Portrait: Takeuchi Hiroto
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#, as written by Ezarael
Takeuchi, Liriael, & Xana



The travel-worn and emotionally weary Takeuchi was glad for the sudden surge of the divine presence emanating from the . . . well honestly he could not tell if it was a man or woman seated nearby, with a calm composure that seemed all too natural to them, even if it meant he was greeted by the malign spirit’s presence as well. That one did not seem nearly as foul as that of the demon behind him, and hopefully the angel had a much more agreeable personality, though from what he had been told many tended to look down upon humans for being less than pure. His limp was much more pronounced now than it had been earlier today, mainly thanks to the demon’s brisk-pace to which he was unaccustomed, but luckily practice kept his wince concealed for the most part, although one who paid enough mind to it would notice how tense his face was at the moment. In an effort to keep some grace in front of the angel Takeuchi bowed down just a bit deeper than he would have normally, mainly to try and mask his body language for a few moments longer, and offered his greeting face-down.

“Greetings, I am Takeuchi Hiroto and I have come to assist in the exorcism and capture of this renegade spirit.”

A cold chill crept down the Meister’s neck as a somewhat noticeable shiver crawled up his spine while his stomach turned over at least twice upon feeling the entrance of another demonic presence, and even though it was not nearby the combined auras emanating from the two demon’s and the spirit were sickening to say the least. His bow ended abruptly as he shot-up straight as an arrow and his head turned slightly in the direction from whence this new aura originated, hoping that this new one was not going to join them in this exorcism, Takuechi was not quite sure if he would be able to concentrate on the exorcism enough with the bile creeping up the back of his throat. Strangely enough though, it started fading away, even if relatively slowly, and Lili began transforming back into her human form, luckily enough this way around seemed much less sudden and jolting than previously.

Takeuchi turned his head back towards the angel with a rather relieved, although still slightly nervous, smile spread across his lips. “So, shall we begin then?”

It was impossible for Liri to make or return any verbal greeting whilst still murmuring her binding spell, so instead she half-smiled kindly. She had not missed the slightly-awkward way the human youth moved, but like everything else, it was not her business unless someone else chose to make it so. Turning from both of them, she crouched near the body of the woman, lifting her into her arms and standing. She wasn't sure what method this Takeuchi used to exorcise, but she supposed it would be helpful to have an unmoving target, whatever that method may be.

The woman in her arms was breathing raggedly still, though the spirit inside her body was suppressed for the most part by Liriael's spell, and as such, she struggled not at all. She didn't appear to be in very good shape, though most of that damage had occurred whether before Xana arrived or between then and when Liri had, it was hard to say. The sword at the angel's hip remained sheathed and relatively unobtrusive; it was clear that she was trusting Xana to be able to find a gate to shove the spirit back through. She would destroy the being if she must, but she would much prefer not to.

Anxiety coursed through the Meister's body as he observed the angel quietly lift up and grasp the poor, possessed girl after his, somewhat, unnecessary question, and it felt as if his heart was straddling the back of his throat now while its rhythmic beating began to pound relentlessly between his ears. A series of deep, fluid breaths helped to calm this sensation, but only slightly, as he knew this would be a trial in and of itself, more so than either of his companions knew at the moment. The Meister paused momentarily to look over the poor girl's form, observing how fragile and ragged the human host looked at this moment, forcing a wave of guilt over Takeuchi at how focused he had been upon his own comfort earlier, this girl was suffering greatly and he had not right to even think about complaining at a time such as this.

"This should not take very long."

Despite the declarative structure of his statement, a hint of hesitation and doubt tinted his words, but Takeuchi stiffened his gaze considerably, setting his feet into the ground and clasping his hands together firmly. With a bowed head the young Meister began manipulating his Qi to begin forming a field around the poor girl, releasing his hands and using short but soft movements to help guide the energy and form it evenly around her body. Things were going about as well as they could at the moment; all he could do was hope that his reputable bad luck chose not to interfere the evening.

Darkness writhed at the touch of the Meister's spell. It flooded the woman's form, and then spilled forth from her every pore. The black mist like structure of the possession seemed to cover the woman entirely until she couldn't be seen. It was several minutes into the exorcism before the mist began to take shape. It pulled itself up from the center of the woman's body that quaked in the angels hold. The black mass curled in on itself several times before finally holding an upright position. The darkness shifted several times, forming arms and a head without features. Lifting completely out of the woman's body, it stretched its arms out and swiped at the barrier that the Meister had formed around the woman. Lips curled along the faceless head, jagged teeth emerged from between the darkness like tar. A cold laugh filled the air between them all. It was no spirit that left the woman's body, but a wraith instead.

