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Daisy Defoe

"If all you demons could just give up now that would be great."

0 · 644 views · located in THe True Earth

a character in “The Demon Hunt”, as played by Zalgo

Description

Name: Daisy Defoe.

Nickname: Lazy Daisy.

Age: 12.

Appearance:
Image

Magical Abilities:

Active

The True Deadliest Sin - One of Daisy's main abilities, she has the ability to drain her opponent's determination. As a general aura that permeates the environment around her this effect has no cap on how many entities it can effect at once. It can influence targets through solid matter and even those who cannot be seen so long as she's aware of their presence. The aura has a radius of roughly thirty meters, always centered on herself. The closer the target is to her, the faster it's determination is drained. When a target is close to giving up evanescent shadows of hands will start to fade into view, seemingly grabbing and dragging the target down though these phantasmal limbs don't literally touch the target or prevent movement of any kind.

Lighter Than Air - At any moment she can begin to float, resting on the air with ease. With this ability she can travel in any direction in three dimensions. This process is very easy for her however the downside is that it's quite slow. The fastest she's able to move while floating is at the speed of a brisk walk.

Clearer Than Glass - She can turn invisible, becoming completely imperceptible to the naked eye. She is hidden while invisible from things such as spirit sight and soul sense however she can still be detected by olfactory, auditory and tactile senses. This ability can also mask her presence from magical alarm wards, allowing her to pass by without tripping the alarm. Anything she touches will also be made invisible so long as it is smaller than her and remains in contact with her.

Silent Yet Loud - She has the ability to communicate telepathically. This ability only allows her to hear surface thoughts and emotional impressions. She can communicate with other minds but she can not influence another being's thoughts or mood directly.

Passive

Demon Sense - Just as any good hunter can she can see the auras of demons who possess human beings. In addition she can differentiate the colors of each demon's aura based on what branch of sin they are most related to.

Reinforced Senses - Rather than having super keen senses like others may her senses are generally pretty good but nothing beyond the peak of human ability. Instead her sensory organs are quite resilient to sensory overloads such as bright flashes and loud noises. Even her other senses are particularly hardy such as her sense of smell, taste and even her tolerance for pain. In addition she sees better in the dark than most people.

Superior Napping - While her healing happens at a normal human rate ordinarily when she is asleep she heals extremely quickly. Wounds that would take months or even years to recover from can heal in a matter of hours when she's asleep. In addition to this while in combat there is an effect that can trigger if she's damaged severely enough called an "Emergency Coma". In this state she will be completely unconscious however her body will become extremely durable, able to withstand remarkable amounts of damage. Once in this state she cannot be woken from it until she has healed enough to be suitably healthy and mobile.

Demonic Weapon: Connor's Shank

Weapon Traits

#1 - From the moment this weapon is called out it bides it's time, gathering power as it waits. The knife generates magical energy, making it's attack more powerful the longer it waits. When the blade makes contact the energy explodes out through the tip in the form of raw magical force, expelling the energy in the direction of the blades point. After one hit with the blade the magic is spent and it will begin the process of building up more energy again. When the blade is dismissed the magical energy is lost and the blade must start again from zero when it is called forth again.

#2 - This weapon can be dismissed and summoned at will. As it is not a particularly large or powerful weapon it takes little energy to summon. Even if the weapon is broken the remains can be dismissed and a new one will be summoned, appearing intact albeit rusty and old.

#3 - Any wounds caused by the weapon undergo an effect which causes the wounds to resist all forms of healing, both natural and magical. While the wounds can still be healed it is more difficult, taking far longer or requiring more power depending on the method of healing. This effect only applies to wounds caused by this weapon. Any other wound's healing will be uninhibited.

Equipment:

A backpack, A laptop, a touch screen phone, a wireless modem with a signal booster, A bottle of holy water, A crossbow, thirty bolts, A bottle of lighter fluid, a lighter and a bottle of diet soda.

Skills:

She is trained in both single sword combat and sword & shield combat.
For unarmed combat she is trained in both Judo and Jujitsu.
She is trained in use of firearms such as the pistol, shotgun and rifle.
She is also trained in shooting with a crossbow.
She has been trained to track and hunt in the wilderness.
She is an avid reader.
She is a seasoned gamer.

Demonic Soul's Name: Connor.

Demon's Appearance: This

Details about the Demon:

In the beginning Connor was but an orphan working in a large factory when he died. An elevator had collapsed all the way to the bottom of the shaft, killing the other children who were hauling coal. He however didn't have the fortune of dying in the crash. He survived the fall but in turn he was left in a pitch black box to stand upon the corpses of his peers. In that box for the first few days he anguished. He had hoped that someone, anyone, would come down and rescue him from the elevator. Soon he begun to realize that they weren't coming for him.

The truth was that the owner of the factory had little reason to assume that anyone survived the incident. The lives of the children from the work houses were cheap and almost no one cared if some of them died to work related causes. There were no excuses for pausing the great industrial machine, no amount of threat to human life that warranted halting the factories manufacturing for even a moment. It was weeks before a repair man had been sent down to fix the elevator along with a janitor to scoop out the corpses.


In that time Connor at first bemoaned his fate, stricken by the tragedy of it all. He had his whole life ahead of him ripped away in an instant. All the happiness he'd never know, all the joy he'd never experience. He'd never really had a fair childhood and now there were no chances at there ever being one in store for him either. But then again, he started to wonder. What did he have to look forward to in the first place? He knew he'd continue to work in this awful place with no hope of ever pulling himself out of this place until he was an adult and the work house would no longer shelter him. At that point, even if he did make it that far, he'd of been forced to either turn to crime or work on the streets for barely enough funds to survive from day to day. But even the worst of times can be made better with good company right?

That was the thing. His friends all had black lung from handling the coal, just like he did. If he managed to survive long enough with this affliction all he'd have to look forward to was the misfortune of watching all his friends die before him. These thoughts brought Connor no solace from the crushing dark that enveloped him. It only brought him more misery.

After he realized just how little he had to live for at first he was resigned to dying with the rest of those who rode the elevator. Eventually however his misery started to sour into hatred. It wasn't fair. It simply wasn't fair that he was never given a chance to earn his way up. What did he ever do to deserve all this? He was no worse a person than those who lived in nice warm homes and ate good food every day. Just because he was forsook by his parents society decided he was not worth giving a shot at being someone. Someone who might of played with other children rather than just work all day and sleep hours so scarce they barely offer any rest. Someone who could afford to eat food with flavor instead of the putrid gruel which barely sustained him. He could of been someone who didn't have lungs as black as coal.


It was all their fault. Had those who made them work had shown even a shred of humanity he might not of met such an untimely end. This much was clear to him. He couldn't just let go of this world, not when it was so unfair. Someone had to be held accountable for this. Someone had to pay...

He passed away a good while before they found his body. Connor was not gone however. He remained, now a demon bent on making those who worked in the factory know the crushing despair he suffered. He spent well over a hundred years exacting revenge on those who worked at the factory as well as anyone else who happened to be in his way. As he had become a demon his discrimination as to who he hated had become very indistinct. This lasted until eventually he was captured by the Vanguard and sealed away for later use.


This is where Daisy comes into the story, a newborn infant donated to the Vanguard by a family which supports their cause. They forced Connor to join with the infant's body, trapping it like a number of others had been. Thus they were forced to grow up together. At first Connor tried to act out his anger through the girl but as time went on she managed to sway him to calming down. From his exposure to the human soul Connor learned acceptance. He finally let go of his grudge knowing that those who he had hated were now all dead and he had no reason to hate the rest of humanity for the actions of a few.

In present times Connor is in a comfortable partnership with his host. Unlike other demons who encourage their Demon Hunters to do bad things he tries to discourage her from doing things that are hard. He dislikes strain and would rather do as little as possible as he doesn't feel as driven to help others as his host Daisy is. Despite his desire to simply let the humans suffer under the thumbs of demons since he still doesn't like humans a great deal Daisy has talked him into cooperating with her. Her reason for why he should care is that so long as they exist they pose a threat to the greater demons and as Connor has well learned by now the demons will not stop until they are dead. So he plays along with her, being reasonable since the only road to peace can only be paved with the bodies of those who wish them harm.

History + Personality:

Her history is rather straight forward despite how unconventional her life's been. She's lived most of her whole life under close supervision being taught how to be a demon hunter from the moment she could talk. All the while she had her demon Connor, a rather depressing companion to have living inside her head. She could only see him in pure darkness and often only when he felt like coming out. All throughout her training he would try and get her to ignore her teachers and do stuff she'd rather do instead. She wouldn't usually do bad stuff like the other demon hunters did but her mentors got upset at her no less often than they did the others. They knew that unlike the other hunters she needed the discipline to master her apathy over anything else.

With that core value hammered in she really did try and take to heart their cause. Against her sluggish demon's desires she strived to please those who acted as both her trainers and her parents, raising her within the Vangaurd stronghold to one day battle the threat to humanity that is demon-kind. When they were happy she too was happy. She did have to live alongside her dreary passenger too though so she made diplomatic efforts towards getting along with Connor. She eventually wore him down which made both of their lives easier in a way. After all, nagging Daisy over her exercising and training was more effort than the effort was already worth.

And then the facility fell.

And so did many good people, people she considered family. Luckily she was evacuated to a Vanguard safehouse before the demons could get to her at which point those who had escorted her to the new location put far greater efforts towards obfuscating her from the demons who sought to stamp out what remained of the project.

Years have past since that awful day. She's taken up a majority of her training on her own but still remains in contact both with her surviving trainers and the other hunters. Despite her apathy and strong like for junk food she's regimented herself, exercising at least a couple hours every day and making sure to eat healthy to off-set the occasional treat she allows herself. She's got a strong sense of duty to find and defeat the demons, a sense that was made far stronger when they destroyed the facility. Besides all that however she mostly enjoys relaxing, reading and gaming on her laptop. She's been meaning to hang out more with her fellow demon hunters but Connor doesn't exactly encourage the effort. She does worry if Connor doesn't get along with the other demons. He's never expressed any strong opinions on them however he tends to avoid hanging out with anyone other than her so it's hard to tell.

So begins...

Daisy Defoe's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook
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(So, I wont lie, I was actually working on this post on and off since last night. Its the intro post, and therefore I figured should be longer so that we could have a good, full introduction into the RP. I don't actually expect normal posting to (at least usually) be this long. I just wanted to get some good examples of both peaceful RP, and combat, and set a good setting for us to get into)

Zero woke up after the alarm clock went off. He had to remember to shut the damn thing off on Sunday. It was another great day in Starlight City, the city of dreams. More like nightmares, if you saw it the way Zero did. Zero was a demon hunter after all, and he saw the horrible things that happened in the background. He saw all the horrible things that lurked in the shadows. He saw the demons, and what they did. The people they hurt. He hated it all.

As Zero got out of bed, he looked around at his room. His apartment had four rooms. A bedroom, a large kitchen/living room, and a bathroom. He took off his clothes, and passed through the room into the bathroom. He pushed through the clear curtains and into the shower. He put on the hot water, and let himself relax. Which is why he got startled when Anna spoke up from outside the shower. "Morning Sleepyhead!"

Zero nearly freaked out when Anna did that. He immediately used a nearby towel for cover. "Anna! How many times do I have to tell you not to do this!"

Anna yanked the towel away, and sighed. "You really can be stupid, you know that? I am only a projection of my spirit. I see everything your eyes do, so I already saw you naked today. Also, you shouldn't get the towel wet. It will ruin it, plus if your towel is wet how will you dry yourself?"

Zero still blushed. Granted, he realized everything Anna said was true, and that he was embarrassed over a demonic spirit that could already see everything he sees and all of his memories was silly and probably stupid, but that did not stop his emotional reaction as he tried to cover himself with his hands. "Anna!"

"Alright, fine. I will start making breakfast" Anna told him, as she walked away. Zero really hated when she did that. But he was stuck with her for the rest of his life. She was also one of the only spirits that could physically manifest in this world, though she could never do anything against Zero. Well, except for harmless things like stealing his towel and what not.

Once Zero got out of the shower and they (he) ate breakfast, Zero grabbed his skateboard and took off. It was a beautiful day, and he thought that maybe he could get through it without any trouble. Anna was nagging him about not stealing anything, which along with a tendency to be more aggressive then normal and a bit prone to fighting. How was it that the demon was the responsible one between the two of them?

Then, Zero saw it. The demon aura. He immediately took cover behind a statue as his dagger appeared in his hand, appearing volcanic as it was black with red lines of energy that looked like lava flowing through it. He used his Piercing Sight, and then he saw it. The boy playing in the fountain had the soul of a demon. He knew what that meant, it meant the boy was either possessed, or was a demon himself. "Anna, recognize him?"

"Not specifically, but he matches the description of Arthur, known to your people as Avantine. Responsible for the Springville Church Bombing according to rumor, and he prefers to play with his victims. One of his favorite....past times....is to make the youngest child of the family murder the rest of them via possession, after causing the body to inflect great wounds on itself in front of them. Then, he would let the police know the story it wanted them too, and leaves" Anna told him. "A real monster".

"No wonder the reading is so strong" Zero mentioned, keeping his distance. If Zero could sense him at this range, its possible the demon might sense Zero back if he got any closer. And there were too many other children and innocents around. Besides, with this guy's reputation, he might actually injure the body he was in. Most demons avoid that, but this one....this one was a special case.

Zero would have to be careful. He looked back over at the demon, and he saw it....luring another child over behind some bushes. He immediately ran towards them both. "Damnit! He is going to eat that kid's soul!"

Once he turned the corner, he already saw the pure blue soul being pulled out of its body by a red aura emanating from the demon. Anna was disgusted, and Zero was not sure it was the affects of his soul purifying hers that caused that. According to her, demons typically do not consume the souls of children because they taste too pure, that it weirds them out. So Anna watching another demon eat a human child soul just freaked her out.

Avantine threw the human aside, the soul still not fully back in the body, and glared at them. "Demon Hunter....well now, this should be interesting. Dark Storm!"

All of a sudden, the weather got incredibly stormy, and clouds blotted out the sun. However, as Avantine turned to attack them, Zero was already right in front of him. THe demon panicked. How the fuck did he get right next to me? I never heard him take a step! Zero then stabbed him with his dagger, and he smiled. "If you kill me like this, you kill this child too".

