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Fantasy 038980

The main building within Yosai Fortress, it is the seat of power of White VIII. Most of the meetings and government is located here. White's personal quarters are also here. It is the most elegant and well built section of the fortress.

Eve of Battle Edit

Naomi walks through the many halls of Yosai, and eventually comes to the meeting room. With a deep breath, she opens the doors to find Hiroshi, White, Torrent, and Aoi discussing the organization's next moves.

White looks up to see her, and a faint smile crosses her face. "What are you doing here, Naomi? Shouldn't you be getting your rest for our incursion onto Earth in the next few days?"

"...I...I couldn't sleep. I've just been... You see I... ...I've been worrying about..."

White has a knowing look on her face. "Oh I see. You're worried about him, aren't you?"

Aoi remains looking down at the map as always.

Hiroshi: Shame the boy took this little test abit too seriously. He complains over how things used to be. All he had to do was take our hand and it could've been that way again.

White looks at him, then at Naomi. "We did find him at one point, Naomi, and we offered him a second chance. However he sunk too low into his desire to obtain power. Out of mercy I gave him one more chance, but seeing as he hasn't responded, or perhaps can't respond, it is doubtless we will have to deal with him in our mission to bring redemption to the world."

Torrent chuckles. "Oh I don't mind that at all. I'm sort of looking forward to seeing how far the runt of the pack has come since he left us so long ago."

Hiroshi: Ofcourse you are. You've been at his neck ever since you two were just apprentices.

Torrent smirks. "Let's not forget that it was he who did the challenging. I just did it so the little kid would shut up."

Naomi clutches her chest, still obviously not at ease. "I just... I don't want to fight him... ...not after all we..."

Hiroshi: Hush child. It will be ok. You do not have to fight the boy along with us. We might have something else for you to do. Might is most definate.

Aoi looks up quietly. "Kukyo is free." All members present whirl their heads towards her.

Hiroshi:...How could this be? Has she devoured the boys soul?

"No. He still lives. But Kukyo has be undeniably freed. I cannot see properly, but it is a powerful being whose doing caused this. It appears though as though Kado... willingly released her."

White blinks. "He allowed Kukyo to be set free?"

Torrent closes his eyes. "If Kukyo is free, we must be wary. She could come for us."

Hiroshi: Definitely: What she is doing with her freedom is unknown, whether its too take the happiness of those who are wrong or to destroy us for the past events.

They suddenly hear roars and screams from the Warlords assembled at the fortress, almost triumphant in nature. "They rejoice. They must have picked it up as well. If Kukyo is free we must be cautious now. Without her darkness, those who are powerful enough will be able to sense us." She is about to return to her quiet nature, when she looks up again.

"Kado has also learned of the invasion. From what I understand there is discussion on the matter between the nations, though it seems Kado has his mind set on going. He will no doubt have to wait for his men to arrive to Chinmoku in order to transport troops, he will not risk another attack from the M.C.C.P. Though Chinmoku may not support Azure, seeing they do not like violence to begin with."

Hiroshi: Will it be likely for them to make an exception?

"Maybe. The future is not that clear right now. Too much at stake is going on." She returns her attention to the map.

White stretches. "What will be will be. For now we should rest. If you cannot sleep, try to stay to your wards."

Naomi still appears upset, and Hiroshi understands too well that her compassion for Kado hasn't died, unfortunately his betrayal to the organization clearly only makes her heart ache worse. She had always been the most unable to properly handle her emotions.

Hiroshi: Listen child. Maybe you should stay up with us, if it will take your mind off these problems.

White sighs. "Not to be insensitive... but this was supposed to be a private meeting Hiroshi."

From behind her, Noriko appears. "Whatcha doing?" She says in her playful tone. White sighs. "Or at least it was one..."

From her anxiety, Naomi's ears and tails sprout, and she ends up burying her face in one of the black furred tails. "Awwwww! Naomi's cute again!" Noriko cheers.

Hiroshi: *moans in disgust at Noriko*

Noriko looks at him blankly. "What?"

Aoi sighs, and looks at Noriko. "You've got more energy than usual, Noriko."

"Energy is my middle name! Besides, we get to do something for the first time in forever! These next few days could go so much faster!"

White closes her eyes. "I see you're enthusiastic to join the battle as well."

Noriko nods. "Besides, I want to see how much little Dark Boy has grown!" She looks at Torrent. "...Don't even." He sighs with exasperation.

Hisroshi: *cracks a smile at Torrent*

As Toma comes in, White just lays her head on the table. "...Fine. We might as well discuss the pairings for the battle. Everyone, get seated. ...Noriko, no funny buisness, understand?"

Noriko puffs her cheeks. "Can I at least sit next to Torrent?"

"NO."

"Please?"

White looks up and glares at her with dragonic eyes, and she quickly sits down.

Hiroshi: For one, I believe we should all spread out within the fortress. I also feel that not everyone needs to be paired up.

"I refer to when we move out to enact the Trimaster Plan, Hiroshi. As you know, Kado is likely to attempt to intervene. I know that you all may not value him as a serious threat. Understand though you all received the same instruction. Of all of the members, only me and Hiroshi remain from the old roster.

I do not want to take any chances. I think it is best if each of the Trimasters has a additional member standing by to keep guard, to allow them to carry out their part. It is too dangerous for underestimating at this point. We can't take chances."

Hiroshi: The boy is driven by his hatred for us an will release the same rage that caused his own downfall, that might be our own. Though he is rage driven, he's not above thinking.

"I will be assigning Naomi to Hiroshi, Aoi to Toma, and..." She hesitantly looks at Noriko, whose face lights up. "...Noriko with Torrent." Torrent groans.

Aoi looks at White. "...Are you sure about my selection? Might it be better for me to stand guard over the fortress?"

Hiroshi: As long as it proves to be effective. What is your reasoning for this?

Aoi blankly states, "I do not like conflict. You know that more than anyone, Hiroshi. Fighting to me is a pointless affair that is better spent avoided. I will do as asked, but I would rather guard the security of the homefront rather than enter the battlefield."

Hiroshi: Hmm. We can't have any mistakes happening out there, and it is possible that he might have set up a strategy where he comes through the front will another division comes through somewhere else. Heh, listen to myslef. I sound paranoid. Fine. You guard.

"Thank you."

Naomi lifts her head up, one of her tails brushes against Toma's face, who just laughs. "I must say it's been a while since Naomi showed her true form." She looks at Naomi. "You should be this way more often."

"..." Naomi silently looks away.

"Don't be that way, I'm serious. You always feel all tense when you're hiding it."

Hiroshi: No matter where you hide, your enemy will find you. It is best to face him where he can see you. In otherwords, Kado will show us no mercy if we are to make one mistake. So get ready.

Naomi's tails wrap around her, her habit when she is trying to comfort herself. "He's that far gone...?"

Hiroshi: I'm afraid he's gone even farther...*tuns his back from the others and has his hands tied behind his back*

Naomi eventually looks at White. "...May I be dismissed?"

White nods.

She gets up, and walks out, Toma and Noriko watch her leave.

Torrent sighs. "This is why I think emotions are pointless..."

Hiroshi: They keep us from reaching our goals...That's why we toss ours aside for the greater good of Phoenix.

"Says the man who tried to drill his ethics and codes of conduct in battle into my head. The only thing that matters is embedding your sword into your enemy's heart, the killing blows. Pretty words and respect do not win battles."

Hiroshi: And that attitude will lead you at your enemies blade...Besides, didn't a certain 'baby' you mention somewhat prevented a battle with Kukyo?

"If I meet an enemy's blade, I will simply destroy them. Kill or be killed. And as for him, last I heard he committed suicide. Only proves my point. Emotions and ethics just lead to your own demise."

Hiroshi: But here are those who have a strong will. It is easier said than done to not to fall at the enemies blade.

Noriko shakes her head. "Ok I give up, this is getting pretty boring hearing you two chatter like old men." She looks at Hiroshi and laughs. "Well, one of you is at least actually old."

She gets up and runs out, not bothering to wait for permission.

Toma just shakes her head. "She really has her head on too loose."

Hiroshi: Then I just make a big enough screw-driver to scew it back in. Real tight.

White sighs. "Best if we get some rest. We have more supervision of the proceedings tomorrow. Dismissed."

Hiroshi: *leaves the room with has hands still tied behind his back*

As he leaves the room, he sees Naomi perched on the rooftop of one of the buildings that surround the courtyard, staring up at the moon, appearing deep in thought. She briefly turns towards him, he can tell she was crying. She turns back to the moon, curled up in a fetal position.

Hiroshi: You understand we don't want to do this. We have to, to unsure Echo's safety from destructive forces. The boy that you nce thought s your friend, no longer exist. Only an empty shell of a man. *walks off*

Naomi eventually walks off to her ward, once in her room, she weakly goes to sleep, still crying.

Within White's private chambers, she ponders the day's events. Soon enough we'll see the destruction of humanity. Regardless if he intervenes, we will no doubt prevail.

----------------Next Day

The man concentrates on the summoning spell that binds Hitomara to the man's will, allowing him to control the titanic beast's every action. The strange being that continually harassed Hitomara would have to be taken care of.

He looks at his twin blade sword, and the dull green glow marking the existence of the spirit of the girl he had imprisoned.A shame White ordered us to rely on the Terrors for now. I was looking forward to coating my sword with the blood of the humans... ah well.

{Inside the sword, a pich black room with no floors, walls or even celings is encasing little Ameno}

Ameno: *Tears stream down her face* This must be Hell... MUST be! When will Jonas come? When will he save me? And what demonic jackass soul would do this?! WHO DID THIS?!!!

She hears a rough man's voice growl out from the void. "Shut up already, stupid elemental." The voice seems clearly irritated. "I'm trying to focus on something here."

Ameno: Is.. Is there anyone... Here? Anyone?

"No, I'm just a voice in your dumb skull. Yes. The more important question you should have asked is 'Who are you'?" The voice replies.

Ameno: Who- Who are you?

Suddenly sensations begin to rush back to her, and she lays collapsed next to a gruff, battle scarred man. His lower jaw is replaced by a steel one looking as though a literal jaw bone, and three long gashes on each side of his face only add to his savage appearance. In his hands he holds two brutal looking swords, and she feels a strange connection to them, as though they were... apart of her.

"I am Ripjaw. Or at least, that's the name I earned for myself." He says in the same primal, rough voice as she had heard a moment ago, now only more solid and firm than before.

"Now will you cease your idle chatter and allow your master to focus?"

Ameno: I think I'll call you 'Metal Mouth'! *She smiles* And do you need any help? Looks like you do...

"You can start by keeping your mouth shut. I need to concentrate. You may not damage or touch anything, and you must stay within my line of sight. Call me metal mouth again and I will replace your jaw with one and see how you like it." He closes his eyes. "And that's not an idle threat."

A woman in white robes walks by. "Progress report, Ripjaw?" She says coldly.

"Hitomara is engaged with that baboon at the moment. I'm counting on the enemy to blindly assume they have the upper hand. That technique is a problem, but I know to watch for it. Soon I'll play my own deck of cards."

Ameno: Ooh, Ooh! Who're we fighting? Can I kill 'em Ripy?

He sighs. "We already have Hitomara destroying the M.C.C.P. defenses, and we have already defeated Weapon Ultima, or Jonas as you know him. Unless you wish to turn against your own, you would not volunteer."

The woman stares at Ripjaw. "Who is this?"

Ripjaw jumps. "...An elemental I bound to my blade, my lady."

"...Why did you not inform me of this?"

Ripjaw bows his head in her direction. "You were in a meeting with the others. I had to wait..."

She closes her eyes. "Very well then." She leaves.

Ameno: I only cared about Joney. If he is out of the way, can I please try out this new power? *Waves hand and a chunkof the floor comes up, molding into a Ripjaw statue*

He grips his sword hilt tighter, and she collapses onto her knees in a forced bow. The statue falls apart.