Takeuchi had his eyes clenched tightly during the few minutes before the mist's transformation, focusing entirely upon the barrier he was trying to craft around the girl's body, sweat had started beading across his brow and his breath had grown much more laborious as this was proving to be a much more difficult exorcism than he had imagined any renegade spirit's would be. When the dark form brushed up against his Qi field it felt like a dagger had been pricked into his chest quickly, breaking this Meister's concentration entirely, and with it the field he had strived so diligently to create to force the spirit . . . no this was much more than that, it had to be a wraith, from the girl's body. A sensation of panic quickly spread through Takeuchi's body as he readied himself for what was to come, this was definitely going to be much more difficult than he had hoped for, and it seemed like his usual luck had reared its ugly head once again.

A Wraith… Liri would have gritted her teeth had she the ability over the chanting she was performing, and when it seemed that the exorcist was slipping, she formed the cadence back into song, the binding spell this time moving to reinforce the barrier that the young man was forming with his own energy, suffusing it with angelic strength in addition to the spiritual powers of a human. She held her grip steady against the shaking of the host, her breathing even and calm, and hoped dearly that this would work. A Wraith was not something that anyone should take lightly.

Xana had remained silent over the course of these events--she would be useless until they required a gate. The closest one at this point was a gate she had repaired only a few nights before, but even that was still a few hours from their current position. That in and of itself would have been of little concern, but the appearance of a wraith complicated matters somewhat. Of course, either way, she was useless to this group without the gates; physical violence, as much as demons reveled in the bloodshed, was something that was impossible against a wraith--violence usually lead to utter destruction, and demons were barred from outright destroying spirits and wraiths. At Treylion's 'request', not only was she stuffed back into her fleshy meatbag form, but this barred her from using any sort of pyrokinetic ability without exposing herself.

The demon huffed as a new influx of fear and panic flooded her system, something a bit refreshing as the wraith's rage and malice threatened to overwhelm her senses. While the angel and exorcist continued holding the freed wraith inside of their own little bubble, she thought about potential options for this situation. While extremely dangerous, if not unheard of, they could attempt to stuff the wraith back into the vessel and proceed to perform the ritual at a gate instead of out in the middle of nowhere...

"Would it behoove you to know that the nearest gate is to the north?" she asked, her voice dripping with sweet sarcasm, realizing that this was probably all she was going to be good for in the long run. "A few hours north, no less?" She walked around the barrier, letting chills run down her flesh and enjoying every second of it for once--perhaps the physical reminder of Inferno was something that induced nostalgia in her, or maybe the presence of the wraith was affecting her mental integrity. "If you think you can contain it in your little bubble for that long, then we should get moving. Now."

Despite Takeuchi's best efforts to contain the wraith in his Qi field, something it was not necessarily meant to do in the first place, and the added angelic energy donated by his new companion, he was unable to continue keeping the barrier secure around the powerful wraith, and when the hideous being of darkness did finally burst through the resulting shockwave was enough to send the fragile Meister toppling backwards, head-over-heels. The wraith turned, towards its former angelic captor, that cold, empty laugh echoing through the area around them and lunged for her, hoping to take out the one that it knew could keep it held captive. Meanwhile, the dazed Meister did his best to regain his composure, shaking his head lightly to try and fend off the dull pain throbbing in his temples, and also grasping furiously into his the kimono sleeve which contained the paper talismans he needed next, hoping beyond all hope that he would be able to concentrate for long enough to conjure his next ability.

Liri would have sighed had she the opportunity, but instead she rolled her eyes in Xana's general direction. She'd kept the thing bound this long, she could manage a few more hours, but the important thing was saving the host. Xana also could have mentioned this fact earlier, perhaps before letting the boy start his work. As matters were, however, the wraith burst out of his sphere of energy, lunging for her. Liri evaded the swipe, then spared a breath to speak. "I can contain it. Just get us to the gate before I'm forced to kill it." Summoning her breath to her, she exhaled in a vibrato note, causing the wraith to stiffen, its joints locking up in paralysis. She could only hold the joints, however, not the entire being. Jerking her head, she indicated that they needed to get moving. This thing was a lot stronger than most of the foes she'd bound in the past-- if she was allowed to concentrate, she could make it, but she didn't look forward to the next few hours.