And then the demon saw it. Zero did not flinch at all from those words. He looked down, and realized the dagger had not pierced the body normally...but magically. And then he realized what the Demon Hunter could do. Before he could react, Zero already did. "Soul Rip!"

Avantine's soul was ripped from the human body, which passed out and fell to the ground unconscious, and landed in the field in his demon form. Avantine considered himself lucky that he had already blocked out the sun, but still, he did not expect the Demon Hunter to possess a move like that. And then, that was when he saw her. "Azestella. Now this all makes sense, you are fused with the one demon who could rip a soul out of a body. Though, she used to only use it on humans, to enslave them. I thought you were dead, but I guess the Vanguard got you".

He then realized they were both laughing at him. Even Azestella, who could apparently physically manifest her spirit, was laughing at him. "Anna, you never told me he was so tiny!"

"Oh you little...now you both die! Firestorm barrage!" Avantine yelled, launching two dozen fireballs at them. However, the demon hunter dodged them all, jumping into the air with incredible speed, so fast Avantine did not see him jump but only go up. However, now he had him. "You can't dodge now! Dark Strike!"

He shot a lightning bolt of darkness right at Zero, except suddenly his body shot to the right and dodged the attack mid-air, before shooting right towards him. Avantine then realized too late, Zero was using Azestella's Sonic powers to boost his speed and move without taking a step, which was how he got so close without him hearing, and how he jumped up so high, and how he dodged mid air. But he had one trick. Right as Zero got close, he cut off Zero's right arm with his blade. "Checkmate".

"Not quite" Zero told him, as they all watched his arm immediately re-attach. "You see, my name is Zero, and you cannot divide Zero. And when you get divided by Zero....you get reduced to nothing!"

Zero extended the blade, and cut Avantine in half, destroying his body, causing Demonic residue to get everywhere, and revealing his soul. Zero then destroyed it. Anna smiled. "Glad he is gone. He might not be one of the most powerful, but he was one of the worst. Anyways, shall we continue enjoying our day off?"

"No arguments here" Zero told her, as he picked up his skateboard. "Besides, I got a text from Danny during the battle. He wants to play a game of basketball in a bit".

"Oh boy, please don't destroy everything this time! You two always go too far!" Anna told him.

(Extra long Intro post complete!)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook
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#, as written by Zalgo
Daisy

Every night the same dream. Sitting in a pitch black box, her only company being Connor and the dead bodies strewn about the floor. She's seen these dreams far too often to be bothered by the macabre nature of it all. She sighed, the filthy air leaving a bad taste in her mouth. "You've been worried." Connor broke the silence, his lightly Irish accent adding the slightest hint of life in his otherwise depressingly monotonous tone. In all their years together Connor's scarcely ever inflected so much as even a single emotion outside of his morose demeanor.

"It's hard not to be. Since the facility fell most of the demons we've run askew have been easy to take out." She had her hands laced together so they didn't fidget. Her hands always tended to fidget or play with random nearby objects when she was concerned so she got into the habit of lacing them when they were idle. "I believe that was the point. We're hiding so the more powerful demons don't find us.

Her eyes fell to the side, looking down. "I know. The idea that they're still out there bugs me. They don't deserve to get away with what they did."

"That's not what's bothering you."


"Well, it's been a long time now. All my life I've trained to fight these things and all of a sudden here I am. Everything I had gone. Friends, family..." She started to trail off. This dream always got to her, cutting right through her facade of strength and maturity. It was partly Connor's fault as this place was a construct of his mind, his fixation on his past but at the same time part of it was Daisy's nature. Having adopted parts of her demon's mentality through their fusion she often found it hard to stay positive, even if she knew she had to for the rest of them.

Connor's lasting silence was telling enough to show he knew she had more to say than just that. "What if a powerful demon found us? If another demon like that did find one of us here?" She finally confessed the question which Connor already knew had been gnawing away at her. She was strong of mind for a child her age but she was still young. Understanding that she needed to remain stalwart in the face of tragedy and actually doing so were far different in terms of difficulty.

He simply stood, getting up off the floor and walked over to her. He might not of always encouraged the best traits in her but he did care. After this long spent unified they were of similar minds, different still but in cooperation all the same. "You know what Gertrude would say." He reminded her of her old mentor, the woman who made her the person she was today. She might not have had a hand in the soul to demon unification process but Gertrude had been there for her ever since she could walk.


So long as even one human stays determined hell will never reign.

She remembered her teachings well. A small smile had crept up on her face. Her concerns had not faded but she knew better than to forget her mentor's wisdom. "Thanks, Connor."

"Don't mention it."

With that she awoke from her dream. As her eyes drowsily open see could see the roof only a few centimeters away from her nose. She frowned slightly, annoyed by the fact that she had a tendency of floating while she was asleep. Back when she was younger the first few times this happened she used to get startled and fall. Now she's accustomed to it.



One morning routine later.


Daisy looked outside, checking the weather. It was a bit cloudy but the sun was still out in full. This was good weather for her morning exercise route. Much to her demon's reluctance she always made sure to go jogging through town first thing in the morning. This both served as exercise and a way for her to patrol for demons.

Stepping outside in her jogging suit she started her stretches, limbering up for the run. "You know you can survey a far wider area by floating, right?" Connor spoke up as she stretched.

"Yeah but that would ruin the whole point of this. I'm not just looking for demons, I'm staying in shape in case we run into one."

"It's hardly necessary given my abilities.

"Listen, I always do a run and I will continue to always do so. So quit buggin' me, kay?"

The lingering silence was his only reply to that. He wasn't going to win this argument since it wasn't his body to control so he just let her be for now. Sliding on her backpack she took a deep breath, taking in the fresh breeze which swept over her. With that she set forth, jogging down along the sidewalk.



Some more time later.


As she jogged down the street she was careful to watch her surroundings. She knew she needed to be ready at any time in case the tell-tale aura of a demon appears. While she was jogging however she spotted Zero, Rue, Danny and Lance down the street. "Hey guys!" She greeted them all with a wave before coming up to the group to see what they were up to.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook
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Whenever Rue came to visit Lance, he always enjoyed the company despite her clingy and constant pestering. He once thought of her as a minor nuisance, but the more she came to visit she became like a annoying but likable younger sister, at least that's what his demon tells him since Lance can't seem to put the pieces together.

"I want a chicken burger!" Rue said as she latched onto Lance's arm like some sort of parasite. "I didint have one for so long, Laaaaaaance!"

Lance tried very weakly to free his arm, but gave up after a few seconds and resigned his arm to its fate. Afterwards Rue began to lead him out of the alley, and onto the busy streets of the city. As he left the alleyway he felt kinda weird to be dragged by a little girl, and he hoped that no one would think he was some kind of pedophile or some creepy teenager. Worst yet if he does get confronted, he wouldent be able to lie about being her older brother since the differences between the two of them was as different as the sun and moon.

As they continued walking, Rue decided to climb on his shoulders with surprising acrobatic skill before whispering in his ear. "Irina says you're reeaally handsome!" Her words entered through his ear. "She wonders how good you'd look in her dress!" Lance was not taken back by her first statement, but her second verse caused a reaction. "Me wear her dress...I might as well wear nothing but underwear!" He whispered back at her. He had seen Rue's demon a few times, and her clothing was rather...nonexistent.

While he was trying not to imagine himself wearing a dress, he didint notice Rue leaning close to him and then that's when he felt something lick his ear. He stopped thinking to look back at her only to find her smiling that innocent smile like she didint do anything. "I really dont get this girl sometimes..." He thought to himself as he carried on walking as Rue began to point to the direction of the nearest Chickenburgerz and telling him to go where she was pointing at.

Soon he heard a few familiar voices and looked back to see where they originated from and saw Zero and Barry and eventually Daisy with their demons catch up to them. "What's up?" Lance greeted them. "Also I'm doing well." He replied to Anna's question.

Araghast soon appeared next to Lance to greet his fellow demon personally. "Greetings Anna, I am doing well but having to constantly keep watching over Lance to make sure he gets his training done is very tiresome." Lance just looked at his demon while using a finger to dig his ear and ignoring all he just said.

When Rue mentioned that he was her car, he gave a deep sigh and didin't bother to complain about his situation, however the next thing rue said pretty much forced another sigh from him. "I bet I can drive Lance better then you!" After hearing Rue say that, he decided to quickly say something to prevent himself from becoming their target for a future compotition. "Rue, I'm just going to say you win at "driving" me, so no need to make a competition about this." Lance spoke is his usual plain tone of voice.

After everyone had exchanged their greetings, Rue began to ruffle Lances hair and like a commander, she ordered him to begin heading to Chickenburgerz. "Alright general, I'll get moving to the mission objective." Lance spoke sarcasticly and began to walk to his destination.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook
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Zero greeted Daisy as they all walked to the destination. It did not take them long to get there, after all it was close by. Along the way, Zero teased Danny a little about getting there first, before flashing himself backwards in time a few seconds so that he was ahead of him. Needless to say, the two of them raced each other there, while Anna just shook her head. "Why can't those two go five seconds without competing against each other. I cant help but notice neither of them put their jackets on yet. I think without saying a word, they are competing on who caves to the cold air quicker".

When they finally arrived, Zero made sure they got a table large enough for all six of them. As far as he was aware, or could remember, none of the other demons that were there could physically manifest themselves like Anna could, so only Anna would be visible to the public, unlike the rest of the demons, who would only be visible to them.

As Zero looked at a menu, he couldn't help but remember back a few years ago. He was training with one of the older hunter, Kevin, who was now out of town, apparently cleaning up the demon issue in New York City. He and Kevin were in the middle of a sparring session when Zero first used his sonic powers, nearly breaking the guy's neck and sending him into a wall, which nearly broke his neck again. The guy just got up, smiled, and said good job.

Zero never had a family. Not a blood one anyways. Danny and Anna were the closest he had, as well as the other Demon Hunters. But he never had real parents. Not like Danny did. He was always jealous that Danny got any time with them at all. After all, his parents don't even know about the Vanguard. They don't know about any of this. They just think he is dead. They don't know he is really alive.

He met them once. He did not tell them who he was, but he pretended to run into them on accident while picking up groceries for himself and Danny for Video Game Night. They helped him pick everything back up. It was...nice. It felt nice. It was also the only interaction he has ever had with his parents in his entire life. The reason he remembered this now was because this was the sort of place he thinks they would have taken him to a few times. It hurt him a little inside. Anna sat down next to him. "You are thinking about them again, aren't you?"

Zero mumbled a yeah in response. It was not something he liked to talk about, even with Anna. But Anna knew how he felt all the same. She sometimes tried to think of ways to get them together when she thought he was not listening.

Still, he focused back on the others. "So, what is everyone else having?"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile....

Dr. Eisenhorn looked over the report. "Is this right? DO we really have a lead on the Nightmare demon Razakar?"

"We are confirming right now, but so far yes. We are planning to alert all Demon Hunters in the city in thirty minutes. A Hunt is on. And you won't believe where he is holed up in....he renamed an entire building to Nightmare Tower. It has thirteen floors, and the penthouse is using power and not for sale, yet is unregistered".

"Well then, get everything ready. In thirty minutes, signal the Demon Hunters. The Hunt will be on. Razakar is not getting away this time".

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Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook
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Once Rue was in Chickburgerz, her first instinct was to grab Lance and drag him someplace else, away from the others. Sure, she was okay with most of them, but this was meant to be her brother-sister time with Lance! It had to be an amazing thing, since it was often that strangers would stare at the two with suspicious, possibly jealous eyes. Once a woman even tried separating her from Lance - was she so jealous that she wanted in that badly? She shouted a bunch of strange mean words that Rue didn't really understand, but also didn't care about either, as her first instinct was to attack the woman and drag Lance away to safety. Especially with that damn Daisy around. So, naturally, Rue shot the other girl a dirty look and a stuck-out tongue when no one was looking.

Irina writhed inside her, and the meaning was clear. Rue climbed off of Lance's head, patting his arm, with a quiet whisper "good car, good boy", before trying to drag him away from the others who joined the group. Lance was her toy, no one else was allowed to touch. But before she could pull him (not that she really could, Lance was much larger and heavier than she was), Zero had gotten a table for all six of them.

"Lance, let's sit there!"

With a forceful tug, Rue dragged the older man to the edge and sat directly across from him, grinning with innocent delight. Unfortunately, there was an almost painful churning inside of her that she couldn't really keep down. To most people, it was just a twitch of the hand, as if from the cold, but to Rue it was like a ripple was shaking through her entire body. She wanted to hunt and obliterate a demon to bloody bits. It was almost overwhelming, so she did what she always did: cling to an older brother, in this case, Lance. With a laugh, she swung her legs up onto his own, using him as something of a leg-rest.

"Lance, Lance! We should play fight one day, okay?" Rue tilted her head at him excitably. "I need to practice!" Only those who knew her well could sense the undercurrent of desperate lust trying to break through the mask. "It'll be fun, I promise!" She felt restless. Every urge wanted to bound outside and wander around, looking for a demon to kill. It was a need.

That was when Rue took a side long glance at Zero and Anna, talking in hushed tones. Zero looked almost... sad. Rue knew what she had to do. She shoved a hand into her skirt pocket, taking out some sour candies. With practiced aim, she threw a handful of them at Zero with a grin.

"Don't look so sad!" Rue teased. "If you want to make a sad face, just eat these candies! They're really sour!" The girl then shrugged her shoulders, glancing back at Lance, enjoying stretching her legs out on his knees. "I'm getting a lemon chicken burger." She declared. "And a vanilla milkshake!"

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Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook
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As the group went forward, Danny got immediately ticked off that Zero was going to beat him to the place, and immediately started to race him there to get there first. But Zero had that annoying time ability, so it was not that fair.

By the time everyone got there, Zero was being bothered by something, and Anna was trying to get him to feel better. For a moment, Danny got this strange feeling for a moment that was coming from them, but he shrugged it off. At least until Barry whispered in his head. "You got a strange feeling right? I am starting to think you like Anna".

"What? That is the best you can come up with?" he said in a hushed tone. "Seriously, Barry, we need to work on your joke resevoir. It would have been funnier if you asked if I slept with her hot sister".

"But she doesn't have one..." Barry mentioned. "Wait, does she?! Can I meet her if she does?!"

Danny just sighed as he sat down. He began to look at the menu, and then immediately ordered the largest plate of fries possible. As well as a milkshake. If there was one thing Danny loved, it was fries, and milkshakes. Okay, thats two things, but who cares about details like that?