"You will only do as I say. Nothing more. Nothing less. If you disobey my orders, I will take away your form and you shall remain my mindless blade."

Ameno: ... *Looks at thebroken statue* ... You ... Broke it ... *A tear falls to the statue, turning it to mud*

"I will do worse to you, wretch, if you disobey me and do not stop talking."

Ameno: Sorry... One tip though - It's better to have friends to drink with, than enimies to clash with... Sorry, sir... *Bows in respect*

He ignores her. He stands up suddenly, swearing violently. "Get back in your sword. I have to report this to my lady."

Αmeno: Yes sir. *vanishes into the sword* Back to the void... Back to torture...

"Stop whining or I will make it so you can't even think without my consent." He growls. She notices that she is now partially sharing his vision and hearing, and hears him describing the details of the battle he had been overseeing to the woman in white.

Ameno: Who is that? She looks nice. *Attempts a smile*

A man's voice echoes from the left, and a man with a cloth mask and a fur coat stares at Ripjaw. "Why have you not restrained her conciousness completely? It is standard procedure."

"I was hoping to use her as leverage against Weapon Ulitma of M.C.C.P. He won't dare hurt me as long as I have her as a leash for the mangy mutt."

Hiroshi: That 'mutt' would have destroyed us, if we had met him personally. Actually, he would have decapitated a limb. Dogs tend to be rather savage when a stranger comes to close, so it's only best that we steer clear from them.

"Hmmph. I ain't scared of any dog. I didn't get this metal jaw and these scars from nothing. When you present me with a dog that can do what Hitomara did to me when I first tried to catch him, I'll be scared of em'."

Torrent looks at Hiroshi. "A pride comes before a fall, would you not say so, Master?"

Ameno: Why do you people keep treating me like a slave? I used to have a life! i had a job and a lover...

Hiroshi: Your words are lost on us, for we do not show sympathy towards our captives.

Torrent looks at the blade. "Do us all a favor and shut her up. I have no desire to hear your sword's chatter."

Ripjaw growls. "Neither do I. You in there, quiet or I won't allow you to see or hear. If you wish to converse, do so when it is helpful in combat. I suspect the ground troops will need to return to continue the fight in place of the Terrors. To think Hitomara would be defeated... ridiculous."

Hiroshi: Whoever did so must have been quite the specimen. I wonder if the Chaos Engine can be more capable than that.

Ameno: *Thinks to herself for a good minute..* Hey, could it have been Admin? He can consume anything...

A very distinctive growl comes from the woman in white. Her eyes appear dragonic, and she stares directly at Hiroshi with them.

"Hiroshi. Do not speak of it. Rest assured Hiroshi, that if used at full capacity, it could completely destroy that puny world. The powers of it are beyond any mere experiment of the M.C.C.P. But have I made myself clear? No one is to speak ofthat. It's forbidden for a reason."

A tall woman next to the white woman speaks up quietly. "It was the one named Jumbo. Apparently Hitomara broke the mind control device that controlled him and Jumbo in turn broke Hitomara's."

Hiroshi: Amusing and interesting. But hold on. With Hitomara free, he will surely try to seek revenge on us.

White has a smug look on her face. "What do we have to fear? Hitomara cannot access this world without our portals, and even so, the Warlords will quickly strike him down. It would be like handing himself on a silver platter back into our hands. Hitomara may be a brute, but I am aware that he also carries a degree of awareness when it comes to self preservation. If it means avoiding falling into our hands, he won't make such a mistake."

Hiroshi: And what of the other 3?

"I don't see why you concern yourself with them. It was no difficult task to capture them to begin with. If they prove to cause problems, we can always just destroy them. We wield a force far greater than the Terrors. We command their very creators. We do not have a need to fear them. In fact... I say we move dates to tomorrow."

Hiroshi: Are you sure that is wise? My apologizes aswell. I am being quiet paranoid. Only because we cannot tolerate failure.

She closes her eyes, and has a smile on her face. "One moment please."

After several long minutes, she opens her eyes. "Kado is coming tommorow. And he's bringing.... Azula with him. Azure moves to come to Earth's aid tomorrow. If we act and move ourselves into position preemptively, we won't have to worry about Azure focusing in on our portals to wait for us to appear in person."

Hiroshi: That sounds good, but why do I have the feeling something...horrid is coming?

Aoi sighs. "It could be that the fates do not smile upon us. I cannot see what the future will bring, but perhaps it is because we are doomed to failure. Or perhaps another catastrophe is getting ready to occur besides the one we will deal to Earth."

Hiroshi: Highly possible. We are so close. It will only take a little while longer and the plan will be complete.

Ameno: I'm going to sleep. Wake me if you guys need help! *The sword's glow dims, as Ameno dreams of happiness in the void*

Naomi walks into the meeting hall, looking very tired.

White looks at Ripjaw and quietly says, "Dismissed." Ripjaw bows his head and leaves.

Torrent looks at Hiroshi. "I see someone didn't take another someone's advice to rest..."

Hiroshi: If it keeps her consciousness from going against the plan .

Torrent sighs. "Still, a tired mind is a feeble mind. And on the battlefield such mentality is fatal. Even if disillusioned, it is never best to risk losses when it can be avoided. Every member is valuable, for the sake of the efficency of the organization's strength. It's bad enough we lost the Fire Slayer to Kado."

Hiroshi: That is too much overkill. They're is enough of as it is. I'm not sure who all the boy will bring,but I know it wont be much for us to handle.

Torrent looks at Hiroshi, looks at White, and leans in to Hiroshi's ear. "If the boy has brought Azula into this, you know that the only one capable of stopping her is White, you realize that? What if she gets involved in one of the battles? Did you think about what would happen if she got involved, or did that slip your mind?"

Hiroshi: *mildly smirks* That's what I'm counting on.

"You forget how the boss is. She could care less about our safety, and only about the mission. She wouldn't come to our aid... let's face it, unless it was I who was on the receiving end of it."

White looks towards them. "I can still hear you know."

Hiroshi: *looks at Torrent* How can you not be as silent as the winds you control?

White sighs. "Let's pretend for a moment that you didn't forget that I'm a half dragon and have rather good hearing, and that you are sitting right next to me."

Hiroshi: *facepalms in shame*

Toma looks up from her book. "Caess is freed. Some Mythos defeated her. Not sure what kind."

Hiroshi: These 'Mythos' are proving a much bigger dent in our plans than we expected.

White closes her eyes. "Very well. We will go at midnight, not by portals, but a slower route they cannot trace. Tomorrow we will prepare to enact the plan." She looks at Aoi. "I ask of you to send Ice Emissaries to slow them down. We will prepare to extract Dimrune while you hold them off."

Aoi nods slowly, and huge chunks of ice flow from her body, 20 splitting off and crashing into the ground. They slowly shift into the form of Aoi, even taking on skin, eyes, and hair, even the exact clothing Aoi wears, each with a mock version of Ice Slayer. They all turn towards Aoi expectantly.

"Go now." She says quietly, and the clones immediately disappear.

Hiroshi: Is there anything else that needs to be done?

"Not unless someone wants to entertain Noriko."

Hiroshi: *is shocked and points at Torrent* Torrent!

"Absolutely not. I would rather play with a hungry lion."

Hiroshi: I called not it, so you know.

"I'ma right behind you, ya know." Noriko says from behind their chairs.

Hiroshi: *is surprised and disgusted* Gah! *jumps back* Why are we so close together?

"You were leaning back in your chair. I was just bored anyhow. SO, who wants to play... tag?"

Torrent coughs. "Oh, I have to be going somewhere."

"That's ok, we can play tag on the way!" *Touches Torrent's back, sending shockwave down his spine. "You're it."

Torrent gives her an angry look. "I told you not to do that!"

Hiroshi: What are you going to do about that, Torrent? Let her get away? Let her play you like that?

"What are you talking about old man?" Torrent sighs in irritation.

Hiroshi: Your letting her poke you around. She wants to play a game. Wouldn't you like to beat her at it?

Torrent sighs. "The best way to 'win' her games is to ignore her. I won't be baited by her so easily.

Hiroshi: She will never stop. Not matter how much you annoy her, you know she's there. And the only way to make her go away is to walk away or beat her at her own game. Or even wait until she leaves.

"Hmmph." Torrent disappears in a rush of wind, and Noriko looks at Hiroshi. "How are you doing today Master Hiroshi?"

Hiroshi: *swallows deeply* ...fine. H-*nearly gags* How about you?

"I would feel better if you would relax, Master." She sits down where Torrent sat, and looks at him. "Naomi has been rather off the past few days."

Hiroshi: I know. She is plagued with dreams of the boy. I fear it may compromise her conscientious about the plan. Or it might lead her into a unstable state of mind to where we will all be in a terrible situation.

She looks at Hiroshi in a way he doesn't recognize.

"Can we talk alone for a moment, Master?"

Hiroshi: *is a bit concerned and confused, unaware of what's he supposed to expect knowing Noriko*...Suuure.

She suddenly grabs his arm, and everything appears to stand still for a breif moment of time, before a brilliant light envelopes his vision for another second, and everything comes back in a split second, yet he feels absolutely breathless for a solid 3 minutes: she had just traveled using lightning.

When he catches his breath, he looks around and sees they are on one of the many tall spires of the fortress. Noriko is sparking with electricity, a quiet hum of energy around her.

"I admit I must seem like an airhead with plenty of drive to make most people's head spin. Perhaps I am. But I'm not stupid. I knew Kado for many years, we all did. I knew that what White told us didn't make sense when she first told us what happened. I kept quiet about it, and just went with things. But then it kept going. The things she told us, never added up.

I eventually did digging, Master. I don't particularly like what I found out. I'll serve like always master, but I'm telling you now I'm through with watching little Naomi cry herself to sleep every night because of some lie you told her. And frankly, you're one to talk about salvation. You're half human. And don't bullshit me. I know. I learned that little jewel years ago. I want you to pull Naomi out of this operation. Permanently." She says all of this in a tone very alien to Hiroshi: angry. Noriko never got mad at anyone before. Not even as a child. Especially not like this.

Hiroshi: Frankly, this surprises men. You of all people, so care-free, actually caring. I must say I'm impressed, but you've only scratched the surface. I maybe part human, but their is dominance. I'm more elemental than i am human. If you want to pull Naomi out of the operation, then go ahead. Just remember, like it or not: The boy dies.

"I know a lot more than you think. And have it your way. But you have to get down on your own. Bye." She disappears in a bolt of lightning. He looks down at how far down solid ground is, and cannot help but recall his slight fear of heights.

Hiroshi: What does she take me for? I'm the freakin' Earth Slayer. *a floating rock platform comes from beneath him and begins to make his way back to the castle*

Torrent walks on the air beside him. "So how was your little playdate with Blonde Disaster?" Torrent chuckles mockingly.

Hiroshi: She knows.

"What, just now realized that? And here I thought I couldn't keep up with her games. She's a damn good actress ya know."

Hiroshi: Damn it all. I'm not sure what she intends to do with that knowledge, it my jeopardize the plan.

Torrent chuckles. "You're really out of the information loop then. Aoi has reported multiple times suspicious activity over in the secret archives. White and Aoi eventually caught on to the fact it was Noriko, but we haven't done anything because as far as we know, the only thing she really has done is self educating herself on the organization. Frankly we weren't surprised when we found out she was looking for information. Lightning strikes on a whim. Where it will strike is unknown. But as long as proper caution is exercised, it usually will never strike a single man in his lifetime. It is only the fools who stand clear out in the open with no caution that are struck by lightning.

This whole thing has been going on for years, the issue with Noriko. She has gone off to Earth countless times. I would swear that she actually is employed in multiple private security firms and possibly even a movie actress, though those details aren't confirmed. I think it's more of a desire to be independant from the pack. All wolves eventually either join the pack or find one they belong in. It's just a rule of nature."