A wave of relief washed over Takeuchi as his angelic companion managed to rebind the wraith, no thanks to his complete failure, and inwardly the frustrated Meister was scolding himself for being so careless, letting the entity break his concentration and endanger others in such a fashion, a salty taste teased his palette as Takeuchi bit his inner-lip so hard it started bleeding slightly. With another determined step, this time clasping talismans in one, outstretched arm, Takeuchi brought his good hand up to his lips, his thumb, index, and middle fingers held straight while his ring-finger and pinky were bent at the second knuckle, he began whispering a soft chant. The paper talismans began glowing brightly, as Takeuchi began clenching his eyelids together forcefully, and burst into thousands of shards of light, swirling into the air and gathering around the wraith, forming around the entity's limbs and clasping them to its body tightly. After several moments the brilliant, white light dimmed to a dull pink color, with barely visible gaps between the shards at their juncture points, by now they resembled cherry blossoms. The Meister let a sigh escape his lips as his chant was finished, but he needed every ounce of concentration to keep the spell intact. "I hope this helps, but we must hurry." Takeuchi turned his head at the demon slightly, hoping that a brief look would help reinforce the hushed urgency in his voice, that was all he could spare before he was forced to start chanting quietly once again.

The demon did feel the urgency in the voice of the exorcist. She sensed the impatience growing in the angel--a good sign that she was actually capable of showing some emotion after all. With a quick flash of a grin, the red-headed woman beckoned the others to follow her. She would finally have a moment to shine, although the prospect of watching the angel slaughter the wraith was rather tempting as well... In any case, she tossed a quick wink toward the quivering exorcist as she slowly began heading toward the north. Hopefully they would be able to feed her for a bit as they made their way toward the gate.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Xana Druj Character Portrait: Zilocke Thane Character Portrait: Liriael Amaryllis Character Portrait: Takeuchi Hiroto Character Portrait: Leiriya Character Portrait: Ilyana Ree
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#, as written by Ion


Image



Before long had passed, at least by his reckoning of time, there was another influx of metaphysical stuff in his range, this a great deal more than little Ilyana produced, and he looked up at about the same time as she climbed down, apparently quite familiar with this new angel. Couldn’t well be anything else, what with the pearly-white wings and all. Now, maybe an average man would have felt a little put-off by all the supernatural happenings in one day, gone back to his house, and lived his life out peacefully until he died, equally peacefully but boring.

Fortunately, Zilocke had never really been an average man.

“I would be the magic man, yes,” he said with a bright grin, nodding his head more-or-less politely. The older angel seemed a lot less interesting than the little one, though, so when she challenged him to a race, he accepted immediately, catching up with her in a few easy, loping strides. “Oh, I almost have you!” he called dramatically, but the stooped in his run to catch her under the arms and hoist her before him. “But what’s this? She flies! And so quickly!” He feigned a great deal of shock and struggle, and indeed, it was ‘Ilyana’ who crossed the threshold first, and the loser obligingly set her down in a seat by the tray of biscuits and took an armchair himself, this a little further away from the sugary treats.

He presumed that the other angel would follow them in, but honestly, he wasn’t sure he had any business being here. Certainly, this was far too much of a coincidence to mean that he wasn’t intended to be here, but that wasn’t the important thing. If someone wanted him to be a certain place or a certain way, he was usually disposed not to be, just out of a certain kind of contrariness in his disposition. Still, he supposed he’d hear them out, see what they had to say. The whole ‘save the world’ pitch probably wasn’t going to work as well as they were expecting, but then, this fellow was an angel. It probably always worked on other angels.

Before anyone could properly get to speaking, though, there was a knock on the door, and it corresponded to yet more supernatural substance, this different in character from that exuded by the angels. Honestly, it was a bit cloying on his senses, and the eye with the patch over it itched uncomfortably.

So naturally, he ignored it, and his reservations, and went to open the door. Pulling it open, he blinked a few times just to make sure his uncovered eye was working properly, then smiled, the expression somewhere between pleasant and lascivious, though it could not quite be called either. “Well,” he commented lightly, “this just keeps getting more and more interesting, doesn’t it?” Apparently, there was now a demon in the company.