Barry meanwhile, appeared in spirit form so only the hunters could see him. "Anna, is it true you have a hot older sister?"

"Barry, I never said she had one, so shut up!" Danny said, not wanting to get hit. Again. He swore, sometimes Barry spoke as if he had no brains.

He then looked at his phone, as if he was expecting a new message. More like hoping for one. There was only one message he wanted to really see. A Hunt Message for the demon that killed his parents, Malicar. A Demon of Suffering. He makes his victims suffer before he eats their souls. He makes them suffer, more then they need to. He was one of the truly evil ones.

"Danny..."

"What Barry? I am busy thinking".

"You are thinking about your parents again, right?" Barry asked.

"What makes you say that?"

"You are starting to turn invisible" Barry told him, which shocked Danny back to realization. He immediately no longer was transparent.

"Next time just tell me that!" he told him, before looking at Lance. "So, how is your hunting going? I did not see you during the last big Demon Hunt, when we were all supposed to be sent after Tarmog, Lord of Sludge. Not a pretty one, I will say that".

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Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Bedlam
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#, as written by Raidose
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It did not take long for the walls between Dreams and Reality to lose meaning. Was he truly immersed in this world, now? Had he ever fully left the other? No... he could never leave his home, his cradle. Even now, as false skin stretched tightly over crawling darkness, shielding him from the vindictive glare of the ever-judging Flaming Eye which dwelt above, his hands reached out over the twisting nether of Dreams. Ever so lightly did his touch brush against the teaming masses, causing their endless cacophony of wants and desires to flood his sense. A screaming tide of ceaseless whispers. As always, he loved every single thought which barraged him. Spectral, spindly fingers traced out, looking for..... Ah.... Them.... Young minds, and young thoughts. All with the briefest whiff of.... corruption. The squirming, wriggling plight of his bound Brothers & Sisters within their tiny chests. Had some of these pets grown use to their cages? How.... fascinating. He was not unfamiliar with these tiny beings. In truth, he had tasted their dreams for years. Yes, he had known them for their whole lives.... Ever since their souls were hollowed out as vessels. He adored their creation.

So youthful...
So prideful...
So Fragile...

So....
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Oh, how he longed to meet them. At long last, see them with his own senses. Watch them fight. Watch them kill. Watch them bleed.... What adorable little monsters Man did make. Yes yes... Introductions needed to be made. But how best to greet them? To show thine self to these gleeful murderers? Mmmmm..... Balloons. Yes, Balloons.... Only one was late to the party. Well, one that mattered anyway. Not all were perfect. No, not for what was needed. Wanted. Desired. The Children; The Hunters, were not oblivious to the subtle shuddering of their surroundings. No, how could they be? Such keen senses... The air slightly blurred. Sound muffled. Time slowed. All so slightly, it could hardly be noticed even by them. But noticed it was.... Outside their viewing glass, in the plainest of sight, there was a gathering of children where once there was not. They crowded and smiled, with merry, mirthful faces around a very small push-cart, with a very tall man, haloed with a very big cloud of balloons. So colorful and bright, they all did float! Yes yes indeed, they all float. They float, and bounce, and dance, and bob.

The man wore a long, twin tailed coat, and a black & white striped shirt underneath his suspenders. A quaint little bow around his neck, and a tall, funny hat upon his head. His eyes looked tired, yet were wide and alive. He grinned at the hunters with a big, off-yellow smile, and cheerily waved them over. Quite a scene, yes, quite a scene this would be! Yet not a single adult's notice did he draw. How strange and bizarre this would be, but the people walked right past him without a care. Oh, but the children were so happy! Won't you come and join? Bedlam, good Bedlam, was true a demon, sure as can be. But no fool would ever live as long as he... He knew full well that these special children, these Hunters could see the world through their Demon's Eyes. The little caged birds, wingless, flightless things, would tweet and chirp their warnings were they allowed to see. So Bedlam pulled the cloth over their cages. Hush now, sweet birds. No surprises should you spoil! Show not me for what I am, or else your bones I shall boil.... So now, without their knowing, the little birds saw the world their human hosts were showing. A tall man, eerie and bizarre, but no more than a man thus far.



What a joyous day! Come out and play! Oh please, won't you come and join?

Setting

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Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Bedlam
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#, as written by Zalgo
Daisy

It was sometimes tough being a telepath. As she followed along she couldn't help but overhear some of their thoughts, a number of which were fairly private business. First Zero and then Danny were both thinking about their parents, that much she could discern. Thankfully her telepathy wasn't all too effective, only really giving her glimpses of what they see when they imagine or remember something vividly enough to appear prominently in the conscious mind. It made it hard to think sometimes when she was in a crowd. It was like trying to hear herself talk at a packed train station.

Then there was Rue, someone who worried her at the best of times. It was as if everything she said had a sinister undertone given the strong emotional impression of blood lust she picked up from her. If a fight with a demon were to ever break out in a busy area she'd have to try and end it fast before Rue could get out of hand. Easier said than done though given Rue's ability to teleport. Daisy felt she was easily the slowest member of this group of demon hunters given how her speed was not superhuman like most and her only other form of alternative travel moved slower than she did by foot. Not that being able to fly wasn't handy. As far as she knew she was one of the two people in current company who could fly, the other being Lance.

She couldn't help but respect Lance and even admire him a slight bit. Being an elder demon hunter he represented a certain age and maturity she aspired to. Too eager she was to leave behind her childhood and become an adult so she could better combat the demonic forces that threaten humanity. He seemed to be handling himself quite well despite being ridden by Rue all the way into the fast food restaurant. Unlike the others his thoughts were fairly upbeat and calm. She couldn't help but wonder how he does it. He was kinda cool.


When they entered the joint Rue insisted on sitting at the edge of the table, just across from Lance. Daisy seated herself right beside Lance because the last place she wanted to be was right between Zero and Danny. Those two competed over everything and having them trying to best each other back and forth through her was a larger nuisance than she was feeling up to taking on. She wasn't particularly jumping at the thought of sitting right by Rue either. As it was the girl was likely thinking of something mean to spite her with, there was little need to provoke her any more than was necessary.

As for Zero's demon sitting by her wasn't too bad. She was occasionally mischievous but overall a fairly steady person for a demon. With her thoughts on demons she wondered where Connor had been this whole time. A number of the other demon hunter's demons were visible even if not all of them could manifest physically but Connor was nowhere to be seen. The truth was that he was lurking inside Daisy, refusing to come out and hang around the others.

Hey Connor, I haven't seen you out this whole time. Don't you want to spend some time with your buddies? She attempted to rouse him from his hiding, bugging him like she usually does.

"No." He answered curtly, not particularly amused by her light-hearted chiding.

Aw, but you should really take the time to learn more about your fellow monsters. You need to work together with them ya' know?

"I know them well enough."

Oh really? Tell me something interesting about them then.

"Like... ?"

Something about Anna? Name something she likes.

"She likes... Hm..." She could hear Connor straining to come up with something. It wasn't as though any of this could be heard though as it was all mental.

"... Being physical?"

Daisy could only barely contain her laughter, covering her mouth so she didn't erupt into guffaws out of seemingly nowhere as far as anyone could see. She didn't want the others to think she was actually crazy even though the way she was acting even then was rather strange looking.

THAT'S the best you could come up with? Wow. You really haven't gotten to know these demons at all.

Connor remained in silent protest to his host's suggestion.

Fine. I won't force you to come out right now. Just know that you're a real stick in the mud.


After her internal banter with Connor it was time for them to order their food. Everyone else's selections sounded so tempting however she had been keeping herself on a diet, making sure to count her calories so she'd remain fit for fighting demons.

Lemon chicken burger sounds sooo appetizing. Ooooh, a vanilla milkshake! I could just die for one of those. She languished her decision but her will prevailed. "I'll just have a diet cola." She weakly ordered. She did just have breakfast not too long ago. She knew if she filled herself up on junk food she wouldn't have room for lunch later and it'd throw her nutritional balance off scale. She had always been regulated as far as training and diet was concerned, she was determined to maintain her routines for the sake of battling her natural inclination towards apathy. She knew if she started making exceptions here there would be no bottom to how far she'd slip.


She had brought her laptop out and was playing a quick game of Agar.io while she sipped her drink, halfway paying attention to what was happening on screen while she listened to what her fellow hunters were talking about and just generally trying to be part of the conversation.

When Danny had his thoughts on his parents she noticed his turning invisible. She did on occasion worry that Danny and Zero would some day do something that would draw public attention to them all. It was something she made sure to remind them of from time to time. "You do know people other than us can see you disappear like that." She stated in a matter of fact kind of sense more than anything else.


She glanced over through one of the restaurant's windows overlooking the street next to the basketball court not too far down and was witness to a strange sight indeed. A man who she swore she would of seen approach given his appearance but never did. The eccentrically dressed fellow next to the cart of balloons surrounded by kids seemed to be... Beckoning them?

Then it struck her. The children that surrounded the man out there didn't have thoughts. Out of the slurry of telepathic feedback she could discern from outside none of it originated from any of the kids that gathered. It was unnatural to say the least. Weirdly however the man did not have a demonic aura, at least not one visible to her. Why then... What's going on?

Closing her laptop she put it away in her backpack and picked up her soda, walking over to the window looking out to the street where the man was trying to call them out. She looked out, taking a long sip of her soda while looking hard for what was out of place.

"Something's wrong here."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue
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#, as written by Kapento
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Barnabas Dialogue ◈ #003300 | Unwin Dialogue ◈ #660033


Unwin flinched from within, straining the boys eyes ahead to the end of the street as an all too familiar presence tickled at his curiosity. ”Siem,” he insisted when sensing the other demon that lurked within the small girl; orbs radiating their trademark crimson upon forcing the boy to carry on down the path. ”Do you see--”

”Blue!” Barnabas rudely interrupted the demon, regaining control over his form and bustling down the rest of the street, before coming face to face with the violet-haired female. Well, not entirely of course, given that the little girl had her face glued to the ground as per usual. ”What’ve I said about not looking where you’re going? You could wonder onto a road and get hit, you dunce.” Not necessarily meaning to sound scolding, Barnabas found it to be a habit he couldn’t quite shake off when setting both hands on his hips; at least when it only concerned Dorothy, who had the uncanny ability to drag out his more attentive nature.

”Dunce?” Unwin quietly remarked, his own thoughts buzzing around the youths head. ”What is that? Hm.”

”Anyway,” Barnabas said with a tilt of his head. ”Looks like your heading in the direction of Chickburgerz.” It wouldn’t exactly be his first point of call, although the boy knew many of the other hunters usually gathered at the place. A reason perhaps why he wouldn’t normally linger there without good cause. ”Don’t tell me; is Siem actually letting you go there for once? My, your demon must be turning into a big old softie. He slyly teased and shot a look at the smaller child, as if challenging the very demonic force in question that lay beyond the girl’s eyes. Heck even Unwin, surprisingly as it was, gave out a subtle chuckle of amusement to the boy’s comment. After all, even the demon himself wasn’t beyond petty mocks to rattle up his fellow demons.

”Let me take you there and if any bad demons come I’ll give ‘em a swift kicking, got it?” Barnabas said, quickly snaking an arm round the girls shoulders and pulling her gently beside him. ”Maybe once we’re there I’ll tell you an awesome story too, if you want? I know how much you like those.”

With that said he began to lead the way once receiving approval; guiding the small girl through the waves of people that crowded their path and towards Chickburgerz. It wasn’t too far away thankfully, and once arriving there Barnabas could already recognize a few of the hunters already inside and eating away, from what he saw through the window. It almost disgusted him in some way, somehow, making the boy almost wish that some demon would suddenly attack and cause a tiny bit of chaos; just for kicks. With that in mind he looked down to the little girl at his side and sharply remarked, ”Remember, be careful and stick close to me, ok? Bassy knows best.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue
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When Lance entered the Chickburgerz, his first thought was to sit on the table everyone else was at but Rue began to drag him somewhere else. He just allowed himself to be dragged despite remembering a few events that transpires when he was with Rue, one such event when a woman was yelling profanities directed at him and tried to separate him and Rue on the account that she thought he was a pedophile. After remembering that event, he thought it was much safer with one kid then a whole group of kids. Who knew what would happen if he sat on a table surrounded by kids? He would probaly be the talk of the town in a very bad way and have a few police officers haul him off to jail.

Rue eventually climbed off of Lance's head and gave him a pat on the arm before telling him he was a "good car, good boy" which earned another sigh from him. Rue soon began to pull his arm, trying to drag him away from the others and telling him that they should sit on one of the empty tables. He then gave up holding his ground when Rue began to pull on him forcibly and made his way over to the table and sat across from her.

As Lance examined the menu, ignoring the feet that was on his legs, he heard Rue speak up. "Lance, Lance! We should play fight one day, okay?" He then looked up at her and saw her grinning with delight. "I need to practice! It'll be fun, I promise!" He thought for a minute as he looked back at the menu, should he play fight with her? Sure he was lazy but his demon would never let and oppurtunity like this pass. And just as he thought about his demon, he appeared right next to him with his arms crossed.

"Lance, you will accept her offer to fight."

"Oh come on Araghast, I don't want to exert myself in a very tough battle."

"Then how about this, if you don't accept her offer I will force you to train for seven whole days, all day and night"

Lance then began to weigh both of those options, fight for maybe thirty minutes to an hour in a single fight, or spend an entire week and be forced to do anything his demon threw at him. "Well Rue, you got yourself a fighting companion." Lance replied as he decided on a fried chicken sandwich and cup of Pepsi as his meal.

He soon looked out of the window and saw a very...strange...sight. There was a strange man dressed in a twin tailed coat, and black and white striped shirt under some overalls, selling some balloons. He didint see anything suspicious about it, but his demon had a different opinion. "I suggest you remember that man Lance...There is something off about him." Lance just waved away his worry and got ready to take another power nap to wait for his food.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue
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Zero and Anna both noticed it, their senses peaking as they felt the demonic aura for half a second, and a lingering stink of demonic magic. Zero used his piercing gaze technique, to actually look for the demonic soul specifically, but had no such luck. It was as if this thing, if it was really there, had Danny's cloak ability, Lance's calm thinking, Rue's....crazy, Daisy's determination, and Zero's guts. How and why else would a demon come some close to them, yet just slip through their fingers before they got a chance to react? This was more then just a demon hunting them. This demon already knew who they were, and it already had its sights on them. And it had to be powerful. Avoiding the Aura sense was one thing, but Piercing Gaze? Zero could usually see right through cloaking spells.