Hiroshi: Hmmm, I might as well be a paranoid old man after all.

"It is never a bad thing to be cautious. It is another thing to allow caution to prevent action or to create undue suspicion of others. Caution allows one to see the enemy at the face value and even deeper with practice, but too much ails the mind and creates fractures.

We should head back, do you not agree? Or would you like to try your hand at chess? Who knows? They do say 100 times is the charm."

Hiroshi: What do you think I'm doing? I' heading back there now.

"Pity. I was rather hoping to have some entertainment today. Ah well."

They notice one of Aoi's ice clones walking towards the central palace from the portal gate, holding a crystal with a icy blue tone, behind her a group of soldiers carry a black crystal.

Hiroshi: I presume that is Caess, is it not? And the other is Dimrune?

Torrent nods. "Appears so. I take it that extraction was successful. I'm curious how she managed to recapture Caess."

Hiroshi: Obviously, she did not run when she had the chance.

The clone of Aoi and the men disappear, and only a few minutes later, she appears to everyone of the major members.

"One of the Mythos that freed one of the Terrors intends to try and free Caess and Dimrune. I have foreseen their demise, but it is still better to be ready. Please report to the main hall for instruction from our Lady White." She disappears again.

Hiroshi: What is the extent of these Mythos' power, that they can wield the ability to combat the Terrors, just like we can and succeed in defeating them?

Torrent looks at him. "No time for questions. When Aoi sees something in the future, it usually means it is imminent. We should go now and stop asking questions to thin air."

Hiroshi: Hm. *heads into the main room where all the major members are*

All five of the others have assembled, White seems to have a particularly amused smile.

"It would appear someone has finally come to gallantly die before us." She chuckles.

Hiroshi: Hmm it appears so, but surely we cannot observe him before he get's involved?

"He serves the enemy. The only way he will be permitted to live is in chains. And that won't be willingly. Prepare to unleash the Avatars. He shall know the true meaning of our power."

Hiroshi: Yes White. Send forth the Avatars.

The Dusk Before Red Dawn Edit

White looks among the gathered members of Phoenix. "It's almost time. Are you all ready to go?"

Hiroshi: We've based almost our entire existence on the plan. There is no doubt that we are ready.

White closes her eyes. "Alright then. Once you are on Earth, you will wait for your phase to begin. Hiroshi will make his move only when I tell him to. Caution must be taken. That goes for the rest of the Trimasters. None of you engage unless it is Kado himself, or any other significant threat we have discovered thus far. Understood?"

Hiroshi: *bows in acknowledgement* Understood, White.

A brilliant light envelops them, and they feel themselves slowly disappearing.

"Good luck to you all." White says, and they disappear, leaving only Aoi and White behind.

"...We shall stay and observe."

A Rude Interruption - The Knight Edit

A lone figure, clad in a black medieval looking armour with also sports a dark blue, tattered cloth around the neck. Looks at the intimidating towers, he puts his arm up to his helmet and quietly speaks into it... "Target found, and what of your ends?" A faint whisper can be heard coming out of the figure's arm, after the conversation, the figure says one more thing. "Ok, approach with caution, both of you. Either eliminate or disable anyone who gets in your way, finally, keep the targets alive." He puts his arm down and hovers up to the barrier, he pushes his hand through it and floats through it. He takes a look around before seeming to be a bit transparent, he continues to move towards the fortress.

His arrival does not go unnoticed, as a alarm of some kind immediately blares as he crosses the barrier and approaches. He can sense the presence and gaze of many countless soldiers, but they do not appear to be rousing to attack, merely watching him as though they aren't concerned with his presence. However the largest building, which appears to be the main complex has a different sort of barrier, and as he gets closer to it, a strange red bolt nearly strikes him, even though it doesn't hit him, it feels as though he was just dipped in acid.

The figure looks towards the new barrier. "Hmm, I can't seem to enter. So, the target has obviously sensed my presence. I guess I have to wait..." He looks around, seeing the multitude of guards surrounding him."Like vultures to a corpse..." He takes a moment to glance at his surroundings before exploring the area he's in.

Where ever he goes, he notices guards assembled at the entrance to every building and tower, eyes coldly watching him. The only activity he sees is the south wing, where some of the forces are entering and leaving via a single massive portal connected to the fortress via a long walkway, though the portal itself has its own battalion standing guard, observing him. They do not appear to be hostile, but the air about the fortress is immensely tense, as though the guards were just waiting to see what he would do, either that or they were waiting for something to happen.

The figure walks towards the battalion and examines them before smiling, although this cannot be seen because of the helmet he wears. "I'm looking for the one who leads this organization, do you know where I can find her?" The faint dark smoke cloud weaves and turns it way around the battalion, as the figure examines his blade. "Oh, and don't bothering opening fire. It'll result in your own deaths."

One of them chuckles beneath his own helmet. "Oh we know. We can't take you there, but we know. If I were you, I would invite yourself out. Before she invites you in."

"Oh, that's a shame... Well, you've filled out your usefulness... Now begone." The smoke manages to reach into their lungs, causing them to suffocate and drop dead. The smoke then traverse its way to the other guards, the smoke thickens until it's impossible to see, the figure walks past the dead bodies and into the south wing. "Now that's done with, time to find my target..."  The smoke doesn't even phase the guards. "Air tanks and air filters, moron." A guard points toward the main building. "If you're so desperate to die, go right ahead. Now you begone, fool."

From where the Knight stands, he can see part of the barrier over it lift. As he walks up to the doors, they silently slide inward, revealing a massive great hall in the building's first floor.

The figure walks into the hall, with the smoke emanating off of him, it slowly covers the floor like a mist. "Hmm, I guess after that incident, this structure still stands fairly." He continues to wonder through, until he comes across something.

At the end of the hall, White sits upon a throne, apparently sleeping softly.

The figure walks up to White, stopping only a couple of feet away. He then gets in the knighting stance, shown as a respectful gesture. "Lady White, I presume. So what do I owe the pleasure?"

She stirs and lifts her head, one of her eyes opening. "I should ask to what purpose do you intrude in my fortress? I'm not fond of uninvited guests." She says quietly.

"Well, I have arrived to meet you. Maiden, but this isn't for a house warming gift, I'm afraid." The figure stands up and looks towards White, the sword on his back gathering small smoke around it. "Now don't worry, this won't hurt... Only a small capsule of energy will be needed."

Her eye closes. "Your right... only a small amount of energy will be needed to remove you from existence..."

Time seems to suddenly come to a crawl. Sound stops. Deafening silence infact. Everything begins to turn white, the last thing to fade from view is White, as she twitches. For what seems like an eternity passes, before everything returns in one colossal explosion that instantly destroys his eardrums completely, as a blast erupts near the vicinity of Earth's capital with the force of a blast 2,800 times stronger than the blast that took place at Hiroshima, the immediate area turned to charred stone and in flames, the blast zone reduced to nothing but desolation.

At the edge of the blast zone, she calmly stares at the center of the blast, where a liquefied pool of atoms lies, a violent shroud of heat and radiation surrounding her, and she glows bright as the sun.

The smoke in the area converts to a black slime which forms into The Knight, who equips his sword. "Interesting attack there, Maiden. But useless..." Black smoke fills the room, pitch black as the sound of The Knight's armour disappears. White feels nothing, but a small prick on her back, before she has time to react. Black spikes rip through her skin, appearing on her torso before The Knight blasts her to the floor. "Dark Arts: Puppeteer. " White mysteriously stands up, although not by her own doing. The black smoke clears to see strings attached from White to The Knight's fingers, he swings his arm across to the side. Causing White to fly into the wall... "You made a mistake opening fire, maiden. If I wasn't on a mission, you would be nothing but a husk... These strings are unbreakable, your move..." The Knight clenches both his hands, causing White to stop moving, similar to paralysis.

His vision flickers, and she stands in front of him, not even phased. "Interesting intention. But useless. Not only did I see it coming and evade it, but your eyes are your enemy. I can be anywhere... and nowhere." She flickers again, and she is to his far left this time. "Of all of the members of Phoenix to attack... I'm the last one anyone should pick a fight with...alone."

"Your speed doesn't phase me in the slightest, considering that you have a very unique and strong energy signature. Tracing that becomes a breeze, so it's useless against me. And also, you were chosen to be my target. We know a lot about you and your organization, your toys, the one that died and I know there's someone that triggers something in you... Dark Phoenix, am I right?" The Knight turns towards White and disappears into nothingness, he forms out of White's shadow and grabs hold of her and throws her over his shoulder. He then grabs her neck and picks her up then throws her across the floor, as she stands. Dark spikes fly out of her shadow and stick into her, The Knight picks up his sword and charges at White and slashes at her. Causing a massive cut across her arm, he then kicks her on the side of her head, sending her to the floor again. "Face it, despite your power. I can break you, maybe not psychically, but mentally..."

She smiles and simply gets up, all the damage done to her none existent. "Trust me little lamb, that isn't likely. Physically or Mentally." Suddenly his vision flickers again, and they are back in the same spots they were before, White at the edge of the crater, and once again him standing farther away, a gash on his forehead this time and her hands dripping with his blood, which burns off, pearl white claws instead of nails retract.

"Like I said... I'm the last person within the organization you should fought with. The mere fact you're alone displays your arrogance and lack of knowledge."

The Knight laughs. "Ah, so this is what your doing... Interesting, and cowardly. Hehe... So an illusion. Ah well, I came for that sample, and I'm not leaving until I get it." The Knight appears infront of White and places his hand on her forehead... "Black Arts: Rememoration." Suddenly, every tragic event that has happened to White flashes infront of her eyes. "Your speed is remarkable, but time to put an end to that" White gains black stitch marks on her body, The Knight then slams his arm against her face, drawing blood, when White tries to attack back. Her speed is slowed down to a normal humans, allowing The Knight to easily dodge and knee her in the gut and throwing her into the floor once again.

The scene flickers again. Just in time to get his faces crushed beyond recognition by a nunchunk which in seconds strikes him countless times, instantly shattering his armor like glass as well as his bones and body in general. With a single swing the force is strong enough to tear off his arm. He notices now that her skin is broken up into scars... no,scales, and she then begins striking him with a whip of pure light, which sears his nerves with every strike. She then lashes it around his throat and flings him over her shoulder like a rag doll and repeatedly smashes him into the ground.

When she is done with that, she strikes him with the very same sort of mental attack, only her attack is infinitely stronger. "Unfortunately for you I have no such tragic memories. So even if that attack hit me, it would have been useless. I don't feel pain or misery. What you fail to understand is that you are alone, and will always be alone. For that reason fate has already decreed your demise. When one fights in the name of God... such things as fear are beneath me.

I will say it again. Even if you do not die by my hand, you will not defeat me. You cannot have a chance of it. Because I have something you lack... there is no such thing as honor or pride. Such things are for those people who rely on a crutch to live. I have no code... except that of my sword. All who stand before me face the wrath of the Eternal Sun and of the Almighty God."

She grabs ahold of her sword hilt. "And allow me to inform you... any attempt to remove my power is useless. Because in reality..." She draws her sword, and all light immediately goes out, leaving him blind, not even the stars shine, a solid black sears his eyes.

"This is a two on one battle." Her countenance becomes filled with the power of the the sun, and around her blade a serpentine dragon curls around it. She points the blade at his heart, and while the explosion that follows decimates his body, the dragon bites his soul, and greedily devours him, consciousness and all.

White turns toward the horizon. "It appears as though I need to take matters into my own hands..." She begins walking off.

I hate getting my hands dirty. But at least this way... I'll ensure the second phase can begin as planned. Here I come... Dark Phoenix.

Last Dawn Edit

Drake slowly wakes up, the morning sun beginning to shine on his face.