Stepping aside to admit the woman, who seemed to be blindfolded, he returned to his chair and waited for someone to start talking. He could do all of it himself, of course, though he didn’t really see the need as of yet, much as he did like to talk. They probably had different things to say than he would, after all, and letting them do so was only polite.



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The terrain they covered on their way to the gate was thankfully mostly flat, and the most predominant emotion leaking from Liriael at the moment was relief. The less the steps of herself and the concentrating Meister were interrupted by stones or inclines, the better chance they had of maintaining their hold. Their progress was somewhat slowed for the boy, who seemed not to move with utmost haste, but upon closer inspection, she decided that he was not sluggish on purpose, but rather because he had to be.

So she walked at his pace, keeping sight on the demon leading them northward. This would simply have to be the way of it for now, and though she’d never been forced to keep a foe this powerful bound for this long, her voice did not let up, and her efforts were bolstered by those of the human who walked beside her. Sweat beaded on Liri’s brow, and fatigue slowly, insidiously, began to creep up on her, but she pushed it aside. She had fought battles longer and harder than this one before, and though she knew she could end it by simply slaying the Wraith, she had no desire to remove it from existence when it could be returned with a little more effort to the plane on which it belonged.

Eventually, Xana stopped, and this was something Liri was unspeakably grateful for. She stopped as well, standing back far enough that the demon would have plenty of room to work. She did not know what was entailed in opening a gate, as she had never seen it done before, but she didn’t want herself or Takeuchi getting in the way, inadvertently or otherwise.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Virie Raymbraint Character Portrait: Lucian Faust Character Portrait: Janus Abraxis Character Portrait: Ryu D'Tari Character Portrait: Akira Hikaati Character Portrait: Zilocke Thane Character Portrait: Leiriya Character Portrait: Ilyana Ree
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#, as written by Igari

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Well fuck.

Lucian had been positioned on the roof of one of the buildings, having found that to be the prime spot to collect his thoughts. This whole entire trip was a complete headache. His eyebrow twitched as he straightened, a sickening feeling rippling through him for a few seconds. It had been hours since he had left Akira alone in the room and he was more than aware that the exorcist had decided to leave. The man looked a touch nervous as Lucian followed behind him, keeping a set distance. The demon wasn't that interested in pursuing Akira or addressing the previous night.

The two of them progressed through the streets, neither saying a word to the other. He was more than certain the other had caught on to his silence and that must've been primarily why conversation was non-existent. Lucian paused before Akira did, tensing as he sensed something off from a distance. The warning from Akira came late, approximately 6 seconds later than when Lucian had stopped his walk. He heard his name from the man's lips but didn't vocally respond.

The ground collapsed from underneath Akira and Lucian's eyebrows raised slowly as he watched the exorcist descend below him.
.... He was not dealing with that. No. Absolutely not.

He leaned down, catching sight o the hem of Akira's cloak as he fell. Really. This was irritating. Why did he have to deal with this? Wait, he didn't. Not at all. That sickening feeling was rising in his gut but he was going to ignore it this time. He could already feel this was a trap being laid out for him. Even if he did go down after him, he was pretty damn sure that he'd be put in an uncomfortable situation. Either way he was fucked. So why deal with it now when he could be an asshole and ditch the exorcist?

Yep.

He turned on his heel, slipping his hands into his pocket. Hm, how to occupy himself before the enemy got bored and realized that no, the demon was not coming to the party.
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Virie hid her annoyance well. She was a cool woman by nature and always prided herself at being in control during all situations And she most certainly had not let that slip during her little exchange with Janus. But she was annoyed at the demon. How dare he think to question her? He should've merely conceded. But it was never quite that simple, now was it? No, he was just as proud as she, though maybe not as ambitious. She wanted far more than he could ever dream of and she was not some worthless "meat bag" who would let her life pass her by without achieving that which she had set out to do. No, she would push on. And succeed.

He would not stop her. No one would.

There was no talking on the trip back, no exchange of witty banter. She didn't look back at the other two and kept her lead. Reika had caught up to her somewhere during the adventure and had certainly tried to invoke the exorcist in conversation. But Virie was not in the least bit interested and the youkai soon gave up after being shot down several times.The trip back to Resmyrd was uneventful and by the time they saw the city in the distance, Virie was already a nice distance from the other two.