But, since they could not tell who or where the demon was, they could not act or react. They were just trapped there, in that one booth, with all their friends, like sitting ducks in a restaurant. Zero was extremely on edge, but he tried to keep his cool since everyone else was there.

He snapped out of it though when Rue threw Candy into his face. "Okay, okay, I get it".

Of course, as he finished his meal, his phone went off. A very specific ringtone. Everyone elses phones and communicators and PDAs and what not would also be going off at the same time. Zero slammed his hands down on the table, and time slowed down in the entire place except for them and their phones. Zero activated the speaker option on his phone, and put it on the table. Luckily for Zero, by not having to move at all, "Talk fast".

A hologram of a place formally known as Sky Tower projected from his phone. "A new Hunt is on. We have located a powerful demon, that will likely require several hunters to eliminate. His name is Razakar, a Nightmare Demon. He has been slowly draining the human souls of this building to bolster his powers in addition to keeping up a normal intake of souls. He is located on the 13th floor, but the whole building is warded except for the first. Climb the tower from the inside, and eliminate the demon. The Hunt is on".

Time returned to normally instantly, Zero did not normally use it that long but they were in a public place so it had to be done. Still, his time powers would be out of commission for a bit, so that was annoying.

"Well guys, looks like we are all getting called in on this one. Let's get to work" Zero said as he stood up and started heading towards the door, Anna following behind him.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue
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Rue was ecstatic. The fight was official - at some point, she'd finally get to show off her stuff to her big brother, Lance. Every bit of the sadist's body tensed in anticipation, hoping that she'd get the opportunity to strike soon. It was wonderful and amazing and more than winning or losing, she wanted it to be a long, strenuous struggle that took her to her limits. It was rare that a fight actually forced her to go all out - which was a shame, since that was where Rue truly felt as if she were alive. She made giddy little noises to herself that sounded something like a child would make when waiting for night to fall on the night before her birthday in order to open the presents. Her nerves tingled and crackled and she felt her cheeks heating up in pre-battle lust.

"Thank you, Lance!" Rue chirped, though she was really talking to Araghast than anything else. Irina made pleasing hissing noises from within Rue, happy at the development. "Let's make it really long and painful for both of us!"

Then Rue's nerves hit a fever pitch, bursting with tension - an urge to fight that was more immediate than her usual lust. Rue even felt her breath shortening into quick, excited pants and the muscles in her legs screamed for her to move. This could only mean one thing: a demon was nearby. Though - .... where, exactly? Every part of the girl was pricked up and she hung on to every little sensation, desperately trying to get a lead on the demon before any of her allies wanted to ruin the fun (mostly Daisy, urgh).

"Do you sense it?" Irina asked, taking on an uncharacteristically serious expression. "You do, right? It's close, but definitely much more powerful than usual. Be careful."

Then all of a sudden, time seemed to stop. Rue immediately twisted over to glance at Zero - who else but him, right? Her own phone was buzzing but she ignored it, focusing on the hologram of the Sky Tower. Rue quickly digested the information she needed - Sky Tower, 13th floor, climb from inside, and demon. For a moment, Rue's face twisted into a wicked predatory grin that was quickly replaced with a cutesy smile. "I'm sorry, Lance, but I'll drive myself this time." She said in a sing song voice, teleporting out of Chickburgerz via the window to get a headstart on Zero. With a combination of sprinting and teleportation, Rue navigated the rooftops and was the first to reach the Sky Tower when -

"Wait, wait, Rue." Irina warned loudly. "I know you want to rush in and fight, but I promise, you'll want everyone else for this. This one's too strong for anyone on their own." The girl observed the entrance to the Sky Tower from a ledge high in the air on an opposite building, gritting her teeth in frustration. She wanted to fight. She thirsted for it! And now she was being denied it?

"I'm so hungry!" The girl hissed, almost as if it caused her physical pain to sit still. "I want to kill it! Iriiiinaaaaaa!"

Irina sighed apologetically, patting Rue on the shoulder. "Let's wait for the others before heading in, okay? You know I wouldn't delay you unless it really was too dangerous."

The soothing words did nothing to assuage the lust but the huntress nodded after a long pause, bringing her thumb to her mouth to chew violently on the nail, drawing blood and tearing the skin entirely by accident, and not noticing the pain whatsoever.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue
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Danny started cracking some jokes as they ate, mentioning how Lance should try not training or sleeping and actually living a little, when Zero brought up the briefing. The demon they would be hunting was no joke, if it was keeping up a diet and siphoning souls from a whole building. The thing would be supercharged, and who knew what waited within.

Which was why, as soon as it ended, Danny bolted towards the place. Barry appeared next to him as he got close. "You know we demons have a name for this, right? We call them Nightmare towers. Supposedly, demons siphon off soul energy to give to Lucifer or one of hte other big bad demons, in exchange for additional power. This Nightmare tower does not have thirteen floors by coincidence. It was designed like that on purposefully. The thirteenth floor won't show up on the outside of the building. We will have to reach it there by climbing the tower one floor at a time...and it will not be pleasant. Nightmare Towers have....nasty defenses....in place. Each floor, you will be subjected to a different terrifying scenario".

"How do you know so much about Nightmare Towers, and how much do you know about Nightmare Towers?"

"I used to run one, before I got caught" Barry admitted. "Each Nightmare Tower has thirteen floors, and each Nightmare tower has different challanges on each room depending on the demon's preference. The more common ones involve watching loved ones die, public nudity, and facing your deepest darkest fears. Oh, and every attack made against you will be one hundred percent real....and each one could be your last".

As he finished, Danny and Barry arrived at the building. "Hey Barry, if you could physically manifest yourself like Anna can, that could help. You have not tried recently, maybe you will have more success this time".

"Alright, here goes nothing" Barry said. He focused really hard and tried to force it, before physically manifesting himself....as a skull. "Well, its progress".

Danny just gave a fake smile. "Yeah, totally. Now, lets go!"

Danny grabbed the door handle before Barry could stop him, and he was teleported inside the building, having missed the teleportation runes all over the handles, doors, windows, and every other exit and entrance.

Danny found himself now in the first room, with a talking skull. Across the room, his first challange awaited. It was....Barry's full and true demonic form at full power.

"Oh crap" they both said together.

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============Nightmare Tower Level 1: Inner Demon Reflection!============

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(Name and Level fully approved and created by Perks)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Bedlam Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue
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"Blue!"

Dorothy would have heard that voice from a mile away. She remained motionless with her gaze still glued to the ground, but her hidden smile grew wider the further he approached her.

"Bassy," both she and Siem said at once, Dorothy sounding pleasantly surprised and Siem sounding like this was the last person he wanted to see. Barnabas marched right up to her and began to scold her as per usual, which she took happily with a grain of salt and a nod. Tilting her head up, she felt her chest become lighter upon simply seeing him. She saw past his confident smirk to the one who lay beneath and offered a little grin, "Unwin. Good morning."

Dorothy liked Bassy and was one of the very few who did. In missions they would often pair off together, not only because Dorothy's power of seeing someone's most traumatic memory and Bassy's power of creating illusions were a match made in Vanguard heaven, but also because they both didn't believe they needed the others. With her being too nervous around people because of her powers and him generally being an ass, it was only natural that they'd fool themselves into believing that. Dorothy placed her trust in Bassy the same way anyone would put their trust in the grass being green.

"... My, your demon must be turning into a big old softie.”

Dorothy's smile dropped immediately and she looked guiltily away, knowing that one of the reasons Siem didn't like Bassy was because he constantly bit away chunks of the old demon's pride. However, she also believed that he didn't like him because they were too alike, something they both would never admit to. Siem sighed and Dorothy could picture him exasperatedly flipping his hair the way he always did.

"This child," he muttered, "I don't understand the connection. He has a terrible influence on you."

"... You don't understand a lot of things, Siem..." she whispered, frowning slightly at the demon calling Bassy a bad influence, when obviously he was the worst. She gasped as Bassy suddenly pulled her in towards him, not expecting the gesture, but nothing happened. Her face flared up and she buried in in her sleeve, still uncomfortable with being so close, but reassuring herself that it was fine. Trying to distract herself from her headache, she glanced down and nodded excitedly at the prospect of being told a story. Bassy told his stories so passionately she could almost see it happening around her, or maybe that was just his illusions. Maybe he could bring the book she attempted earlier to life? Bassy guided her through the crowds and she tried her best to avoid touching anyone else. He was doing a good job at making other people steer clear with all the pushing and shoving and whatnot. This behavior wasn't exactly unlike him, Dorothy didn't like to admit, but it wouldn't happen without reason. She then noticed the limp.

He's hurt, she pointed out to Siem by thought.

"Your ability to state the obvious never ceases to bore me, doll."

... Um... am I being used as a walking stick?

Siem inhaled deeply and began in a drawl, "It seems that his own needs come before his consideration of your reluctance to touch others, which is not out of character for the proud little snot. Use this empty head of yours for something and think. Has he ever asked you for anything?"

Dorothy unfortunately didn't have to think for long on that one, but she didn't want to think badly of Bassy. He must have just forgotten. That's right. She scolded her demon and removed Bassy's arm from her with a barely audible, "No thank you." As soon as the source of her nervousness was gone, she could already breath easier. As they approached Chickburgerz, something caught her eye to the right. She stopped walking and looked over at a man. He was a strange looking man surrounded by children sporting balloons. This man seemed to be beckoning over at the window of the fast food joint and nobody else on the street appeared to be paying him any attention. One of the children spotted her and waved, gesturing her over to him. She glanced at Bassy limping away just a little ahead of her to find he hadn't noticed that she had stopped yet, being the girl of little presence she was. She took a few sidesteps right.

"Don't do it, doll. That's a bad idea."

Dorothy froze. Her desire for a balloon dissipated and while she gave the strange scene one last lingering look, she realised something that disturbed her. She couldn't feel their emotions. Feeling under pressure, she ran up to Bassy and was about to tug on his sleeve when he swung around to her.

”Remember, be careful and stick close to me, ok? Bassy knows best.

"Like hell if he does!"

"I know," she replied distractedly, ignoring Siem. At that moment, a figure sprang from a window out of nowhere and sprinted past them at such a speed it left Dorothy's hair in disarray. She stared after the girl as she teleported out of sight. "Was that... Rue?" Rue was soon followed by a blue haired boy that burst out of the entrance to Chickburgerz and dashed past them with not even an acknowledgement. "Danny...?" A familiar beeping sounded from Bassy's pocket and she winced, knowing full well what that tone meant. "... I wanted... I wanted to have a happy day..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Bedlam Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue
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#, as written by Zalgo
Daisy

As she watched the strange man outside time suddenly slowed down dramatically. The thoughts around her were low hums. Tones and noises all stretched out to great lengths. At that very same moment everyone's phones rang. Zero had used his time manipulation to slow down time to a near crawl while they answered the call from HQ. She personally had pulled out her own phone and listened in to the instructions, looking back over at the projection from Zero's phone.

After the briefing she hung up the phone and put it back in her pocket. Thirteen Floors...

"It has to be. A nightmare tower... How appropriate for a nightmare demon."


And like that they were all off. She ran after the rest of them though she knew that she'd probably be close to last in arriving. Just as she exited the restaurant however she ran into two other demon hunters, Dorothy and Bassy. From what she could read Bassy felt just as cocksure as usual but Dorothy felt what closest resembled disappointment. Daisy often worried for Dorothy as she was the youngest demon hunter in the city and she had a demon who was, put simply enough, a jerk.

Though she was younger than her and less experienced Daisy didn't look down on her talents as Dorothy was a far better mind reader than her, easily putting her telepathy to shame. She knew that such potency was a double edged sword however, leaving Dorothy exposed to far stronger stimuli. Such magic could be dangerous in the wrong circumstances, hence why she often made sure to help out whenever she was around.


"Hey Dorothy, Hey Bassy." She greeted them both before coming up to Dorothy. |Is something wrong?| She telepathically spoke directly to her mind in an attempt at being mindful of her company. She didn't want to make Dorothy feel like she was being put on the spot in front of her peer. As much as she'd of liked to stay and hear Dorothy out however duty pressed her mind harder with every passing second. "Let's talk on the way. Don't want to keep the others waiting, especially Rue." She motioned for them to follow and started back on her way towards the tower.

She went fast to compensate for the fact that she was one of the slower ones in the group but she also made sure she wasn't too far from Dorothy. Even running most of the other hunters could outpace her easily but she always trained so she could keep up. That way if her powers ever failed her she'd have something to fall back to in such emergency. As for Dorothy she could easily get well ahead of her if she used her ribbons to pull her ahead however in a public street with people around she hoped she would use her weapon with discretion.


Eventually she arrived at Sky Tower, the building which housed Razakar. She stopped short of the door, looking around to see who else was here. Given her pace it was quite likely most of them were already here waiting for her to show. She didn't see Danny at the destination but that wasn't unusual given he was one of the few others who could go invisible. She was about to step in when she spotted the teleportation runes marked around the entrance. "Watch out for the runes on the door. We want to make sure we get through more or less at the same time." She warned others that might of been going for the entrance.

"Anyone see Danny here?" She asked in general, wondering if the others knew where he went. She hoped he didn't get stuck in there already.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue
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#, as written by Kapento
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Barnabas Dialogue ◈ #003300 | Unwin Dialogue ◈ #660033


Hearing the recognizable beep that chimed from his phone and buzzed in his pocket, Barnabas was quick to retrieve and produce the small device in his hand; knowing already what was to come or at least he could guess just as easily. ”A new hunt is to commence,” Unwin commented while listening on vaguely to the information presented to him, ”A nightmare demon in a nightmare tower, how fitting. Thirteen floors no less.” Barnabas on the other hand was silent for the moment, digesting the facts and accumulating his thoughts before slipping the phone back into his pocket.

”Hey Dorothy, Hey Bassy.” A voice suddenly spoke, snagging the boys immediate attention as Barnabas glanced between Dorothy and Daisy, who appeared beside them. ”Well if it isn’t Lazy Daisy,” The boy retorted sharply, offering a sideways glance to the older of the two females. However, their time was cut short as much of the gang had already departed for the destination; at record pace which even surprised Barnabas, which was only supported after when hearing, ”Let's talk on the way. Don't want to keep the others waiting, especially Rue.” To which the boy gave a nod.