He sits up and lets out a yawn before scratching his head and reaching for his jacket. "Alright, time to kill... Man I feel like I'm back on Cyanic with that..." He does his usually duties, cleaning himself, quick exercise and reading from his spellbook. He then comes out of Kado's room, still hazy eyed as he looks around. "...I'm gonna be hungry soon, oh I pray to God they have food here... But where exactly..."

Suddenly Noriko's face pops into view as he steps out of the tower as she swings upside down right into his face.

"GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING!" She cheers.

Drake's eyes widen with sudden shock, and a simple line could be heard... "JESUS CHRIST ON A FUCKING UNICYCLE! WHERE THE HELL DID YOU COME FROM!?"

"I decided to 'drop in' from this lovely ledge, just spacious enough to stick my feet into for a lovely upside down perch! How's the weather in the tank looking like Drakey?"

Drake, still recovering from his heart attack. Takes a second to breathe before glancing at Noriko. "I wasn't it the ta-- ...Uhhhh" He starts giggling before bursting into laughter.

"Hmmmm, what'cha laughing at, doc?"

"Hehe... Nice panties, polka dots? How old are you, 12?" Drake still cannot control his laughter, he adjusts his jacket before walking past her, poking her head. Causing a small burning feeling. "Any idea of where I can grab a bite to eat?"

Noriko pulls her feet out from the ledge, and then flips several times before landing with both boots firmly on his head and flipping once more onto the ground softly.

"Well legend has it that White makes a mean breakfast every morning at the meeting hall, but she's still sleeping." She pouts. "She always sleeps twenty hours a day..."

Drake sighs before smirking. "That's a shame... Hmm, ever tried to cook before? I got a feeling it'll be easy..."

"No I have not cooked before... someone else always has... either that or I've eaten out..." She says this as though she were contemplating one of life's great mysteries.

"Well then, looks like it'll be our first time cooking... C'mon, you gotta show me where the kitchen is!" Drake has a mischievous smile and a certain glint to his eye as he chuckles.

Noriko tilts her head. "Hmmm. Ok." She leads Drake to the main building, and Drake notices at the end of the great hall a large throne, and behind it heavily decorated doors.

Noriko looks in the direction of the doors. "Her quarters are beyond that door." She tip toes across the hall to a side door. "In here."

"Here? Umm alright, I guess I'm opening it." He cautiously opens the door and glances through, seeing the kitchen. He grabs hold of Noriko's arm and pulls her in too. "So then... Where should we start?" He takes a look around, exploring the kitchen.

Noriko examines a door, which contains a massive food storage. "I think we should get the food out, right?"

Drake approaches the same door. "Yeah we should..." Suddenly he gets another idea. "Heh... Noriko, what are everyone's most hated dish?"

"Errrm... Torrent can't stand anything without flavor, neither can White... Toma and Aoi pretty much hate spicy food. Why, what are you thinking?"

"So, four dishes, two tasteless and two spicy..." Drake opens the door, examining the food and spices. Pulling out ghost peppers and tofu, along with all other stuff along the way. "Ok... You work on the spicy, I'll work on the tasteless." Drake spots a chiefs hat and wears it, laughing while doing so.

Noriko carefully attempts to make spicy chicken, but twice she burns it.

"Umm, try again... This time, don't burn it!" Drake glances at what he has to work with, slowly cooking the 'perfect' dishes for Torrent and White. "Ok, I'll get bored... Spell time!" Drake reaches for his spellbook and looks at his dishes, after looking through the book and glancing at the dishes. They gain markings and slowly form into steak and ice cream, Drake has a devious smile on his face. "I'm done, what about you?"

The food is now roaring flames. "I think I'm done."

"I don't think that's what it should be like..." Drake sighs. "Do you want some help?"

"It's NOT supposed to be on fire? ...I guess they don't mean it literally when they say sizzling hot..."

"No... Ok, I'mma help..." Drake comes over and extinguishes the fire, after a while of restoring the food. The opens the ghost pepper and plants the seeds hidden into the food. "Ok... I think that's better. So how long do we wait until the others wake up?"

She is about to answer when Death walks through the door and stares them down.

White sighs. "What do you think you all are doing in here?"

Drake has the look of horror as he slowly turns to look at White, soon giving a small smile and points to Noriko. "Noriko said that we should give you guys your favorite dishes before today starts, because it was special or something."

"Oh really? Then I'll supervise..." She smirks.

"Oh you really don't need to do that... Honestly, we're almost done." Drake glances at the dishes, noticing that they're almost finished, he regains his confidence and smirks. "Actually, stay around. You might learn a thing or two from us."

She leans against a counter, and silently watches him and Noriko, arms crossed.

"You're both up earlier than I expected."

"Mercenaries are strict people, White. So it's either get into the routine or get out of the business. As for Noriko, I think she came to bother me with this." Drake helps Noriko with her cooking, still slightly worried about what White will do.

White takes off the outer layer of her dress, revealing a solid black body suit with a covering of some sort of chainmail, as well as a more impressive figure than he originally expected, but she ignores him as she hangs her dress up in a closet. She seems more on edge today.

"Hmph, getting ready for the fight too I see... You expecting casualties from your side of this?" Drake finishes off the dishes and sits on a counter. "Chainmail, that's... Surprising."

White touches the snow white metal, seemingly fondly. "It was my mother's. It's a heirloom of my family always passed down to the next 'White'. It's a name only given to the chosen wield of Light Slayer. My full title is White the 8th. ...Mother didn't want me to join Phoenix. But I felt it was my duty, no, my destiny to lead the organization back to its true glory days... days we hadn't had since..." She pauses.

"Anyway... as a leader... I expect the worst... ...and the best. It's my role to try to be prepared to accept failure, and graciously accept success without pride. ...Pride... is the weakness of all great leaders. They think they're untouchable." She closes her eyes for a moment, and it occurs to Drake she seems unusually tired.

"Strange... Hmm, you seem tired. Didn't you get any sleep?" Drake then thinks back about Kado's room and how tidy it was. "Then again, that might of been why..."

Her eyes open, regular golden eyes and normal pupils, different from her more dragonic eyes. "...something was on my mind." She yawns, a slight dragonic twist to it that lightly shakes the room. He notices she has actual fangs.

"What the..." He shakes his head slightly, seeing if he wasn't just making this up. "Huh... Full of surprises you people have, so what's with your draconic theme to yourself? Also, what was with the pause, after the glory days?" Drake steps off of the counter, giving a somewhat puzzled look.

She looks at Drake tiredly. "The majority of my DNA is Dragon. Technically I am full blooded dragon, but I also am mostly Shapeshifter. However as a side effect of that additional heritage, I cannot remain in true dragon form indefinitely. Certain features are always there, such as my teeth, but others I have to expend energy on. I prefer my dragonic appearances to anything else. It feels more me.

...And as for that... ...I don't have the energy to recite long and old history. But let's just say after the first generation of Phoenix, there was a long period of infighting. This is perhaps the strongest iteration of Phoenix in recent memory."

"Ah alright, so, I'll ask again. But don't try to avoid it, why are you so tired? You need the energy for today, pretty reckless if you ask me..."

She sighs irritably. "I told you. Something was on my mind last night... I didn't sleep well, ok?"

"Ok ok..." Drake looks at the finished dishes and smirks. "Oh, right. The food is done, I'm guessing these to go the main hall or somewhere?" Drake gains tribal markings on his hands as the dishes float in mid-air.

She silently points at the large meeting table in the center of the main hall as she holds her forehead.

"Thanks." Drake grabs Noriko's arm and pulls her along too, soon whispering in her ear while he sets the dishes down on the table. "We're gonna die when they taste these, won't they... Please tell me you have a way to hide from every other member..." He says that with a ounce of guilt and dread in his voice.

Noriko looks around nervously. "Well there is one place... we'll just see what happens though..."

"Alright..." Drake takes a second to breathe, soon coming back to his senses. Giggling slightly, he takes his seat and waits in anticipation. "This will either be the funniest thing or we crash and burn, but there's no going back now."

The Phoenix members gather, and eventually take their seats. Aoi looks over at Drake. "How did you sleep last night?" She says in her soft voice, and everyone freezes and stares at Aoi.

"A-Aoi talked?!"

She looks at everyone. "What?"

Drake chuckles and looks at Aoi. "I slept fine, thanks for asking. And you?"

"I'm rather fine, thank you." She looks over at White, who seems even more tired. "Something the matter, White?"

"No nothing... I'm fine... I'm... fineeee........." She falls asleep, and her face lands in the dish with a splat.

Torrent looks around wildly for a moment.

"....Dare I laugh? Do I dare? ...........Fuck it." The various members of Phoenix quietly chuckle. Noriko quietly taps White's head.

"Daaaaang, she really is out."

"...I don't even... 'strongest iteration of Phoenix in recent memory'? Yeah... Sure." Drake quickly laughs before glancing at everyone's dishes, he gets a devious grin. He looks at Noriko and nods, before speaking out. "Umm, anyways... I guess we eat?"

The rest of the Phoenix members don't take long to take a bite, but also not very long to realize something is up after the first bite. Torrent's eyes narrow.

"This isn't steak. Now... I'm going to assume one of two things. One. White just did a shit job cooking. Possible, though I doubt if she's this tired she could hold a spatula. Two. You two fucks messed with the food and are about to be introduced to your asses. Painfully."

Aoi and Toma's hair practically stands on end and Toma barfs, while Aoi's eyes just pour tears from the spicy, a tinge of red in her greyish skin's cheeks. She quickly lowers the temperature of the water glass she has and gulps it, sighing heavily.

While Toma and Torrent now both look like they're going to kill Noriko and Drake with Death Vision, Aoi strangely silently claps with a faint smile.

White groans, and slowly sits up. "....Tofu.........." She silently wipes her face off with her napkin.

Torrent glares at her. "Permission to kill?"

White sighs. "I don't care. I'm taking a shower."

Torrent looks back towards Noriko and Drake.

"One Mississippi. Two Mississippi." He growls.

Drake stands up and slowly takes steps back towards an exit. "Ok... In our defense, first time cooking... Sorta, we kinda had a bit of fun messing around with flavours? Hehe... Noriko, help."

She grabs his arm. "Ok, running." *BOOM!* He hears as suddenly they are traveling within a personal lightning bolt. She stops eventually.

"Well that was close."

"NORIKO!!!" Torrent yells, appearing around the corner. His eyes are demented with anger and his speed puts even the Roadrunner to shame.

"Oh, umm, errr... BYE!" She grabs Drake again. *BOOM!* They are at another part of the fortress.

"Ok, think I lost him this time."

Drake begins giggling before bursting into laughter, being more happy with himself than he has in a long time. "That was worth it, the expressions on their faces! Haha! Oooh, that was awesome, we gotta do that again sometime." Drake finally manages to settle down, but still has a smile on his face and occasionally giggles.

Noriko looks at him curiously for a moment, before giving him a hug. "Thanks for the fun, Drake. You're the first person to ever join me in a gag... it was fun. ....Hey...... I never told White this... and I don't know if I should... but I plan on leaving Phoenix behind.... this whole invasion thing you see... I feel like it's gonna be my last ride before I set off for something.... more. ...You seem like a guy who enjoys a good adventure too, I was wondering, would you go with me?"

She pauses, as Toma appears riding a tidal wave. "COME BACK HERE!!!"

She looks at Drake. "Hold that thought." *BOOM!* They appear at a different section of the fortress, and she shoves Drake into a side door at a tower and they hide inside the spacious tower.

"Well that was close."

Drake takes a minute to respond to what Noriko said, he has a shocked expression before speaking in a more serious tone. "Planning on leaving Phoenix? Well, I wouldn't say I blame you. But these people are like your family, aren't they? Despite everything, they're there for you, and I know you would do the same. I'd like to join you in your escapades, but I want to be sure you're ready to leave these people behind... Because trust me, leaving without saying goodbye to at least one person you trust will take a lot out of you." Drake takes a second to look around to look around the room and starts talking with a more playful tone to his voice. "Where are we exactly?"