Who cared about reporting at the same time? That stench, that feeling, clearly there were angelic beings here. Ugh. She better make this fast. The first thing on her agenda would be to find Treylion, then she'd have to stomach her disgust long enough to converse with Rai and set her plan into motion. She had no intentions of leaving this city with Ryu; she could just dump him here or (preferably) leave him out to starve and have no direction to go in. He didn't belong and he never did.

She had no desire to actually fulfill her task. She was just going through the simple motions of it. And screw the consequences--she could deal with those later. She had absolutely no worries about what would happen if she were caught. She was certain she could talk her way out of any situation. Hmph.

Reika was already getting fairly excitable and had bounded ahead towards the entranceway to the Order. The exorcist rolled her eyes, clearly and evidently displeased. Ugh. Her mouth twisted into a tight smile as she laid her hands on the doors and pushed them open. She struggled a bit, the doors were several times larger than herself but she didn't let it hinder her progress. Janus was probably vying for an opportunity to get under her skin after their little discussion earlier. Bastard.

As she entered the hall, she heard a variety of excited voices and grimaced, eyebrows furrowing. Time to get this over with.


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She was happy! The crumbs from the biscuits were already coating her lap completely and the small angel ate contently. She glanced over at Zee, who had taken the seat not far from her. She smiled at him, widely at that, some food bits accidentally falling from her mouth. Oops! She forgot not to grin when she was chewing. It always made such a large large mess. Oopsie! She laughed and stuffed another biscuit into her mouth with her tiny hands, scattering more of the food all over the place.

Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted Zee walking to the door, huh? Were there people there? She paused in her eating, biscuit halfway to her mouth and another clump in her hand. There was a weird lady there, she could see her from behind the tall magic man. But her friend seemed at ease! He just plopped down next to her--Ilyana couldn't really hear what he told her all that well. All she knew was that this lady was kind of scary so she wasn't going to want to sit in her lap any time soon. Plus, that lady didn't look like she liked diapers! Which were awesome.

She took her large plate and slid off her chair, waddling slightly over to Zee before hoisting herself on to his lap with some difficulty. She squished as she sat and relaxed a little when she noticed that Rai Rai was not far behind the blindfolded woman. He let himself into the room smoothly, moving around the group with a slight nod to everyone.

"Ilyana," He began, addressing the small child. "Why don't you go into the other room and play? I will need a moment with the magic man and the woman." She wrinkled her nose at him, she didn't like being excluded!

"But Rai Rai! I wanna be in the play date too!" She protested, spraying crumbs on to the ground.in front of her. Rai smiled softly and shook his head gently.

"Not now, Ilyana. Go into the other room and I promise someone will be along to play in a bit." She puffed up her cheeks, gazing up at Zee for support. It wasn't that he ignored her but he did seem focused as well... She poutily huffed, grabbing the entire plate of sweets off the table and sliding off his lap with a plop as she landed on the floor. She didn't really understand what was going on any way and it seemed too serious for her.

The small angel let herself out of the room, proudly carrying the entire tray of desserts in front of her. Mm, yum yum! At least she could have a treat! Her displeasure forgotten, she continued along with her sweets, rounding the corner to the room Rai Rai had gestured to faintly.

"Oi wench." She stopped--who said that? She looked around with wide eyes, swallowing the biscuit she was chewing on with a large gulp. "Over here, wench." There was that word again! But she had no idea what it meant! Ilyana caught sight of a woman with violet hair, a pair of magenta eyes glowering at her from up above. The angel was confused and furrowed her brows.

"What's a wench?" She asked, the woman only rolling her eyes in response.

"Where is Treylion?" The tone was curt, a contrast to the zooming fox gliding along in the air.

"Um... you mean the scary bad man?" That was all she knew about him! He and Rai Rai sometimes met up but Ilyana knew nothing about any of that... She only knew that she was scared of him! "I haven't seen him, he's mean! But Rai Rai was in there." She pointed behind her, fingertips coated with pastry cream. The woman noticed this and wrinkled her nose in disgust, not even saying anything as she walked around the child. Ilyana stood alone in the hallway for a few seconds more before her nose began to feel stuffy. What had she done? Why had that woman been so mean to her too? It made her... really.... really sad!

And with that revelation, she started to sob again, dumping all her sweets on the ground as she bawled.