”Heaven forbid we kept that crybaby waiting.” Barnabas sighed somewhat sarcastically as the small group progress on towards the Tower. Though of course, if he wanted to the boy could have sprung on ahead limp or not; but with Dorothy with him Barnabas would hardly drop the girl and run, and so he walked with the girls, even if Daisy was usually one of the slower if not slowest hunter out of the bunch. ”Don’t fret about it Blue. You’ll still have a happy day, I’ll make sure of it.” Barnabas offered some words of comfort to the little girl as they walked, knowing that the tower was not what either had in mind, and yet it was hardly a thing they could ignore. Duty was the most important thing, after all.

By the time they arrived at the Tower more or less everyone else was already there seemingly waiting for the go-ahead. From up on a ledge on a close by building Barnabas spotted Rue perched on the spot, almost practically sensing the girls eagerness to advance and finding it just a little bit amusing. Danny wasn’t there however, but Barnabas was hardly concerned by that fact. ”The fool’s probably inside and ahead knowing him,” he remarked in response to Daisy, rolling his eyes just a little for dramatic effect. ”Hope nothing bad has happened to him... at least not without me bearing witness to it first of course, heh.”

With that single thought burning in his mind and promptly reaching behind him, Barnabas grabbed at the end of the pole and swung it round in one sole motion; giving a sharp twirl in his hand and flexing his arms in place. Quickly after and with a passing thought, the green essence manifested itself into the blade of the weapon, perfectly forming the scythe to it's proper shape. ”Chances are I’ll be the first to reach the 13th floor, so that demon will be mine to wipe out,” the boy confidently stated in general, ”Unless anyone is up for challenging that fact 'course.”


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue
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Lance woke up not to the sound of his food being placed on the table, but to the sound of all the demon hunter phones going off at the same time. He groaned as he fumbled around his pockets to grab his phone, ignoring as the patrons around them seemed to slow down. As he listened to the instructions his heart began to pound faster and his blood began to boil, a hunt was on for a nightmare demon and he was eager for a fight. "Well looks like we are going hungry for this fight partner." Lance exclaimed and he bounded of his chair and ran full speed out of the Chickburgerz.

"Looks like today's hunt is going to be a dangerious one Lance, you know the drill for these types of missions right?"

"Yeah, we usually group up and come up with a plan."

"The demon might be prepared for us to charge in together, so what do we suppose we do to take it by surprise."

"That's simple, we barge through the front door and destroy everything that gets in our way!"

"Now your getting into the spirit Lance! Now ready your weapon!"

After their conversation, Lance summoned his weapon in a puff of black and red flames as he continued to run. After seeing the tower and everyone else waiting in front of it, he just kept on running full speed at the door. "Last one in pays for the food next time!" Lance exclaimed as he attempted to drop kick the door open, only to be teleported inside the tower and hit nothing but air. "That could have gone better..." Lance groaned as he slowly got off the ground and dusted himself off.

As Lance looked across the room, he saw Aragast in his true demonic form waiting on the other side and carrying a massive battle axe the size of a truck, and to add to the sheer intimidation factor, it was on fire. "So my first fight is against a clone of you...At least I can pretend that thing is actually you..." Lance mumbled the last part as he got in his fighting position.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue
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(WHAT THE FUCK WEBSITE. NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE MY POST GOT DELETED! WTF!) (Anyways, so now I am just speeding through this because I am fucking pissed) (Also, showing off future floors so people know what to expect)

As Zero arrived, he saw Lance get teleported inside. He also noticed Danny was not here, and therefore realized he must already be inside. "No way I am letting him beat me!"

Zero grabbed the door, and was teleported inside as well...

Level 1: Inner Demon Reflection

Zero and Anna, unlike everyone else who would come face to face with their inner demon soul's demonic form at full power that will be immune to all of their magical abilities due to the fact they have them as well, came face to face with Anna's Spirit Form. "What is going on here?"

Anna Clone just stepped to the site. "Your Demon has no malicious intent inside it. Please go to the next floor, and stop this demon. Also, Anna, you need to remember the truth if you ever want to harmonize".

Before they could get a reply in, the two of them were teleported to the next floor.

Level 2: The Suffering Witness

Zero and Anna arrived on the second level, only to see all of their friends, family, and loved ones chained up and being tortured to death. Zero almost rushed into to save them, but Anna stopped him. "This is all an illusion. If you look away or try to help them, it will reset. If you try to cover your ears, it will reset. And then everything inside this room will try to kill you. So please, as hard as this is, you have to watch this and listen".

Zero started to cry a little as he was forced to hear and watch this all. But when it was finally over, they were teleported to the next floor.

Level 3: Shadow Slasher

Zero and Anna now found himself in a standard hallway, with a door on the other end marked exit. Zero shrugged, and walked forward, only to be attacked and knocked backwards by seven different shadows.

"Well, this is going to be harder then expected" Zero said as he got up. "Guess its time to get to it".

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue
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(2000 word long post anyone? Hahaha... sorry ._. I was wondering if Rue should go first but then was like, y'know what? We're separated anyway and people are already inside.)

Image

Dorothy couldn't help but feel guilty at Daisy worrying for her. Every other Demon Hunter she knew was fully devoted to the cause and ready to throw away everything for the sake of duty. They wouldn't understand her lack of eagerness, surely. She shoved these thoughts aside in paranoia that Daisy would read them and tried to get herself excited at the prospect of bloodshed like everyone else, but it was hard.

It's OK, she lied to Daisy as she walked, I'm OK. I stayed up late last night. It was stupid of me. She smiled at Bassy telling her that she'd have a happy day, although she knew it probably wasn't going to happen. "I believe you."

When they reached the building, the first thing she noticed was the fearful aura. She could tell it was from the inside as it felt as though it was being sifted through a sieve, much like the Demon Hunters' emotions which she had to focus on to sense. She knew that it was going to be stronger once they entered. She spotted Rue looking over everyone impatiently and quickly averted her eyes. Scanning everyone else, she felt disappointed to not see... um, a particular other with them. Danny had apparently already rushed in like the idiot he could be sometimes and by the looks of things, Bassy was also planning on taking it alone.

"We shouldn't do this alone," she urged, looking straight at him. It seemed that nobody else could feel the fear being emitted from this tower. Of course they couldn't. Not yet, anyway. "This place is trying to scare me, I don't think we should act rashly -" Lance dashed out of nowhere and went to drop kick the door. "Lance, wait!" He was already gone and was soon followed by Zero. She jolted and ran after him. "If Razakar was expecting us to go in together, whatever lying behind thisdooristoomuchforthemtodefeatalone!" She hurriedly yelped out a reasonable excuse so fast that her words fused together.

Level 1: Inner Demon Reflection

As soon as Dorothy touched the handles to follow, she was teleported inside the building. "Zero? Lance? Where did you both go -" Her eyes widened as she realised nobody else was there with her. She twisted around to look at her other companions, but they hadn't appeared. She waited a dozen seconds for them to follow, but they didn't. She was alone.

"What? No..." she protested weakly, running back to the giant doors and tugging at the handles. She pulled with all her might then knocked her fists against the wood, desperate to be let back out. "Excuse me, where did you go? I'm trapped in here without you! Bassy?" She tried her hardest to project her pleads to Daisy by thought, but something told her that she couldn't hear her.

"She can't hear you," Siem, the something, told her bluntly. Dorothy cowered by the door, resting her forehead against it and trying to swallow her anxiety. Her entire surroundings held the stench of fear, just as she knew they would. Something was heaving behind her, something large and beastly that she was afraid to look at. Slowly, with her heart beating dangerously, she turned around and gulped.

It was a giant with a grey, skeletal figure that seemed to be decaying. Its head was covered by the skull of an animal, but through its black eye sockets she saw furious stars. In one hand it held a massive blade while in the other it held a ball of flames. It must have been at least 30 Dorothys tall and it was staring straight down at her, panting like a dog anticipating a kill.

"What is that thing...?" She whispered beneath her breath without thinking. Siem coughed.

"That thing is... a cheap imitation. A reflection."

"What do mean an imitation?" Dorothy asked in full earnest, "Whatever it's imitating is horrific."

"To a simple human, perhaps."

The monster didn't seem to be doing anything, just staring like it was waiting for her to move. She slowly raised her hands and undid a few buttons of her dress to expose a red gem on her chest. She knocked on it twice, not removing her gaze from the demon. "Come out, Toto."

Hundreds of thin red and black ribbons burst from her chest, wrapping her up like a mummy. They eventually stopped whipping around her when the only bit of her body exposed was her eyes, which she opened to stare at the demon.

"If you're not going to move, I will..." she murmured and ribbons shot from her.

"Wait doll, don't -"

The ribbons pierced through the demon's chest and hissing steam escaped through the tiny wounds. Dorothy wound her hands around her weapons and dashed to the right before jumping up and letting them pull her into the air as she swung around. She shot a few more ribbons at its back and was yanked in for a landing. Scrambling up its spine and over its shoulder, the ribbons around her right hand unraveled. Another one of her projectiles shot up to loop around the horn of the demon and she flew into the air before throwing herself to land on its face. She stared into its eye socket, her hand glowing with a purple aura.

"Nightmare Demon... what makes you scream?" She uttered before shoving her arm into the socket like a spear. She winced at the jelly that enveloped her hand and prepared herself for the memories... which didn't come. "What?" Come to think of it, the demon hadn't even moved at all while she was scuttling over him like an annoying jumping spider. It didn't even make a noise when she pierced its eye with her hand. Something was very wrong here...

"You made a bad move, doll..."

The demon made a sound like it was laughing. Its jaw creaked open slowly and Dorothy realised that she was in a very bad position as air was sucked into the gaping mouth of the beast, reminding her of the tide before a tsunami. Then it roared. Dorothy held on to whatever she could grip, her ears popping, but the demon was shaking too much. She flew off the skull and her ribbons drew back to her, but there was nothing she could do fast enough to stop her from slamming into the opposite wall. Small cracks formed on impact and she peeled away, dropping to the floor with an "oof".

"You complete... and utter... dunce..." Siem grunted through gritted teeth, "You tried to see its weakness through its memories, didn't you?"

"I know that I'm small and weak for a Demon Hunter. I thought that if I had its weakness, I could -" Dorothy managed as she tried to get up and wipe eye goop on the floor, but Siem cut her off.

"No, no, no. What did I tell you? It's a reflection. It's not a demon, it's a demon spell. A separate entity created from Razakar's powers. It's hardly alive, not to mention it only came into existence a minute ago! What traumatic memory could you take from that?"

"I'm so sorry..." Dorothy winced, bowing her head. Siem sighed from within her.

"Ugh... Just get u-"

"Don't do it, doll. That's a bad idea."

Dorothy's head lifted to the sound of Siem's voice, not inside of her head, but from the outside. It had echoed around the room, almost as though it come from the...

"Use this empty head of yours and think."

"Siem..." she said slowly like a student afraid to ask their teacher a question, "... Why does the reflection have your voice...? It's saying things that you already..."

"Because the reflection is of me, obviously." Siem explained darkly. "It's a crude recreation of my demonic body. What an insult, that such a low life should make an attempt at molding my glorious true form to control with his dirty hands. I will take great pleasure in tearing this faker apart."

"I like your other body better."

"Now, this is merely a reflection," Siem continued, ignoring her comment, "Keep in mind that it copies everything I have. When you shoved your hand into its eyeball like the grotty child you are, it had no memories to give to you, but you had memories to pass to it. As you can see, its sorting through your most recent memories. The only thing keeping it from going deeper into your more traumatic experiences is that we naturally have a resistance against mind magic, being that we specialize in it. However the more we fight it, the more powerful it will become, so we must destroy this quickly and not let it touch us again."

Dorothy felt sick upon hearing this. "Not all of these memories are mine..." she realised. If she allowed this reflection to touch her, it would see not only her memories, but the memories of her fellow Demon Hunters she had accidentally collected over the years. She couldn't hand those over to a Nightmare Demon! "They're not mine to give away!"

She looked up just in time to see it swing its massive blade down at her. Dorothy's ribbons pulled her to the side at alarming speed and she shot more out at the monster, slicing through the nape of its neck. She tried to pull herself into his blind spot while being chopped at when it threw a fireball in her direction. Her ribbons acted fast, building a cocoon around her to protect her from the blast but then it just dropped to the ground, smoking.

"Abandonment, loneliness, the fear of maturity, losing hope and control... oh, and what's this? Fear of your duty..." Dorothy heard from within her shell. She squeaked as she felt herself be picked up, thrown up and caught again. "... You are one terrified little girl, almost no reason for me to be torturing you. I have you dancing in the palm of my hand... but there is more in that head of yours. What are you not showing me?"

Dorothy remained shivering, her mind blanking out. She could feel its hand cupping around her, trapping her.

"The others.. you know what makes them cry in the night, though they are not all aware of it... Give away their suffering, it will make you feel better."

"I will never!" Dorothy's small heart pounded so hard it hurt. What could she do, what could she do, what could she do?! It was eventually going to crush her protective cocoon. It would flatten her unless she could just hear herself think!

"I don't know why you want to. You're not even friends."

Dorothy's shield exploded - the ribbons shot out, piercing through the reflection's hand. At her will, they sliced right through - all of the hundreds of lethal blades, cutting it like it was paper. The chunks of grey meat flopped onto the ground and the reflection screeched. Dorothy's ribbons wrapped around her legs to create columns for her to balance upon so she was able to look the reflection right into its one eye.

"That's what I hate about demons," she said coldly, glaring at it with dead eyes. Her ribbons slivered around her like menacing tendrils and she continued to glare as it raised its blade to strike. The corner of her mouth tugged up into a small, sadistic smile.

"You're all liars."

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Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe
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#, as written by Zalgo
Daisy



Earlier


”Well if it isn’t Lazy Daisy,”

She simply glared at him for that. She never liked that nickname, it poked fun at a major character flaw she was determined to overcome. Such was the nature of nicknames though. Those who try to pick their own nicknames are the only ones who call themselves by that name. Only nicknames given had any kind of lasting power, unfortunately so in many cases.

Blue assured her that her reasons for being depressed were due to her staying up late. There was a pang of guilt preceding that thought however that concerned her. She knew that Siem, her demon, would have given her endless grief if she had exhausted herself the night prior. Her excuse seemed unlikely but there was little time to suspect any sort of deception as the nightmare tower approached.