Noriko looks about and blinks. "My living room." It looks for a medieval fortress tower, very contemporary and modern decorated, with TV's, stereos, and various other electronic devices, including a few dozen video game consoles, much to his surprise.

"And honestly Drake, I am starting to have some faulty trust in Phoenix. It's true that they're my family... but still. I can't stay cooped up in the nest forever either."

"So, you're a techno person... Alright then, anyways. I guess you have a point, every bird must leave the nest soon. Alright, after this battle, I'll join you. It'll be difficult to start off without a companion to help." He chuckles and finds somewhere to sit, glancing at the games consoles.

Noriko plops down onto a sofa and sighs.

"Thanks. I happen to have a few odd jobs on Earth at the moment... ironic that is, don't you think? -But in anycase, I have plenty of money to make a permanent residence if the need arises. Though we could go anywhere. Hmm... haven't been to Echo in a long time... that might be fun..."

"Echo? What, or where's that?" Drake asks with a puzzled expression.

"Echo? Oh it's a realm that exists... err... parallel? To Earth. You could even call it a Second Earth actually. From what White once talked to me about the subject, the world is actually within the same time and space area, but between Fantasy and Reality. So much so that one half is more like Reality and the other more like Fantasy. The majority of us, including me grew up there."

Drake chuckles. "That does sound fun, so that's where we're going after all this." Drake joins Noriko on the sofa and relaxes, take a minute to breathe before asking. "How long do you think it'll take before Torrent and Toma give up hunting us down?"

"Oh I believe Toma will stop soon enough, but Torrent is a mixed bag. He could calm down in the next minute or won't calm down til tomorrow."

Suddenly they can hear rain.

"...Oh boy. Look's like we're stuck here. Toma just activated her Needle Rain. She must realllllly be pissed."

"Oh yay... So, what do you wanna do?" Drake looks at the games consoles and the games accompanying them. "How about a game to pass the time? It's been a while since I've played one though..."

"Sure thing. Pick one out."

Drake stands up and goes over to the games and picks one out by random. "How about this?"

"Sure, sounds fun. Let's do it. Prepare to get wrecked!!!" She cheers.

Drake places the game into the console and hands Noriko a controller, he sits back on the sofa and grabs a controller for himself. He starts to become cocky... "Oh yeah? I'mma introduce your face to the ground! We should make this more challenging.... How about a bet?"

"Oh? Let's hear it then!"

"Ladies first" Drake says with a arrogant smile to his face.

"Wellllllll..... If I lose I have to behave myself during our first trip. Annnnnd how about you?"

"Hmm, if I lose... I'll let you spraypaint my clothes pink." Drake shudders at the thought, but considering that Noriko isn't one to behave most of the time. He seems it's a fair trade.

"Well I hope you like wearing pink, cause I'm going to own this game!"

"Oh yeah? Get ready to eat those words Noriko, because you're going down!" Drake laughs and gets focused.

One hour of intense fighting non-stop, Noriko wails as she is defeated at long last.

"NOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooo...... I lost! And I wanted to see you in pink too!" She huffs. "Best two out of three?"

Drake shouts in victory. "AHA! I knew I haven't lost my touch!" He turns to looks at Noriko and smirks. "Not a chance, now... Let's see if you can behave once in a while, who knows? I might drop the bet sooner or later. Hmm, have Tamo and Torrent stopped yet?"

They can hear a strong wing howling along with the rain.

"Hmm. Seems to be pretty determined."

"Oh, great..." Drake sighs before slumping back onto the sofa. "So, what do we do now?"

Noriko eyes a electric guitar on the wall. "Well, want a demonstration? I'm practicing rock music."

"Go ahead!" Sparking Drake's interest again, he sits up straight and looks at the guitar. "How much did that cost?"

"Hmm. Around two hundred human currency. I had it custom made. I love it though." She takes it off the wall and starts running tests to make sure everything works right.

"Two hundred... Not that much I guess, but nevertheless. Start playing, how long have you been playing for?"

She thinks for a moment. "I've been practicing for about two years... it's kinda like a hobby, but I kinda want to have fun in a band sometime. You know, just for the fun of it." She begins playing, rather well actually.

"I'm impressed, you should audition some time..." Drake starts thinking. "Oh, I wanted to ask you. What race are you? Because there's a lot of humanoid races in Fantasy and Earth, like the Mythos. But I doubt that you count as one."

She suddenly changes form into a chimpanzee which then plays a power cord, then changes back. She laughs. "I'm a Shapeshifter/Fairy."

Drake chuckles. "A Shapeshifter/Fairy... Interesting, does that mean the rest of Phoenix are Shapshifter hybrids?" He continues to watch in slight awe as Noriko plays the guitar.

"Yeah, all of the main members at least. The original Slayers were made to only be wielded by Shapeshifters, so the other races couldn't abuse the powers of the swords. Though I believe lesser versions can be made, though probably not as high quality. ...Do you really think I should?"

"Yeah, you should. You're a natural on the guitar, besides, you'll get bored once we head to Echo. Won't you?"

"...Yeah... ...Thanks Drake. ...You probably haven't gotten much decent company since coming here, have you? Where do you come from anyway?"

Drake speaks up, with a tone of pride in his voice. "Heh, simple, I'm a Cyanican from Cyanic. A high-tech planet with traditional settings similar to the Japanese in a sense. We actually just got out of a war, I hope anyways... Any other questions?"

"Oh that's cool. Do you miss your homeworld at all?"

Drake sulks and sighs. "That's... Hard to explain, I mean... I miss home and the Ryunexo mercenaries, but thanks to Daikeim. I came here and had a lot of fun, something I barely had on Cyanic... So I'm conflicted I guess, I miss home, but I love it here on Earth and Fantasy."

"I see. You'll probably find the right balance sooner or later."

"Meh, probably... But I kinda like being in conflict, I'm too used to it. Either mentally or psychically, I'm always in a state of battle." He takes a sigh of relief. "But it's times like these where I can just relax and be me, that I feel at peace..."

Noriko puts up the guitar. "I see, sounds a bit like how Torrent is."

"Torrent is like that? I just thought he's naturally pissed..."

"Torrent has his own problems. Though he's become very good at hiding them. There's a reason he looks down at people with emotions. As much as he sounds like a dick for it."

"Yeah, that can be easily seen..." Drake looks up at the roof, still hearing the wind and the rain. "Persistent too, but what about you? You seem so carefree, almost like you have no problems... Besides the obvious one, which is with Phoenix."

"You'd be right. Maybe that's why Torrent resents when I give him attention. Or why they think I'm childish. I mean, I don't know my parents, most of us didn't, but I'm not burdened by that, cause for me at least, I only remember life with Phoenix. I don't know any other family. But the others? They have a past they'd rather forget. I'm just the odd duck."

Drake smirks. "I guess we're both odd ducks then, I have no idea who my parents or family are. I grew up with mercenaries, so that's why I'm care free. Because I have nothing to lose, and no one would care if I was gone anyways, I'm just a burden and annoyance to most people, but I love it like that." He chuckles again. "So another question, why are you like this only with Torrent?"

"Ermm... oh. That. You see, I like people who can tell me 'no' to something. I don't like people who think like sheep and will willingly do what I ask. ...There's plenty of men in the lower ranks... but... ...they don't think for themselves. Practically at all. They all tend to look at some of us like deities or gods or something. I'd rather spend time messing with someone who has half a brain than them. You and Torrent at least think."

"Hmm, what would explain why you're not like that towards females. And think is a generous word for both me and Torrent, I usually go in guns blazing. And Torrent is kinda brash aswell, and I haven't said no to you yet. So you never know..." Drake can still hear the sound of wind and rain, he sighs. "They don't like pranks, do they. It's been an hour or so and they haven't given up... I bet I could fall asleep and they would still be there." Drake coughs. "Anyways, any plans to do in Echo? After your guitar auditions, that is."

"Probably travel, see some of the places. I hear that the capital of the Shapeshifters, Chinmoku is amazing. Maybe I'll take an apprenticeship there for song writing."

"Certainly ambitious, aren't you? Do you even know how to get to Echo, and even if you leave, the other members will hunt you down... Like they did with Kado."

"I doubt they'd care that much Drake. You have your freedom, and well... I've always been on a loose chain to begin with. I've been visiting other worlds and doing odd jobs for years, and they've known, but never really cared about it."

"Ah, alright... Heh, well, this'll be interesting after we leave. I wonder how long it'll take until we get into trouble..." Drake chuckles before opening his HSC and scrolling through stuff, before getting a small picture and a knife out. Closing the HSC afterwards.

They hear the rain start to slow and stop. "I think Toma gave up."

"Finally, but before we head out..." Drake cuts his fingers and thumb, drawing blood the trickles to the center of his palm."Mercenaries rules, if I'm going to Echo with you. Then I want to know if we can trust ourselves to not stab each other in the back. Think of it like a blood pact, but between friends." Drake smiles and passes the knife to Noriko. "If you want my full trust, then you'll do the same. Don't worry, it doesn't hurt... When you're ready, shake my hand afterwards."

She does the same and shakes his hand.

"Ok, thanks..." Drake stands up and looks towards the door, storing the knife and photo in his HSC before hiding that away. "We really should get ready for the fight... Is it safe to leave yet?"

Noriko listens. "....No wind. Huh, I thought Torrent wouldn't give up for another hour." Suddenly Torrent blows into being behind her.

"You have no idea how long I've been looking for you two shits."

"Oh hey Torrent!"

"Errrrrrr...... errrrrmm........?"

"How you doing?"

"....................Fuck it I give up." Torrent leaves irritably.

Drake glances at Torrent. "You know, with the amount of time you and Toma were waiting for us. You could of been training instead of having a hissy fit because of a prank..." Drake folds his arms and walks towards the courtyard.

As he walks into the courtyard, he notices Azula leaning against a pillar, looking immensely bored. She looks over at him and there is a subtle violence in her eyes barely kept in check.

"Have a reason for causing all of that commotion?" She asks irritably, her voice once again surprising Drake, who was used to hearing her telepathy.

"What, over a prank me and Noriko did? Give me a break, this place is as dull as hell. It's like people here have no idea on the concept of fun, and what's your problem? Did it bother you in any way? No, it didn't, so if you're gonna bother me with that, then either shut up or get lost."

"Don't think that just because White offered you mercy and freedom that you're one of us. You have a very short chain here... ...either way, you're expendable. White wouldn't care if I went and drowned you right now, or left you alive to die at the hands of Jibaku and Valeric."

Drake growls and begins talking in a more draconic tone. "Before you say stupid shit like that, let me remind you that I don't want to be part of Phoenix, infact. It sickens me that I'm forced to stay and fight for my freedom, and if she didn't care. What's stopping you from killing me right now? Listen to me you foolish being, if I were to die by your or their hands. Then you'll be doing me a damn favor! So... Anymore annoying lectures?"

Azula suddenly moves to strike him, the movement blinding, but suddenly Silent Angel appears and grabs her arm, standing in front of Drake.

"Enough. Save your fighting for the enemy, Sister Azula. There will be plenty of blood to spill at the battlefield."

"Hmph... Knew it." Drake takes a couple steps back and opens his spellbook, sitting down crossed legged as a dome forms around Drake. Tribal markings appear on his as he meditates for the time being. After enough time has passed, the dome begins to crack, releasing small flames until the dome breaks apart. Unleashing a pillar of fire to blast out, after the fire dies down. Drake is standing, breathing heavily, in his Initial Primitive stage for a short time. Until it fades away, he takes a sigh of relief and runs his hand through his hair. "There... Now if he gets released, then it's entirely my fault."Drake walks to the edge of the fortress, he crosses his arms and silently waits.