Present


"Wait, Lance!"

She watched as he rushed into the building, teleported inside by the magic protecting it. He was quickly followed by Zero, Rue and even Blue. They all had rushed in before she could even get a word of warning in. This vexed her greatly, knowing that her fellow demon hunters were throwing themselves into eminent danger with nary a single shred of caution or thought towards this assault of theirs. "Gah! Why do I even bother?" She complained aloud to no one in particular.

Going from frustration to a look of resigned grief, she turned to Bassy who was one of the few who had yet to rush in ahead of her. He was busy boasting about how he was going to be the first to take down the demon atop the tower first like usual.
"You'd best hurry then. I'll go in and see if I can't regroup them before they get hurt."

In less time than it took to blink her sword, the Thorn of Anguish, simply appeared in her left hand like as though it was always there. She gestured with the point of the blade for him to enter ahead of her. After he went in she followed soon after, the last one to enter the nightmare tower. If she was strictly honest with herself she sort of hoped that he would live up to his boasts and kill the demon at the top of the tower himself so she didn't have to. She never looked forward to fighting demons but she knew it was necessary for her to kill them. She had to, regardless of how much better her comrades were at it.



Level One: Inner Demon Reflection


Just as she teleported in the first sight to greet her was pitch black darkness. Her eyes quickly adjusted to the rapid change in lighting but there was little to see. The room was empty as far as she could tell.

Well, this is certainly a way to start a hunt. I can't see a thing. She was legitimately confused as to what was going on. It wasn't as though the room's special trap was announced alongside the level it was on or anything. That would be extremely impractical, warning hunters of the challenges they face.

"I know. I turned off the lights ahead of your arrival."

A shudder rolled up her spine. The voice that spoke inside her head sounded just like Connor.


Did you just say that, Connor? She asked Connor, hoping to confirm whether or not it was him that spoke.

"No. There's another in this room. Given the environment and his telepathy I can only guess the other one in this room is-"

"-Me, Connor. The same demon in almost every way possible."

"Yet not the same or else I'd just be talking to myself."

Suddenly a single light came on just above her head, Illuminating her and a circle of the floor beneath her but little else. Daisy looked around hurriedly, trying to find the Connor copy but to no avail. There was no use trying to see the invisible.


"I understand if you are frightened. This aura does that to you."

She listened for even the slightest sound of movement in the hopes that she could get a general idea of where he lurked. She couldn't hear a thing.

"You sound worried." Connor commented to his copy.

"I am concerned. Lower your weapon so we may talk, Daisy."

"Why should I do that?" She did not trust his intent, her fear prickling the skin.

"Because your only alternative is to stand there until I drain the will to raise your sword out of you."

He was right. She hated the fact but she couldn't deny that if this entity was identical to Connor then he too had the ability to suck the determination from every living being in the area. Reluctantly she lowered her sword, glancing around the room for a figure to look at. Out from the darkness a silhouette emerged. With her uncanny ability to see relatively well in the dark she was able to see the copy of Connor's form appear before it stepped forward. He was just close enough that she could see his face. His eyes looked right through her with his thousand-yard stare.

"I'll be quite honest with you. I don't want to fight."

She wore a look of confusion. Her expectations were subverted by this development. "Well... What do you want then?"

He sighed, his eyes disappearing under his cap as he looked to the ground. "I don't want to die."


She was actually taken aback by this. First floor trial set before her was to confront her demon's mirror self, a defense mechanism set by a nightmare demon. Never did she expect something quite so... sincere.

"I know I'm not real. I may be just a hollow duplicate of the original but unlike most demons I am smart enough to know I can't win. If I lose, I die. If I win, I disappear forever."

He let his words sink in. She felt numerous emotions, many of them conflicting. There was just too much inner turmoil for her to put into words. He continued.

"Ever since I first turned into this... demon that now lives within you I have poured my after-life's efforts into punishing those who would let others suffer and die in exchange for convenience."

"As a copy you remember everything I remember, including my time in Daisy." The original Connor chimed in during one of the copy's pauses.


"Yes. That is why when I saw you I realized that I was apart from you. I knew I couldn't be apart since we are fused. Then I heard him. Me, but not my mind. The only explanation is that I was nothing more than a false copy given the face, mind and name of Connor."

"Connor never got this far by giving into despair, even when the odds seem stacked against him. I am not Connor.


The copy finally stepped into the light where she could finally see him in full gritty detail. It was only now that she could see he was crying.

"The only hope I have is that the real Connor may continue on and see vengeance brought upon the one who did this to me."


The Connor copy suddenly stepped in, grabbing Daisy's sweat shirt by the collar and pulling her in so her face and his were only a hairs width apart. His eyes stared into hers with an intensity that marked her from that moment forward. The jet black pools in his eyes grabbed her attention to the point where it didn't even cross her mind to try using her sword.

"Promise me."

...

"Promise me you will end it's life."

Her words felt like boulders weighing down the back of her throat. Speaking was a test of might for her right then.

"I promise."

As though in a trance she hadn't even noticed her hand had driven the sword into the copy's chest, piercing his heart. In truth Connor knew well enough to put the imitation out of it's misery since he knew he wouldn't have it any other way. Connor had guided her hand without her notice until the deed was done. The copy simply slumped down with a wide, rot-toothed grin plastered on his face. Daisy in her shock reached down, catching the copy as though it were Connor himself before it hit the ground. She had never known that magical duplicates could be capable of such depth in thought until he was already gone. As his cap fell and touched the ground so too was she.



Level Two: The Suffering Witness



As she appeared in the second level she felt like she was just a passenger inside her own head. To her she was sitting inside looking out through her own eyes like windows, the body moving about on it's own. This was not true. She was still mostly in control of her body whether she felt like it was or not.

It wasn't the death of the copy or it's despair that had brought her to such a motor disconnect. It was a reaction to the realization that as a young girl she has watched so many people die, even people she had loved as family, that she was starting to grow numb from it all. All this despair, all this misery, it was like hypothermia of the soul.

When she saw all her fellow demon hunters hanging from chains by their wrists slowly being lowered into lava her automatic reaction was to try and approach them. Before she could advance however her chest went numb. A coldness spread across the front of her torso, the result of Connor issuing momentary control to prevent her from going forth.


"You know it's an illusion right?"

Yes.

She was tired of standing so she sat down, crossing her legs.

"I can only assume the purpose of this level is to force you to witness something horrific and tragic. As they say the only way in is through so don't close your eyes and ignore this."

She gave a tired sigh, staring glumly as her friends started to blister over the rising heat of the lava.

[i]"You'd normally contest me on this, considering the possibility that this might really be happening and arguing with me about going to help or not."


It's an illusion.

She had little to no inflection in her voice, a drab monotone that issued no excitement, good or bad.

"I know, I told you that.

She didn't have a reply for him. The silence between him and herself was almost louder than Zero's screams as he was burned alive. Daisy was already at her max capacity for how sad she could be, there was no hope for this level to even so much as make her wince. She was so far away that their voices couldn't reach her even though she could hear them loud and clear. Even as poor Blue dipped into the molten death pot Daisy couldn't even feel so much as even a slight twinge at the inhumanity of it all.



Level Three: Shadow Slasher


She was still sitting as she was teleported to this floor. She had barely moved a muscle as she stared at the end of a long, shadowy corridor.

Can I close my eyes now?

"Sure."

She closed her eyes. It was now she could finally confront her thoughts as they were no longer being assaulted by these games.

Connor... What is this feeling?

"It's called a callous. It builds whenever you get hurt."

What happens if a callous builds too much?

"... You won't get hurt anymore."


Like that she was back in the now. She rose to her feet with her blade in her hand and her brow knit. She looked ahead, ever still determined to see her way to the end of the tower.

What do you think this challenge is? She asked Connor, her mind looking past everything she had just experienced and focusing on the facts.

"Just take a step and watch."

She stepped forward and suddenly the shadows started to shudder, rising up in vaguely humanoid forms and turning towards her. Without any further warning she vanished from sight leaving the shadows sans a target to cut. They searched ahead of them but there was nothing to be felt. She was above them, floating gently past near the roof. They listened hard for even the slightest sound to react to. Sounds like her breathing.

In a fast surge the shadows stabbed upwards, all but just narrowly missing her. Several shadowy blades hovered much too close to her torso for her to navigate around for risk of touching one and alerting the shadow. She held her breath, staying quiet as possible. Timed seemed to crawl as she waited but before she started to turn blue the shadows lowered their weapons, now genuinely lost as to where she might be. Taking care to hold her breath just that little bit longer she floated on over to the door and past to the next level.

Hers might not of been the hardest challenges out of every iteration but they weren't going to let Daisy kill a demon cleanly.

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Level Four: Memory Surge


Upon entering the level she was suddenly weighed down by a rather significant pressure. It was as though her weight was tripled all of a sudden. Still she continued to press forward, even as the memories of her failures flooded into her mind. Every time she missed class, every day she skipped training, every time she made excuses for herself, all failures were dug from her memory and brought back to haunt her.

While the guilt did weigh on her she pushed forward. She had to start using her sword to prop herself up as the gravity started to intensify. This floor will not break me. She reaffirmed even as the memories continued to pour into her conscious mind.


There was a simple reason behind this confidence. With every bad memory she was forced to revisit she recalled the memories of her past successes. For every time her laziness caused her to disappoint her mentors there were many more where she fought through Connor's influence and trained hard. She was always filled with determination, the will not just to please her teachers but to do right for humanities sake. Not even Connor could break that and he's been trying for much longer than the nightmare tower has.

Eventually she stepped out from under the gravity field and was now standing in a plain room. The nightmare demon had only succeeded at annoying her even more.

Is that all? She asked Connor. She could only hear silence. She was about to ask why he suddenly wasn't responding when she heard it. The tell-tale hiss of acid on wood laminate. She recognized the sound as that the same sound her own blade made when it's acid production was above it's regular coating. She realized quickly what it was. Closing her eyes she listened carefully, knowing that the source of the acid was invisible. Connor would of remarked on that normally but he knew the importance of silence as much as she did for their sense of sight was going to do them little good here.


Hiss

Hiss

Hiss


Making an educated guess as to how close the copy was based on the volume of the acidic sound she thrust her blade in the direction of the sound, relying mostly on hope that her aim was true. As luck would have it her blade's tip met flesh, piercing between ribs about five centimeters deep. As the modified duplicate of Connor's invisibility faded she could see that he too had tried for a stab in very much the same way. His blade was less than a centimeter away from having gone into her. There was one thing that Daisy had that her demon did not: Longer reach.

"Razakar must of made changes to this duplicate before sending it at us. It was far too aggressive, a fault I imagine the nightmare demon shares."

Daisy nodded. Good. Let's use that to our advantage when we get there.

Just like that she disappeared from this level.



Level Five: Maze of Embarrassment


As she appeared in what appeared to be a towering city the first thing she noticed was the cold breeze directly on her skin. When she looked down she realized exactly what this level had done. "Oh what the hell!?" She yelled sharply, covering her privates from the eyes all around on the streets. Without a moment to lose she turned invisible and lifted up from the ground. Wow, rude. She complained at the demon's trickery as she ascended.

"Luckily for yourself this one seems rather simple. It's a maze without a roof. It's only defense appear to be units who can't find you."

I think the demon's gonna be lucky if it dies before I get to it.

As she cleared over the buildings the exit was in sight. She went in a straight line towards the exit as quickly as she could float in the hopes of getting her clothes back. It was starting to get cold up where she was.

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As she came in close to the exit she heard her phone chirp her ringtone for when she receives messages. It was from the nightmare demon. "Nope." She dismissed the attempt to get into her head and stuffed her phone back in her backpack's side pouch. Reaching out she touched the exit and was sent up to the next level, making rather excellent time despite her expectations.



Level Six: The Room of the Fallen / The Room of The Fate


As she arrived she looked on at a version of herself. Unlike the previous two which were duplicates of Connor this one was a twisted copy of herself. She could only look upon her own visage, in all it's corrupt glory.

It's eyes were missing as were it's eye lids. It's eye sockets were simply that, empty sockets with nothing but tenebrous darkness laying within. it's skin was pale as snow, just as flush as she was now but without pigment of any form in it's skin. At it's chest there was hole about the size of her fist straight through where it's heart should be. She could see the other side of the room through the gouge in it's chest. It was expressionless, as though it was lost inside the emptiness of it's own mind.

That's...

"You and I post demon convergence. An image of what very well may be."

Kind of like looking at your own grave huh.


Staring at this foreboding specter of her own future she was filled with a sense of... Apathy.

Even with the ever increasing aura of fear she was growing desensitized to these haunting attempts at frightening her. What little fear the aura was invoking was numb under the weight of her growing irritation.

"Look spooky future me, I get that you're supposed to scare me with the idea that this is how my days will end but quite frankly I'm getting fed up with brain games. I get it, I accept it, just let me go through already, kay?"

The future her simply shrugged. Daisy was quickly transported to the next level.



Level Seven: Swarm


As soon as she stepped down hordes of rotting rats poured from holes in the walls, surrounding her and closing fast. With a quick push off her front foot she was airborne. She didn't bother cloaking since it seemed these rodents were driven more by scent than by sight.

Glad to see the demon's starting to put effort into this, using stuff that's actually scary.

"Because killing demons isn't the same when they're unimaginative?"

No. It's just pathetic if they aren't even using their best stuff when I end them.

"I see. The artist in you must be furious."

Yeesh, I don't need that thick a helping of sarcasm from you right now.


As she floated gently over the ravenous swarm she had her sword sweating a solid stream of acid which flowed over the growing mound of rats like syrup on a stack of pancakes. Even regenerating the rats couldn't compete with the corrosion of the acid which consumed their flesh faster than it could grow back and refused to go away, leaving a large pool trailing behind Daisy filled with melting rat bodies. The rats that tried to clamber over their fallen brethren only served to push the dead further into the acid, causing those giving chase to collapse into the acid too. Needless to say there was little opposition on this level for Daisy.

At this rate she was looking at getting to the top at the same time as Zero and a couple others if not first herself. She had no idea how long the others were taking but her pace was picking up significantly ever since the first two levels.