Aggravation Edit

Drake notices some servants entering and exiting White's chambers, carrying various clean up supplies and one even appears to be carrying a body back into the area.

"...And I wonder how White isn't with somebody... I wonder what's happened." Drake walks towards one of the servants to ask. "Uhhh, what happened here?"

"Someone came into White's quarters and gave her news she really didn't want to hear. Also they were in her bathroom while she was showering... I hate it when the newbies do that..." The servant sighs.

Drake looks towards White's room and sighs. "I have a deathwish anyways, wouldn't hurt to ask her herself..." Drake enters the room and sees White. "Uhh, hey... Can I ask what the hell happened? Like, seriously... You wouldn't kill someone for something like th-- Wrong choice of words..."

She looks at him with slight irritation, and he notices she is in pajamas, a look that pretty much breaks his usual image of her. Her hair is very wet, suggesting she just got out of the shower.

She turns and sits down on her large bed, sighing. Her tail and wings grow out, and then she looks up at Drake, her tail moving in a way that conveys a subtle anger.

"Someone kidnapped a member of the organization. Plus the damn fool intruded in my bathroom, signed his own death warrant by staring."

Drake takes a quick glance at White before muttering under his breath, unable for her to hear it... "Not much to look at but whatever..." Drake looks around then speaks up. "A member? Who? Because if it's Torrent, then it's a God's send, bastard doesn't know what fun is..."

"Aoi. The individual took her and Caess. We have no information on the incident as of yet. All we know was the being was an aetherborn/netherborn."

He finds himself on the ground with White pinning him with a single foot, her nails turning into sharp claws which dig into his skin. "And whatever it is you muttered, you might want to make sure that it is something you won't regret saying out loud."

Drake's eyes widen, with a slight shocked expression on his face. "Aoi? Really? Wow... That's unexpected..." Drake then looks at White and has a smirk to his face. "You said it yourself, I'm 'expendable' so yeah... I said you ain't much to look at, heh... So if you're gonna kill me, make sure it's a clean death, I pity the servants..." Drake's eye colour has changed to a darker tinge of black.

Her foot suddenly begins to get bigger, but then he realizes her whole body is changing, until a massive white dragon replaces her, the single foot completely covering all but his head, her claws as big as his arms.

"I have a better idea." Her voice booms. "How about I give you a humiliating death by sitting on you until you die of suffocation?"

"Hmph... You're really gonna kill me when you got a missing member and deal with Valric and Jibaku all resting on your shoulders? Sort your priorities out..." Drake transforms into a puddle of flames which move across the floor out of White's reach, they reform back into Drake who blankly looks at White, almost judging her. But he just sighs and turns to walk out of the room, placing his hands in his pockets.

The two guards dressed in heavy white armor at the entrance block him with their spears, and the door closes. "You were not dismissed." The guards intone.

White changes into her normal form and motions for him to come back. "I wasn't done talking to you, Drake Ryunexo. If I was going to kill you, it would have happened. Get over here."

Drake softly growls before turning around and walking towards White, obviously with a annoyed expression on his face."What is it now?"

"And I was thinking of giving you a gift... you are far too hateful towards authority. I would think a mercenary would respect his boss a bit more." She smirks, a humored expression in her eyes.

"Our information was.... off. We have two more days. Usually Aoi's information would be more solid, but for some reason it was off. While I would be assigning every dog under the sun to find her, I've got a more practical solution. Let's just say... no matter if it's Fantasy, Earth, or Echo.... we will know when they turn up again. To that end Drake, we've got ourselves a case where we have no missions planned, so in that case, consider the next two days free." She has a light smile.

"You don't like me, do you, Drake?"

Drake smirks. "Oh, I respect authority... Only if they deserve it though, also, mercenaries don't respect their bosses that much, they're in it for the prize and nothing else. But that doesn't mean that I respect you, I just have next to no ways of showing it, that's all..." Suddenly, there's a glint in his eyes when White mentions the gift. "A gift, for me? Oh you shouldn't have... But I doubt you'll hand it over anyways, so I'll be on my way now..." He turns and glares at the guards."If they moved their asses away from the damn door."

"Don't even bother..." The guards intone.

White smirks and grabs his hand, seemingly examining it. She mutters what he hears as mental measurements and calculations. After a moment she looks up at Drake. "What is your favorite style of weapon?"

"Simple, the ninto. A straight, sharp and slick blade with a very strong and sturdy hilt, able of breaking spines with a flick of the wrist..." Drake opens his HSC and brings out the ninto that he uses, although it's a bit tarnished and battleworn..."Ugh, lacks the durability though..."

"I see. Well then, come with me." From the ceiling, a platform lowers, revealing many countless levels above them, and she steps onto it.

Drake also steps on and takes a second to look above him. "Jesus... How big is this room? Also, where are you taking me?"

"The Slayer Foundry." The plateform descends, and several levels go by with various things such as living quarters for servants, and he swears one level is called 'Theater'.

"The Slayer Foundry? I'm guessing that's where they make the weapons... Also, why is one of the levels called Theater?"

"Because it's a movie theater."

Drake just says nothing and continues to look at the levels, occasionally glancing at White before looking back at the levels.

They finally come to a level that is much hotter than the others, where various elemental smiths stand at attention. "Yes, White? What would you have us do?"

White smirks. "Make us a Ninto Elementium sword."

The smiths bow, and begin their work, heating a strange metal ore in a massive furnace.

Drake looks at White, giving a confused expression. "You're giving me a new blade? Honestly, I'm puzzled... Wait... Are you getting me a Slayer?!" Drake looks back at the furnace.

"Yes, I am."

Drake chuckles childishly and a small smile appears on his face, but he still retains the puzzled look. "...No way, no fucking way... You're kidding, right?"

"I rarely ever kid. This is not one of those times."

"Oh... Ok then, thanks. So why are you doing this for me?"

"No particular reason. Better to be well equipped than not. A Slayer cannot break, unless the enchantments and the power source is destroyed or removed. Nothing short of a god could hope to begin to understand how the enchantments and seals of such a blade works. And Elementium itself is some of the most durable metals fabricated by mortal hands. A fitting weapon to square off against an enemy such as gods."

Drake chuckles to himself. "A weapon fit enough to kill deities... Yeah, sounds perfect... So, how is this gonna be powered? Because a Slayer needs an element and power source... So what do you have in mind?"

"The power source we will deal with later. As for the element, what do you think suites you best?"

Drake creates a fireball, to White's surprise. Black tribal patterns emerge on the fireball, animating itself as they were one with the fire and not a marking. "I dunno what you could call this... Corrupted flames? I'll leave the naming to you I guess."

Drake notices eight elementals, one of each element as they begin infusing a molten bar of steel with elemental energy, the metal crackles with violent energy as this happens, until it takes a weird multicolored look, shimmering with multiple colors. The eight begin careful construction of a blade, they work with both great speed, and great precision, occasionally muttering some words of magic. They eventually douse the shaped sword in ice water, which creates a massive blast of steam which bellows throughout the room, and Drake sees them add the finishing touches, before one of them approaches Drake with the finished blade, which still crackles with the same vibrant multicolored light.

"What material would you like the sheath?" It asks.

Drake examines the sword before making a choice. "White carbon fiber infused with ivory... Yeah, why not, might as well make the sheath look at good as the blade itself."

White looks at the smith, and he nods silently, before departing to a backroom for a few minutes, eventually he emerges with the sheathed sword in a well decorated white carbon fiber and ivory sheath. He hands it to White, who quickly examines it for a moment, then begins to mutter some lines of some language Drake doesn't catch. After a moment, she unsheathes it, looking it over for a moment, before suddenly stabbing Drake in the chest.

Just as he is about to respond in anger, she holds up a hand. "Do you actually feel any pain? No. Be quiet."

Drake can suddenly feel a pulling sensation as the blade seems to be pulling something out of him and into it.

"I guess that's for the comment I made... Wait... Something isn't right." Drake closes his eyes and senses his soul and mind, realising it soon and smirking. "Heh, I wonder if he likes the blade..."

The blade suddenly begins to take a red cast, with black tribal markings similar to that of the fire Drake had produced, with similar coloration applied to the hilt. Drake can feel Corruption's anger inside the blade, but he is unable to affect Drake's mind, while Drake feels all the power he has available.

White eventually pulls the blade out, and as it does, the wound heals completely of its own accord, and the blood simply burns off the blade. White then sheathes the blade and hands the hilt to Drake.

"Would you like to name the sword?"

"Yes, of course..." Drake stays quiet for a while before gaining an evil smirk. "It shall be called Kurai, seems fitting enough, don't you think?"

"That it does. Shall we go up?"

Drake grabs the Kurai and fits the sheathe onto the right side of his trousers, looking at the impressive blade before sheathing it in. "Go up? Oh, right, yeah."

White steps onto the platform, as does Drake, and they begin their ascent up.

She seems to be suddenly surprised, but then the surprise turns into a sort of smile. So he's in Midnation.... looks like Kado's learned a few new tricks.... how interesting.

"Kado's here? How do you know?" Drake himself has a slightly shocked expression himself, but not to the extent of White's.

She looks back at Drake. "....I have my resources. He's in a place called Midnation, traveling. As to how he got to Fantasy on his own, that escapes me."

"Midnation? Hmm, you don't think that he's somehow met Daikeim..." Drake quickly shakes his head, preferring to not think about it. "So, where are we heading now?"

White smirks. "First off, lunch. Secondly, I must inform the organization of the day's events. The rest we'll get to at a later time." A twinkle of humor illuminates her eyes. "And hands off my kitchen."

Drake laughs, a cheerful yet mischievous tone in his voice. "I can't guarantee it, it was a hell of a lot of last time... Besides, I'll probably be admiring this beauty of a blade."

"Do whatever you like until lunch. But don't be late." She walks off as the platform stops, the guards are no longer blocking the door.

"Alright, thanks for the Slayer!" Drake rushes off in a moments notice, sprinting off to the courtyard, practicing with his blade. After a while, he gets bored and calls out a name. "Hey Noriko! You around!?"

A light sensation becomes apparent on his head, as though something small was sitting on his head or something.

Drake picks up the small fairy and dangles her infront of his face. "Well, hey there Noriko, I got some news. Knowing you, you'd like to hear it?"

"Well sure, put me down for starters then we can see!!" She puffs her cheeks in light annoyance, wearing a very simple dress in comparison to her usual clothing, though he imagines its harder to tailor for smaller people.

"Ok ok..." Drake lets go of Noriko while he slightly chuckles. "Aoi got 'kidnapped' and is now missing from Yosai."

"Oh she was? Huh, I guess that's why White threw a big temper tantrum. You know, how does one even do that kind of thing? I mean Aoi can see the future, so that couldn't possibly ever happen...."

Drake has a small smile. "Because she wanted to leave... Much like you or me, she had an opportunity and took it. I'm glad she got out, because she doesn't have to be a part of this anymore... For once, I envy her."

"Oooh? How do you know what Aoi wanted?" She eyes Drake's sword. "Is that a Slayer, Drake?"

"The same night I got out of the tube, I finally managed to talk to Aoi... I even apologised to her about me being a dick to her, she didn't deserve having insults thrown at her... Oh?" Drake gives Noriko a better look at the Slayer and the sheath."Yeah, White made it for me... Sorta, but still, pretty cool, I named it Kuria."

"Nice name. So ah, whatcha want to do?" Torrent walks by, and as soon as he sees the two, they notice his pace increases significantly until he goes out of sight.

"Ok? See you later buzzkill... Anyways, I'm free to screw around for two days, and I was gonna ask if you wanna come along. But first White's preparing us lunch, which should be ready whenever..." Drake sheaths Kuria and looks around."But yeah, if you want to come along, just say."