Level Eight: Dodgeball


Right off the bat things were off to a bad start. She tried to turn invisible and float out of harms way for this challenge but the lack of either power threw her off long enough for a couple rubber balls to connect. She let out a sharp cry as a ball hit her shoulder, sending her spiraling aside. At this point she had rather dark bruises on the back of her shin and right shoulder.

Sweet mercy! These balls hurt like crazy!

"It seems this level has disabled your abilities. You're gonna have to dodge a lot more for this."

This isn't funny! That really hurt.

"I'm not laughing, am I?"


She just frowned. She started to dodge more fervently, spurred on by the threat of more pain if she failed. The fear aura was finally starting to work a number on her as these balls were coming in hard. Out from her left she saw a ball coming right at her while she was in the middle of dodging another ball, leaving her open to the incoming side ball when she swung out instinctively and cut into the ball, causing the small rubber projectile to deflate on her blade.


She looked down to her Thorn of Anguish. The blade might not of been able to send out acid like usual but it was still sharp enough to do the trick.

"That's right! I can parry these things as well." She remarked aloud. With new vigor thanks to her growing feeling of success she dodged the incoming balls, popping select targets with well placed thrusts as she avoided the incoming hits. Though she was working up a sweat from all this activity she felt confidence swell within her.

Hah! The demon's gonna have to try harder than that if it wants to stop me!

Daisy! Watch-


In her hubris she had failed to notice a stray ball incoming. It collided with her head, taking her clear off her feet. She blacked out from the force of the hit to her head well before she hit the ground. There her prone form laid, unconscious as balls pummeled her body from all directions.

Luckily not all of her powers were disabled. While her active abilities had been suppressed her passive magic still operated just fine. Having been knocked out her body immediately went into an Emergency Coma, her body becoming extremely resilient to harm while she started to regenerate. The damage these balls did was being undone and fast. Before long she survived long enough to be teleported to the next level. Just how soon she was going to wake up however...

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Slowly.

Slowly she began to rouse from her emergency coma. Luckily for her the damage she suffered before was only a mild concussion. She wasn't out for long, most people who suffer concussions are typically only out for a few seconds anyway. The actual damage from the concussion was healed quite quickly and the sustained damage dealt after she went down was only mild at worst. Her body was far too tough for mere rubber balls to hurt, even as fast as they were.

As she awoke her eyes met the next floor.



Level Nine: Feared Future Funhouse


Ow... My head.

She complained as she rose from the ground into a sitting position while rubbing the spot where she was it, the part still sore from the bruising and likely to swell into a lump on her head for some time.

"Sleep well?"

Not at all. I had this terrible dream. You were there and so was Blue and Bassy and Lance and-


She finally took a moment to look around and it dawned on her just where she was.

Oh. It wasn't just a nightmare after all. Dang. She frowned in disappointment.

Taking more time to acquaint herself with her surroundings she saw a number of warped mirrors, the kind they layer corridors with in those fun-house attractions at carnivals. When she looked in the mirror though what she saw made her feel sick. It was her but all grown up and it was not pretty. Her hair was greasy, her skin and eyes looked as though they hadn't seen sunlight in years and she was overweight. The reflection was the culmination of everything she'd become if she stopped fighting and working out. She'd just eat and game, letting her personal hygiene suffer as she'd have little to no desire for going outside. If Daisy didn't keep her already relaxed diet she'd eat unhealthy junk food as her main form of sustenance and it would all be such a relief. No more cares, no more worries, no more restraint. Just doing things she liked doing and shirking her duty. This was the image she had of what would become of her if she gave up and wasn't murdered by demons before too long.

Oh god, I'm starting to feel sick. Let's get-

As she turned away from the mirror, her eyes scanning for an exit, she saw another mirror with another reflection of her future self. It was the post-demonic convergence version of her from floor six reprising it's role as her future self.

Hm. Doesn't have as much impact the second time looking at it. She shrugged and turned only to find another reflection of herself. This reflection was just her except it had blonde hair and a girlier dressing sense. Daisy was just plain confused with this one.

I don't get it.

She found the exit leading up to the tenth floor. Despite the fear aura's growing strength she wasn't strictly terrified though she wasn't feeling all too pleasant either.



Level Ten: In The Way


She arrived in the roof to see a large pterodactyl looking demon but with great big clawed hands and black chitinous plates covering it's whole body except for the wings like armor. It was standing over the bed of a young child who appeared to be laying passively, only able to watch his own death at the demon's hands.

Daisy initially dismissed the sight as being another illusion however what brought her mind to alert was the voice of the child's mind echoing out to her.

"I don't want to die..."

None of the other illusions had thoughts that she could hear. More than that however the child's plea struck a cord with both Daisy and Connor. For Daisy it harkened back to her promise to the copy of Connor, a dark moment for her when she had to kill something that not only didn't wish to bring herself or other innocent bystanders any harm but also just simply wanted to live, nothing more. She couldn't even give it that since the demon had designed it to vanish from reality altogether after serving it's use.

For Connor it reminded him of his fellow orphans back at the factory. All too often did they die and often times he was simply forced to witness it and listen in on their final moments. The lucky ones died quickly, the less fortunate were overtaken by disease resulting from exposure to the materials they worked both with and in. All of it born from the machine called industry, a monstrous idea where people mattered less than the profit margin. It drained people like this very tower, sucking the very life from the working class, turning fit healthy men into pale humorless automatons driven to feed the great machine in the false hope that they might some day earn it's favor.

Demons, humans, no being escaped Connor's dark fury when they were benefiting from such unfairness. He had no intention of letting this demon be the first.


Daisy and Connor were of one mind, perhaps not literally yet but by all practical means. In a fluid and smooth motion she called her sword to hand and threw it, acid covering the surface with little more than a fine sheen so it didn't send drops of acid flying out at random. As was quickly proven the sheen was still more than able to chew it's way through most defenses as the tip of the blade pierced the demon's side, the weight of the blade and force of the blow driving the sword into the acid burnt hole which allowed acid to travel further down the body, opening the way for the sword to go deeper and so on so forth. From a spectator's view it'd looked like the thrown sword simply stabbed into it's body like it's armor and bones were tissue box cardboard, a loud hissing sound erupting from the wound within.

The demon collapsed next to the bed, it's wings moving weakly as it tried to crawl away. She simply walked over until she was beside it and pulled her sword from it's body. It was dying. She knew it, it knew it. She wasn't going to let it die easy however. As it looked up at her, it's eyes filled with terror she aimed her blade down towards its face, right between the eyes.

"Pleassse, Have Merrrcy!" It begged for it's life. Her frown pulled into a grimace of disgust and anger.

"Mercy? I don't have time to not show you mercy." She retorted in a menacingly low and coldly monotonous voice. Much like freezing to death her voice had gone past it's louder more emotional phase and verged clear into deadly numbness, the kind of cold that wasn't very loud but spoke in great volume of just how pissed off she was. With that said her blade erupted with acid, pouring torrents down onto it's screaming face. It's skin and flesh melted away in seconds, leaving only a skull frozen in a silent scream. She had yet to see the acid eat through it's bones when she was teleported to the next level.



Level Eleven: Your Sin's Curse


Suddenly, she was at home.

Huh?

She looked around. It looked, felt and smelled just like her place in the city. She was in her room, her bed in one corner and her computer in another. Her very first instant upon realizing this was to look for the catch. There always had to be a catch to these rooms. It wasn't as if the challenges of each room were directly advertised after all.

But for all her looking she could not spot any sort of danger. She was stumped.

I guess we just go and find the exit then?

"... Oh, you don't need me to reply to that overtly obvious statement phrased as a question. Go on."


Sometimes Connor's sarcasm was welcome less than other times. Not that she could really help it. He'd still go on being himself, even through such great adversity. She wasn't laughing but she heeded his words nonetheless.

Before heading for the door she sat down on the bed and put her face in her hands, sighing deeply.


I feel so worn, drained even. Will I even be able to take on the demon like this?

"Fancy you mention feeling drained, I don't feel altogether myself. Try floating."


She raised an eyebrow, wondering just what idea Connor's running with.

Okay. Why?

"Just do it."


Daisy simply shrugged. As she attempted to float she could feel herself getting lighter however lift off was not achieved.

My powers, you don't mean..

"Yes. This place has been draining your abilities the more you use them."


With that revelation she was stunned. This whole time she was being suckered into giving up potentially life saving abilities when she was already feeling pretty low on their chances as it was. It almost felt like her body was set to auto drive when she just stood up all of a sudden, walked out her room door, stepped out into the living room and just threw herself down on the couch. She groaned and stretched out her arms, exhausted joints giving out popping sounds as she reached out.

Well, since we're here we might as well take every chance we've got to recuperate our energy. It'd be a shame to waste an opportunity like this before the big fight.

"You know better than to think the demon would give any one of us leeway, especially this close. Furthermore, could you try going invisible?"

Why? Want to see it sucked away like my floating was?

"That was gone by the time we got here. I want to see if you still can go invisible."


Humoring Connor she turned invisible. She was completely invisible just like before.

"Interesting."

What? I can go invisible still. Woo.

"Yes, yes. What's more though is that it hasn't been drained like your ability to float had."

Guess when I disappear he needs to see me to drain my powers.

"It means whatever magic he's using can't detect us and drain directly. Given our ability hides both our souls and bodies it would have trouble locking onto the soul to drain this power. Even if they were using magic to try and detect us we're invisible to wards so we can't trip any alarms either."

And that means...?

"It means I'm more excited about this discovery than you are. Get up. This isn't right."


Daisy frowned and crossed her arms, kicked her legs a bit.

Can't it wait just one more minute? I'm still coming down from that battle high and I want to be clear headed.

"You aren't clear headed. Focus. You feel that?"


She took a moment, looking within herself to seek this feeling he was trying to alert her to. She could feel it, the pin-pricking of fear slowly trying to worm it's way further into her mind and heart.

Yeah, you're right. I've got a bad feeling about this. We should just move forward.

"Don't drop your invisibility by the way."

So we don't keep losing our power?

"You'll see in a second."


That last warning of his really sent a shiver up her spine. As she got up off the couch she felt it moving if only slightly.

Is the couch... Did it just move?

In a sudden surge she dove forward just as she felt the slight trembling in the cushions of the seat. She was just barely in time as she just barely past the mouth as the back of the couch and the bottom end's edges suddenly revealed massive rows of shark like teeth. What was previously her couch appeared to be some weird mimic which had just snapped shut in an attempt to eat her whole.

OH GOD! THE COUCH JUST TRIED TO EAT ME!

She nearly screamed inside her own head in absolute panic at nearly being devoured by something she was just moment ago resting on with little to no idea of what it was. The whole idea definitely got under her skin although she didn't have much time to consider it too long as it was still trying to bite her. The whole couch started walking forwards at the speed of a near crawl due to it's stubby little legs. It's unconventional shape made it difficult to hunt it's prey however what it lacked in speed and efficiency it made up for in tongues. Many, many tongues.

The tongues seemed to slither out from behind the cushions, pushing out quite a bit of loose change as well as the tv remote. Long, rope-like tongues lashed about, trying to find her by randomly flailing it's many tongues about. She however was already in the hallway heading straight for the door.

Nope. Nope. Nope. I'm outta here. Next level PLEASE.

Just as she gripped the door handle she realized the door was locked and not from the inside.

What!? No way this can be happening. Bloody demons making things so hard.

She took her sword and chopped at the door with it. As she hit it she turned the acid up to full however the door seemed largely unaffected.

Oh, okay my door's acid-proof now. Great.

She complained to Conner, forced to hack down a door the hard way. She hacked and hacked until she had cut a kid sized hole just about her size when she felt something rubbing up her back. Like a cat thrown into a full bath she jumped and nearly hit her head on the roof light. Reaching for the hole in a desperate attempt to escape she managed to grab on to the edges she made when the tongue fastened around her hood and started pulling hard. This thing's tongues were strong, very strong indeed.


Daisy was now locked in a desperate struggle, having attracted the monster with the noise of her cutting the door through. She strained with all her might to try and pull herself through, the tongue pulling on her hood to try and drag her back into its mouth. Thankfully it was only one tongue so she managed to get through past the elbows but her luck went bad quickly as another tongue fastened around her ankle, doubling the force it could pull with. Her eyes watered at the prospect of being wholly devoured by such a disturbing and gross monstrosity. With teeth grit she held herself firm, the strength of nearly two adults pulling at her from within the house.

She was so close. Just within arms reach of the exit door. She felt but a moment of slack and eagerly took the opportunity, pushing herself just a little bit further so she could reach out and touch the door. Just as she was about to reach out however the momentary slack's source became evident when a third tongue grabbed her other leg. The tongue which had been pulling on her hood had slipped down and wrapped itself around her waist for a firmer, stronger grip. The strength with which it was pulling her back towards the gnashing pillowy mound of teeth and tongues was far too great.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

She screamed. Just as she was being pulled through her door by the ichor dripping rope-like tongues her hand had just barely brushed the exit door.

In an instant she disappeared from that floor and was sent up to the next floor.

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Level Twelve: Clone of Another


She collapsed on the floor as she could feel sweet freedom from the gripping tongues which had bound her not long ago. She breathed heavily, relishing in the sweet freedom she now felt.

Good lord, I swore that couch was going to be the end of me.

"I can't keep being the one to keep you from succumbing to this laziness. If you don't start taking this more seriously we're both going to be in serious trouble."

That's easy to say. Accepting all this, just everything though it just...


She looked down, her sword's tip resting on the ground.

"They aren't depending on your words."

But on my actions. I, the stalwart heroine, will stand before the tides of hell. My body be ground to dust and my spirit will carry on in it's stead until it too is worn to dust. All before I let demons rule mankind.

"Let's try to do all that before our body is ground up though. Look."



She looked up ahead to see the final challenge before the demon. Of course it was Dorothy standing there, fully wrapped like a mummy in her ribbons. She understood that this was just another test to bar her from the thirteenth floor. Didn't mean she hated every second of it though.

Can't say I didn't see this coming. Still, there was some hope it wouldn't come to this.

"I know what you mean but aside from the whole emotional attachment issue you're going to need to keep your wits up for this one. Lucky for you she's not one of the more complicated opponents you could be facing otherwise you'd need to pull out your main power which I'd refrain from using so we can be more effective on the thirteenth floor."

Good thing she hasn't tried to jump us yet or your talking would be super distracting.


Connor just remained quiet, crossing his arms while he sat in the back of her mind.


"Hey, Blue. I know it's not really you so could you let me through or are we going to do this the hard way?" She stood and waited for a response from her most respected comrade's doppelganger. If this really was Dorothy she'd probably be confused so she waited to see if her reaction was genuine or not. The copy of Dorothy got ready to fight, just as expected. The demon wouldn't let them join together, at least not until it had to.

Just as the doppelganger was about to spring forward and rip Daisy apart she disappeared from sight. The doppelganger paused a moment, scanning for Daisy's emotional field. She couldn't find it, her soul was too well concealed for her to find it. Dorothy's mind was veritably churning with idea's on how to find her.

In a sudden brisk wave the doppelganger sent out a bunch of ribbons which reached out, feeling all around her. She believed that Daisy was close by getting ready to strike, a false assumption as her ribbons felt no such resistance. In truth Daisy had been hanging back, simply letting Dorothy struggle with finding her. Luckily for her Dorothy didn't know she couldn't float anymore, meaning she was looking in all directions which divided the number of ribbons near her hiding spot by a cubic factor.


Daisy removed her shoes so she made less noise when moving around and stuffed them in her pockets. She had a plan.

Dorothy was growing frustrated with the complete inability to detect her target when suddenly she heard the tell-tale hissing of acid over near a corner. She immediately lashed out with a number of ribbons, striking naught but the Thorn of Anguish itself, it's owner nowhere close.

So close. Maybe I'm over... Here.

She directly taunted her with her telepathy. Dorothy had better mental skills than her but her own telepathy was effective at far longer ranges than Blue's ability to see deep into another's mind. It also helped that Dorothy couldn't see her aura thanks to her invisibility.

She heard the sword again, just out of sight like last time. Reacting mainly out of reflect her ribbons slashed at the offending object, merely batting aside the Thorn once more. The Dorothy doppelganger realized she was being toyed with. The actual Dorothy wouldn't be quite so predictable but this clone was not a perfect replica. It got upset at the idea she was messing with it's head.


I'm sure you're listening quite hard for something, anything to strike. Something like my footsteps.

Dorothy heard the faint thump of a shoe. She whipped her ribbons all around the area, slashing in a cone toward the general vicinity of the shoe which Daisy had purposefully thrown to further throw Dorothy off track from where she actually was. The doppelganger heard another shoe drop, this one right behind her. She pulled her ribbons in and sent them out in a big blast, sending ribbons tearing through the air all around her. She hit nothing except a shoe which was easily torn to shreds, costing Daisy a solid twenty bucks which was the least of her concerns today.

Throughout the fight Daisy was using her telepathy to see where Dorothy intended to search. Everywhere the doppelganger believed she was she'd make sure she wasn't. With every psyche out maneuver she pulled Daisy cut away at one thing she knew Dorothy lacked: Confidence.

Every time she had made her chase a sound only for it to be nothing she could easily see the desperation growing while her faith in her own judgement quickly dwindled. Not even the fake Siem was able to keep the doppelganger from doubting her own decisions now.

"Please come out." She asked softly, any battle thrill or arrogance overshadowed by the growing fear of unseen threat.

Okay.

With that thought in Dorothy's head she threw her blade directly at her, head on. Surprised by the sharp object flying straight at her face her inexperience shined through. Her response was to react out of instinct rather than with any tactical precision despite her keen intellect. The ribbons weaved together to form a thick shield so the acid wouldn't seep through and hit their master however what she didn't know was the blade wasn't secreting any acid. The sword bounced harmlessly off the ribbon shield only to appear again in Daisy's grip as she had ducked under the shield immediately after having thrown her sword. In a smooth thrust before she could react in time Daisy thrust the Thorn of Anguish straight through her right eye, piercing the brain.

As the blade met her head her ribbons all went limp, receding back into the gem on reflex. Dorothy's doppelganger was dead.


The main reason Daisy didn't use the acid was because she did not want to see Dorothy suffer, even if it was just a doppelganger. She did what she had to, even if it seemed mean spirited. In the end she could only offer this duplicate a clean death, free from the suffering the blade's victims usually endured.

Pulling her blade from the head she looked over to see the final exit was open. The ceiling was starting to descend so she had little time to grieve. Her expression was stony and she walked with grim resolve as she approached the final door between her and her target. She had been pushed around too much both emotionally and physically to let this demon die a clean death.



Level Thirteen: The Nightmare Demon


There she stood, looking directly upon the visage of the awful mastermind behind this whole contraption. Quickly taking in the situation she's stepped into she could see Zero and Danny were emitting far more power than normal, there was lava pooling at several spots in the room and both Rue and Lance were at the back of the room opposite to the nightmare demon. Rue appeared to be far too injured to fight while Lance was injured but mostly hungry it seemed. Surprisingly she wasn't the last person to the top despite her expectation. She was able to recognize that Rue's wounds were a result of her own weapon, the evidence being the nature of the wound combined with the lack of blood and acid burns on both the clothing and the flesh. This would of troubled her but she didn't have time to be distracted by such petty concerns. There were only two things that mattered right at that moment.

#1: The destruction of the nightmare demon

#2: The safety of both her fellow hunters and the people in the tower.

Both her and Connor were emotionally invested in this fight and for more or less the same reasons. Despite their different upbringings they both shared an intolerance for injustice.


While she moved into position she could see the demon was clearly occupied with the two who were doing significant damage with their heightened abilities. It was good for them that they were able to bring out powers now after what was being taken from them all throughout the thirteen floors. Daisy had lost a large portion from a couple of her abilities which hampered her without a doubt. What she did have however was her invisibility and her most potent power: Her aura of sin.

This entire time since she had arrived she was invisible. She tried to reach out telepathically to the two currently fighting but it was little use after the intensified drain effected her on that last floor. She still had her sword though. Stepping carefully around the lava she got into place, secure in her invisibility as she patiently approached. Much like a tarantula patience was the key to her attack. Her aura was active, draining the demon's determination more and more the closer she came. She was careful not to move too close until it was distracted sufficiently enough for it to not notice any radical changes in it's mood. She readied her blade, preparing to strike when the moment was right.

Closer, ever closer did that moment draw.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zero Aidan Peters Character Portrait: Rue Heslin Character Portrait: Barnabas Character Portrait: Danny Powell Character Portrait: Daisy Defoe Character Portrait: Lance Hellsbrook Character Portrait: Dorothy Blue
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That was not much time, three minutes. But they had to make do. That was when Zero saw it. "The weakspot! Its the demon's eyes, with a soft boundary of his face!"

"Alright then, hey Zero, why not try an upgraded version of our Infinity Cannon?" Danny suggested. Zero agreed, and the two linked hands and streteched out their arms in front of them, like a cannon. Suddenly, all the offensive magical abilities they had charged up into a cannon shot, making it a flaming electrically charged sonic nova cannon, with various daggers inside spinning around ready to pierce the guy's face, and the two immediately moved at hyper-speed right to the guy's face, and fired. This resulted in a critical charged up shot hitting the guy right in the face. The only issue is that he hardened his aura like armor, so it absorbed some of the blow. Still, it clearly hurt him, just not enough as it should.

But the daggers were still there, which meant a lot of metal objects. Danny took this opportunity to launch a lightning attack that penetrated his defenses, and got a direct hit. Zero then used a flaming hurricane kick to do some serious damage. However, this just got the demon even more pissed. The demon began projecting his voice throughout the whole tower, so everyone could hear.

"Alright, so you think you shrimps can beat me? Little Wraithful Zero, so angry all the time yet holds it inside because he has major family issues....and major insecurity issues. Danny, so greedy for everything....even people's attentions. Lost your parents at a young age, right? So you became so greedy for the attention of others without their attention to comfort you. Little lost Rue, so lustful to feel anything, even pain, maybe not because your that insane....but because you know no one truly loves you. You don't feel love because no one gives you any, so you lust for other feelings to fill that void. Oh, Lance. We all know that no matter how tough your demon trains you, your passion will always be food. You will let down your friends, just for a frozen TV dinner. So useless....so gluttonous. That is your sin, gluttony. Lazy Daisy. Just another let down, a piece of garbage who would rather sleep all day if she had a choice then help her friends. Hell, maybe one day she will decide to stop fighting in the middle of a battle because of her Sloth Sin, and leave her friends to die. And then, there is Dorothy...."

The Nightmare Demon Paused, as he remembered what Dorothy did to the last things that just pissed her off. He was scared that she might have more physical strength then all the other Demon Hunters after that, and if he pissed her off....with Zero and Danny's attacks, she might be able to tear him apart with her bare hands next. "...well, she is just really envious of other people, because her sin is Envy and she is useless. Moving on......oh yes, Barnabas. Whoever named you must really hate you. But then there is your nickname, Bassy. Kinda sounds like Sissy. You do realize Lazy Daisy beat you to the top right? Hell, Dorothy is even ahead of you by a few steps I think. So prideful, yet so....worthless. All that Pride, because that is your sin, clouding the truth: You are the weakest Demon Hunter, just so insecure you do not even realize it. And now tell me, all of you Demon Hunters. Don't you find it strange each one of you has a Sin tied to them? Wraith, Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Envy, Pride. Are you sure you can trust your mission? Are you sure you can trust the Vanguard? Are you sure you can trust this....Dr. Eisenhorn is it? Seems like he has a lot to answer for....after all, the power of the Sin, if used incorrectly, could consume you entirely....why do you think he would neglect to warn you about this?"

Zero and Danny had a little under two minutes. They had been attacking the demon the whole time through his speech, but he was still up. "Oh, and as for you two....allow me to show you just another power of this Nightmare Tower! Countless Distractions!"

Suddenly, dozens of beautiful, naked girls showed up all squealing and reaching towards the two of them. Zero and Danny flinched a little, before Anna hit the both of them in the back of the head, knocking them out of the way of the Nightmare Demon's Darkness Bolt and getting them back into the game. "Are you kidding me! You two fell for that trick!?"

The illusion subsided, as the Nightmare Demon launched another attack at them. He had moved back to offensive. Zero and Danny did not have time for that, so Zero summoned his new weapons, the Laser Halos, and slashed through the attack, allowing them both to get off direct surprise attacks before he could become defensive and scored some major damage. Still, the bastard demon was still alive, and they reckoned that if the demon was not defeated by the time their Soul Harmonization Wore off in one minute ten seconds, his increased Soul Siphon would kill everyone in this tower before they could stop him.

"Wirlwind Barrage!" Zero shouted, unleashing a brutal attack to knock the Demon off its feat. THat was when Danny appeared behind him.

"Black Lotus Style! Ultimate Explosive Chain Barrage!" Danny attacked with full power, trapping the demon in chains again as several Scythes dug into the demon and caused explosions. Then all the chains exploded, significantly hurting the demon and burning its whole body. Razakar got up, and growled, except they were both there, and delivered roundhouse kicks right into its face. His aura shield was still up though, and getting in their way. They needed a way past it....little did they know someone else already figured out how.

"Darkness Barrage! 132 Terror Bolts!"

Zero had to put up a barrier, but even then the Nightmare Demon broke through so they had to dodge about half of them. Danny then summoned his Alternate Weapon, the Hyper-Sword, and tried to cut right through the protective aura. He managed to break through, and then the venom he had secretly placed on the blade took its toll, starting to weaken the magical power of the Nightmare Demon. But one issue remained. They only had thirty seconds left, and despite his weakening state, he was not weakening fast enough. Still, just one final shot might be the only thing they needed. Zero and Danny intialized another Infinity Cannon Location, and poured every ounce of magical power they could into charging it. Still, the Nightmare Demon poured every ounce of his magical power into his Aura Shield. "Say goodbye, pipsqueaks. Once your attack fails to kill me, I will crush you!"

Suddenly, that was when Daisy came out of nowhere, shocking everyone in the room, and stabbing the Nightmare Demon's aura shield in the one place that would result in it breaking and shattering, leaving him fully exposed. "Goodbye, Razakar".

"Goodbye, Razakar!" Zero, Anna, Danny, and Barry all shouted. "And good riddance!" And with five seconds left on the clock, they fired right into Razakar's eyes.

Razakar exploded and disintegrated, and suddenly the entire Nightmare Tower began to fade away. All of the Demon Hunters found themselves teleported into the building, the original building, lobby as the Nightmare Tower faded away and came crashing down. The air was still rich with magical energy though, which Anna knew was a good thing. It meant the Soul Siphon had still been draining people, which meant they were all still alive. They had succeeded. The Nightmare Tower....had been cleared. And better yet, Zero and Danny used the infinity cannon to do it, so they wouldn't argue about who killed the Nightmare Demon first.

Then Anna remembered, they just used a lot of magical energy, and after the boost they got, they would be extremely tired. And sure enough, when she looked, Zero and Danny had both collapsed on the floor, gasping. Anna helped pick the two of them up, and supported them with herself before looking at the others. Including Dorothy. While everyone had been focused on the Nightmare Demon, she had been focused on the monitors. And she had seen Dorothy break all those things with her bare hands. She might not be the most powerful Demon Hunter, but after what I saw....she might have the most physical strength out of them all...

"Woah. Zero, Danny, your arms!" Anna said shocked, when she confirmed what she saw before. Where nothing had been before, on Zero's right arm was a tattoo of the Dragon, and then on Danny's right arm but in a slightly different place, was a tattoo of a fox. "Hold on. Dragon of Wraith, Fox of Greed. This is related to what the Nightmare Demon said....about all of us having a Sin we represent....I wonder, you think that what he said before about Dr. Eisenhorn....you think he wasn't just BSing us?"

Then something occured to her. Anna put her hand on the floor, and attempted to harness the magical energy left in the air and any remaining teleportation Runes, and focused them into one, major Teleporation runes. She also focused some of it into Zero and Danny so they did not pass out, and some into Dorothy to heal her. "I figure we cant just leave all this around for another Demon to take advantage of. Teleporation Circle Activate! Zero's Apartment Building!"

Within that moment, they were all instantly teleported across town, into the hallway outside of Zero's apartment. Anna helped both Zero and Danny up again, and looked back at the others. "I know normally we would throw a party or something, but Zero and Danny both need to get some rest after taking down that Nightmare Demon and frankly, I think a few others need to as well. So how about tomorrow, after school when everyone is rested up, we go and throw a party then? Cause I think we should all be done for tonight..." she said as she looked towards Zero and Danny. Just rest up you two, you earned it....and you will need it when we confront Dr. Eisenhorn tomorrow....