She lands on his shoulder, and he feels a slight electric jolt as she does so. "Sure! But uh, where exactly do you plan to go for two days? ...Also I get the feeling White's going to have her revenge somehow for that tofu in the face fiasco."

"Honestly, no idea... We could go around Earth and cause some mischief, and technically... I only made the food, she was the tired one, and everyone laughed... Until they had their food. If you have an idea on what to do and where to go, I'd love to hear it."

"Huh... now that you mention it, there is this place on Earth with this cool thunderstorm that's called the Catatumbo Lightning, I hear it's pretty cool cause it happens pretty often, I think that might be cool. Any ideas?"

Drake smirks, then suddenly he gets a glint in his eye. "Yeah, we'll do that... But before we go, we're gonna give Torrent a 'present'. I mean, you don't want him to forget us, do we?" He chuckles.

"Present?"

Drake opens his HSC and pulls out a couple of spraycans, all tinted a vibrant pink. "A little redecoration of his room... Wouldn't hurt."

Noriko giggles. "Well someone's going to have a gravestone very soon! Haha, ah well I could use some chaos around here."

"Meh, I called White flat chested, I'll survive anything! So, when should we do it? Now or after lunch..." Drake looks at Torrent's tower.

"I want as much of a headstart as possible so after lunch probably. I assume though White's gonna address us about the issue, so we shouldn't get going until after she summons us to a meeting. Uggh.... I hate meetings. Just what is that magic box thing of yours anyway?"

"Oh, this?" Drake materialises the HSC infront of himself, watching it hover in place. "This is a holographic storage cube, prototype stuff during the war... It sorta works like a computer." Drake imitates the action of opening a map, with the HSC turning into a screen, showing a lot of random items Drake has acquired from his travels. "Any item that is placed into this screen is digitized into data and is stored onto the cube, whenever I need something. It materialises into my hand, which is handy for stuff like my spellbook and other weapons."

"Oh that's pretty cool. I assume it doesn't work on people though, that would kinda be interesting. ....Arrggghh, I hate dresses..." Noriko complains, looking at her simple dress in slight disgust. "I wish someone would be a little more inventive with the damn clothes we get to wear... I swear Drake, fairy tailors have no sense."

Drake chuckles. "For one who doesn't care when people can see her pants, you care a lot about fashion don't you? And I've never tried storing a living thing inside of the HSC before... That would be interesting." He glances at Noriko's clothing and laughs. "You look like a three year old... I guess before we go see the Catatumbo Lightning, we'll find a fairy tailor and get you a new outfit, how about that?"

"Sure thing, Merc. I may be projecting here, but from what I've heard, you don't seem to like Kado that much."

"I'm more or less indifferent to him, we didn't even have a fight... Although it almost did happen thanks to Corruption... But yeah, I don't like him yet I don't dislike him, so I'm just indifferent really. Dunno where you got that idea from."

"Oh, White just figured you had a beef with him or something I guess."

"Haha, of course it's white to assume things... Typical of her."

Noriko looks over towards the main building. "Be back in a second...." She zooms off in the direction of her tower.

"Uhhh... Ok, see you in a second?" Drake closes the HSC and unsheathes Kurai and talks to it. "So, how does it feel to be inside that?" A dark 'corroded' voice hisses, causing the black tribal marks to seemingly move.

"How DARE you! Seal me away inside this blade, once I get out, you'll pay! I cannot believe I'm in this situation..."

"Oh quick complaining, just be glad White didn't eradicate you... Besides, I control you now, and not the other way around." Before the blade can hiss again, he sheathes Kurai and chuckles lightly.

Noriko appears again, full form and usual clothing. "Sorry, had to go and change form, back now."

"Hey there Noriko, again... Hmmm, y'know." Drake chuckles. "If you're quite a hit with men, then have you dated anyone?"

"No. I like to keep people at a distance, and understand who they are, and where their brains are. Mostly I find most of them just have their brains between their legs, if you know what I mean. Torrent's fun to mess with, but I can tell at a glance he doesn't have an interest. At all. Like a stone wall, though I'd suspect he has a crack in there for his dead family, but nothing else."

Drake laughs. "So it's true, all you do is tease and mess with men... Nice to know I thought it was a good idea to go to Echo with you. And besides, most of the Phoenix members are a stone wall... Like, seriously-- Oh! We should also give Toma a goodbye prank too."

Noriko tilts her head. "It's true I tease and mess with people, but that's my way of understanding them. You at least have more emotion that a pinball machine." She looks towards the main building. "I imagine lunch is ready." She looks over at Drake and gives him a playful smile. "Soooooo.... can I sit next to you?" She asks with her classic impish grin.

"I don't see why not, go ahead." Drake looks towards the main building and starts walking towards it. "Hmm, I wonder if White has cooked me something I'll like..."

Noriko shudders. "White is meaaaaan.... I just know she has something planned for us.... I know it...."

"It'll be hilarious anyways, now c'mon!" Drake grabs hold of Noriko's wrist and sprints towards the building, sweeping Noriko off her feet by accident. In a matter of seconds, Drake reaches the building and comes to a complete halt. Causing Noriko's hair to seem like she just got out of bed, Drake sees this and giggles before bursting out laughing.

She silently grabs both of his cheeks and leans in, looking as though she is about to kiss him, when suddenly a violent jolt of electricity runs through his head, causing each one of his hairs to stand up on end, and she pulls away and laughs. "Look who's talking, Einstein!"

Drake chuckles, running his hands through his now spiky hair to morph it back to normal. "I'll get you for that someday."He softly punches Noriko's arm before looking at the doors infront of the two. "Ladies first."

When she opens the doors, she gasps. "Noooooooooooooooooo waaaaayyyy....."

Drake glances at Noriko before looking at what Noriko is seeing. "What are you 'noo way'ing about-- Uuuh?"

White stands at the end of the dining table, which is covered with various foods, such as various meats, soups, and fruits, and there's even a section of deserts laid out. She has a rather pleasant smile on her face.

"Welcome to lunch."

Noriko blinks. "Caaaaaakkkeeee..... ...wait why is she making all of this food?"

Drake jaw drops, unable to comprehend the amount of food laid out. Practically drooling, he notices the cake as well."...Must... Eat... Cake... Before... Others..." He shakes his head before responding, looking at White. "Wait, yeah... Why did you make all of this?"

"Because I thought I would treat my faithful members to a lovely meal to start off their break." She smiles again.

Noriko looks at her for a moment. "It's the Perfect Smile... ...Either she's planning our deaths, or she genuinely is being.... ....nice." She says above a whisper in awe.

Drake whispers back. "I think she's wants to get back at me calling her flat-chested... White and smiling don't mix well..."Drake goes over to the food, noticing some meat. His draconic fangs show and he takes a bite out of it. "...Doesn't taste like poison. Maybe White is genuinely nice today, as scary as the thought is."

Torrent sighs. "I would be dead if that was the case."

Noriko plops down next to him and also busily eats, Toma and White finally start to dig in as well, Torrent, Noriko and Drake being the most aggressive eaters at the table.

Steak after steak, desert after desert, snack after snack. Drake manages to already eat a quarter of the feast, he takes a sigh of relief and takes a moment for the food to digest... Before eating like he hasn't had anything for a month.

After they finish, White smiles again. "I assume you enjoyed your meals?" She asks, Torrent responds with a grunt.

Toma smiles. "Excellent as always." Noriko thinks for a moment. "The cake was awesome!"

Drake chuckles then smirks. "Ok, the food was great. But why are you smiling this much, you're rarely happy. So you might as well tell us..."

"It's always nice to make a meal for the family and seeing them appreciate it. Besides.... ....it's time for dish nomination. I elect Noriko and Drake."

All the other Phoenix members present agree eagerly. Noriko sighs. "Greeaaat....."

Drake's smirk washes away and he angrily glares at White for a moment before sighing. "I hate you so much right now... C'mon Noriko, let's get cleaning..." Drake's opens the HSC and points to towards all the empty dishes, they all digitize into a small folder on the HSC. Drake puts it away and walks towards the kitchen.

Noriko sighs. "Well, I think she got us good."

"Yep... She did..." As Drake wonders into the kitchen, he easily spots the sink and opens the HSC. Grabbing multiple stacks of dishes and placing them on one side of the counter, after all of the dishes are placed out he closes the HSC and looks at Noriko, while the sink water runs for a moment. "Do you think there's a reason I was given a Slayer?"

Noriko sighs. "If I knew, I would tell you. Perhaps it's a secret offer to stay with the organization. I wouldn't know. White does always have a means to her madness though, she's always adapting to situations before we're even aware they're going on ourselves. She rules very much by the moment, yet can easily, effortlessly adapt and make a new strategy before the enemy can figure out she's done it. Perhaps she has some reason Drake, but I wouldn't know why. Perhaps it's that little nasty thing inside your Slayer she wanted to keep in check?"

Drake ponders on the thought. "Probably all of them reasons plus more, but ah well... As long as I can keep Kurai, I'll be happy." Drake turns off the taps and begins to clean the dishes, making sure they're spotless before he dries them. Staking them up like they were buildings to a city.

Noriko helps him dry, and when they finally finish, Noriko sighs.

"I hope we can get some good off time before the big event happens... ...hmmm.... ....I wonder if Aoi's going to be ok?"

"We got two days to kill, I'm sure we can find some fun stuff to do. And as for Aoi, she can handle herself, but I do agree, I hope she's ok."

Everyone please proceed to the Address Hall. The voice of Azula rings in their heads.

"Oh great... I wonder what they want now." Drake sighs and wonders to the Address Hall with his hands in his pockets.

Noriko walks beside him, and they walk up a flight of stairs, and two guards wait at the door. "...Is he supposed to be with you?" The guards ask cautiously to Noriko.

"Ah don't worry about it. White won't mind." The guards reluctantly stand aside.

"Come on Drake, let's take our seats?" She grabs Drake's hand and guides him out to a balcony, where White, Torrent, and Toma are already seated. White looks at them for a moment, then sighs and waves her hand dismissively. Noriko seats him right next to her throne, and the one he ends up sitting on is one that has on its back inscribed, 'Darkness'.

Drake looks at the others with a slight confused expression in his face and tone of his voice. "Umm, may I ask what we're doing here?"

Noriko leans over. "White is going to address the organization. We're here just for show more or less."

"Oh ok, that's easy enough..." Drake sits up straight and keeps quiet, seemingly intrigued for what White has to say.

White rises, and it's then that Drake notices the troops below, which to his rough calculations could easily be well over two million present. She looks over them for a moment.

"You have all done well these past few days, and we have dealt decisive blows to the enemy! While it is true that we have suffered great losses these past few days, in the end, it is they who crumble, and they who will beg for mercy. The Mythos have long been suppressed, and come only a few more days, a new era graced by the power of God will begin, in which the humans have learned their place and the Mythos finally command the respect we deserve!

Before that happens, I would like to reward you loyal followers of Phoenix with a two day's grace to rest and do as you wish. But be ready for the final confrontation, in which we demonstrate the true power of Phoenix! The False Ones shall be crushed, and the Desecrators and Sinners shall burn! Glory to the ever burning fire, in which all shall be reborn in pride and victory! Glory to Phoenix!"

Her words are met with the army's cheers.

"For some, there will be missions left to complete before they may partake in this grace period, but rest assured my believers, the Eight Slayers shall be rekindled soon enough! Our power shall never falter!" She bows, and the crowd cheers once more, and she waves her hands over the crowd, and slowly they begin to dismiss.

"Well, that was certainly impressive White." Drake takes a sigh of relief. "Finally, I get to get away from this place for the time being... So, are we to return after the grace is over?"

"That is correct. You must return after grace period, to fulfill your end of the bargain."

"Ok ok... Hmm." Drake's eyes shift over to Torrent's tower, he gets a little glint in his eye as he looks at Noriko and subtly tilts his head. Giving her the notion about the prank.

She silently follows him out of the Address Hall. "I wonder how fast we can get away before Torrent notices," She whispers.

Drake smirks as he enters his Aura Dragon form, now back to it's normal red colouring since Corruption is sealed away. He pulls out two pink spray cans and walks towards Torrent's tower. "As fast as lightning, and besides, I have a way of getting away without a hint of trouble..."

Noriko chuckles, before changing into her fairy form and grabbing a can, covered in that ball of electric yellow light again. "Let's do this!"

"Alrighty then..." Drake flies to the top of the tower and notices a door, hovering towards it, he manages to pry it open and slip into the tower. Holding the door open for the small yellow light to enter, Drake takes a second to look around.

The room is all grey, with a single grey colored bed and a ton of bookshelves. On the top of one, a glass case with a strange knife catches his eye. But other than that, the room is really dull.

"Ok, we'll do a room each and meet in the middle, got it?" Drake shakes the can and starts spraying the room they're currently in, making sure to to paint the knife. "That blade seems way too important for-- Wait... Is that a rib?! Jesus that's unsettling..."

Noriko while blasting the area with pink giggles. "Yep that's 'the rib' alright. Long story short, Torrent used his own dead brother's ribs to kill the peeps who killed his family. Kicked their ass if I remember it right. He doesn't use it anymore though, the thing IS old.... ...and gross."

"Yeah, you can say that again... Anyways, this room is done, let's move on." Drake moves onto a different room and starts spraying every little thing.

Noriko joins him, merrily blasting everything in sight, even slyly aiming at Drake a few times in her mischievous glee.

Drake chuckles and sprays the end of Noriko's hair, laughing afterwards. "Hmm, pink tips... Suits you."

They manage to spray the area, and break down into a spraying fight, after which, they quickly run out of pink and they begin to head out the way they came, and Torrent stands in the room, arms crossed.

"Oh... Uuum, hi?" Drake quickly tries to make excuses. "A ghost possessed us?" A forced 'innocent' smile appears on Drake's face as he nervously looks at Torrent.

Noriko suddenly whips out a pink can she had kept hidden and flies right up to Torrent's face and begins blasting his face with pink while rapidly orbiting him, giggling the whole time. She runs out, laughs and lands on Drake's shoulders.

"Ok now we can run."

"Yup, we hope you like it!" Drake laughs as he narrowly flies past Torrent, weaving and turning past the towers in an attempt to confuse Torrent. After a moment, Drake looks at Toma's tower and smirks, snatching the spray can from Noriko. "Might as well leave our mark." In the brief time Drake has, he sprays his signature all over Toma's tower before spotting Torrent and flies off again.

"Great plan and all, but how do we make our get away?" Noriko asks.

Drake stays silent for a moment, obviously thinking. "Hmm... I hope you have an idea how... Because I don't."

Noriko lets out a tiny sigh. "So where to then? Earth? Somewhere else on Fantasy?"

"Let's just explore Fantasy for the time being, but first we need to get rid of Pinky McFluffytins over there..."

"I got this!" Noriko flies up to Torrent and begins annoyingly buzzing around his head, and he tries to angrily swat her, when she finally zaps him with a lightning bolt.

She flies back to Drake as Torrent begins falling. "That should give us.... oh about ten minutes to get some distance."

"Awesome... I owe you one someday. Hmm... Let's fly West." Drake flies up and turns towards West, and speeds towards that direction, looking back at Yosai. Drake smiles and takes a sigh of relief. "These two days have to be worthwhile..."

Tension Edit

All of Yosai Fortress is absolutely swarming with activity, the Seven Avatars stalk among the countless rooftops, and millions of soldiers are actively marching, not one place isn't being directly observed. A host of more than a thousand soldiers occupy the courtyard leading to White's Tower. The security of the fortress is at high alert, with the fortress shield at full strength, and the tower of White's is protected by a powerful Spiritual Barrier. As soon as White had been brought back, the organization had been preparing fully for any sign of an attack.

Either due to divine grace or some form of luck, a mysterious figure wearing a lab coat arrives at the fortress relatively unnoticed. He looks around before checking a large bag enblaisoned with a red cross. He puts the bag away, storing it in an unknown space before walking deeper into the fortress.

Once he arrives at the courtyard, the soldiers immediately turn and draw their swords, and overhead the Seven creep their giant heads into view, various half human half animalistic growls emitting from them.

"Identify yourself!" A lead captain barks, a heavy tower shield raise infront of himself, with a glowing sword of fire.

"Oh, I apologize," the figure says,bowing politely. "I am a wandering doctor that detected a potential patient... I do not wish to cause any harm if that is what concerns you." The figure raises his hands in a nonthreatening way.

"A likely story. No one is to approach the Mistress until she is well again. She already has a healer tending to her."

"Is that so? Tell me good sir, do you wish to ne the one responsible for White's untimely demise because you were too blinded by fear to allow a trained medical practitioner to aid in the healing process of your Mistress," counters the figure, annoyance present in his tone, "I'd hate to be in your position if the lady found that you hindered her recovery process... With that said, my offer remains on the board."

The captain glances at one of the Avatars, a glowing dragon of pure light, and it responds with a growl, then looks towards the tower. After a few minutes, the creature turns its head towards the figure. A consciousness reaches towards his mind, seeking to inform him of something.

She has sent an emissary to investigate your intentions.

The figure nods almost absemtmindedly. A small smile forms on his face and his posture becomes relaxed. "I appreciate the favorable response."

The doors open, though the barrier remains in place over the tower, and a woman with red hair with black tips and red eyes, and long red dress walks out, and silently looks at the figure, her mind easily accessing his and judging his honesty. After a long review, she narrows her eyes, and the barrier over the door opens.

"Come with me, but foul tricks will earn you no favorable advantage here." She says with an edge to her voice. Inside the tower there are even more guards lining a vast grand hall all the way to a series of double doors at the back of the hall. She turns and walks inside, but stops at the end of the hall, waiting for him to come inside.

Ah, an interesting entity. It seems I was correct in my timing. I wonder of you can hear this, fair lady?

"You wound me, milady! If my purpose was to cause harm, I would not be here," says the figure, following after the lady in the red dress. "My word is as heavy as my life in situations such as this."

She stops at the second door, and a barrier that had been invisible flickers and disappears, revealing White's extensive quarters. They walk into a central large bedroom with a ceiling higher than most giants could aspire to grow. Around a decorated bed stand 5 figures, one closer to the bed than the other, channeling healing magic. All five look towards the figure, a cautious light in their eyes. Some of them part to reveal the wounded White.

Her clothing has been moved aside, showing her graceful figure, but the most promient visible feature is the large gaping hole in the lower section of her chest stretching down near her belly button, the outer edge of the wound heavily burned, as is the inside, yet curiously it doesn't bleed. The healing magic is slowly healing the wound and preventing bleeding, but it's very small and minor healing. The reason for this becomes apparent as he steps closer, strong negative and postive energies are disrupting the healing magic.

As if a mask was removed, any cheer the figure displayed is replaced by a cold, business-like expression. "Explain the situation," orders the figure, addressong the healers, "I want to know everything, ranging from the wound's origin to why her recovery is being hindered." He glances at the lady in red. "Madam, could you inform the ones guarding this fortress to expect another guest? Her... 'unique' nature will be of use."

Her eyes narrow, and she stiffly nods.

The girl healing White looks over at him. "White was engaged in battle with our enemies, and was out maneuvered by a traitor of our organization. He possessed a strange power that whenever we bring the issue up, she referred to as 'Dual Nature'. From what I can gather the wound is being prevented from being healed by the residual energies. They appear to be spiritual in nature."

"I see," comments the figure, "Seraph will be needed after all. Until my assistant arrives, please restrain White as best you can. Something for her to bite would also be benificial." The figure summons his bag from thin air and removes several strange tools and devices, one of which emits a disturbing aura.

White manages to lift her head, her eyes slightly out of focus. "....Just who are you.....?" She says through her pain.

The figure smirks as he picks up the tool woth the strange aura, a circular stone tablet with a small indentation in it. "I would not speak if I were you, Lady White," replies the figure, "Nonetheless, I am Volmond Blatt to you, milady."

"Why is it that you're here? To foil all of our defenses and only be seen right at my front door.... I doubt anyone would trouble themselves with a fortress of this kind if they didn't have their own motives. ....What do you really want?" She eyes the tool with the aura with strong distrust.

"I wonder," says the doctor before chuckling, "Milady, your health is my primary concern at this moment. I may have an ulterior motive, but it is of no consequence unless you want more than being restored to your prime. Just accept my generosity before I have half a mind to rescind it."

The moment Volmond finishes his sentence, a young woman no older than twenty enters the room. Her hair is almost completely white, save for a black patch near her face. her eyes are covered by a black cloth while a white cloth is held around her neck. she wears a simple white dress with what appears to be ink staining parts of it black, oddly forming a split heart shape.

Volmond regards the stranger with a glance. "Ah, you've arrived Seraph." A faint nod is all the doctor is graced with.

White looks at Volmond with great caution, but slowly lowers her head and closes her eyes, and one of the 5 offers a brace, which she slowly bites into.

Azula... if he does anything.... .....you know what to do.

Try anything and you'll be the one to suffer, both of you, White.

Volmond mutters something before sliding a stony scalpel from the stone he held, revealing the true nature of the disturbing aura: the feeling of absolute pristine purity and cleanliness.

"White, this will be painful but not nearly as bad as what will follow," warns Volmond as he delicately touches one of the burned areas with his blade. "I'm going to scrape away all of the severely damaged tissue, which will probably feel agonizing. I also should warn you, you will bleed a lot, though I expect your healers to mitigate any blood loss while I work. At the same time, Seraph will begin siphoning away the clashing energies within you, which will not be comfortable either."

The doctor makes eye contact with the healers, confirming their roles before he swiftly, yet meticulously scrapes away the severely burn and otherwise damaged tissue from White's injury. Simultaneously, Seraph materializes a ball of swirling black and white energy on the same wavelength as the energy hindering White's recovery process, slowly drawing the negative and positive energy towards the ball floating between her hands.

"Blood Loss," barks Volmond.

The girl healing White is already blocking the blood from pouring out.

"Vitals," demands the doctor, "How's she holding up?" Not waiting for an answer, he continues with his precise, delicate and swift work.

Seraph continues to draw away the conflicting energies, now slowly seperating the ball into one of negativity and one of positivity. Volmond gives the girl a faint nod before he puts away his scalpel.

"Here comes the difficult part," he sighs, "get ready because you'll have three jobs for awhile: keeping her stabilized, reducing her pain and keeping her blood within her when it tries to vaporize in a moment."

The girl looks at him almost incrediously. "Vaporize? What are you planning to do?"

"An extremely advanced healing spell that takes nine people to properly cast," he responds, grabbing what appears to be a thermos of sorts and handing it to the girl, "Drink that, it'll sharpen your focus."

Without another word, Volmond starts chanting in a foreign language and begins to glow with bright darkness. A moment later all of the elements appear around him and form a brilliant ball of blue light. Volmond looks at the ball for a moment then thrusts it into White's injury.

From the ball erupts the sensation of burning in magma, being pierced by icy blades, being crushed and suffocated by the earth, being ripped to shreds by the wind, being drowned, being electrocuted, being gnawed on from within by darkness and being caressed by a loving light. n He senses her drawing on Aether energy to boost her effectiveness instead, and seems to be keeping up well, placing her hand on White's forehead to more properly channel her energy.

"You're probably the best assistant I've had in years. You're the only one whose been this prepared," admits Volmond as he glows a myriad of colors. Soon afterwards, a clone of Volmond emerges from him and places his hands on White's heart.

"Regulation of heart rate in progess," intones the clone mechanically.

She stays quiet, focusing on her work.

A second clone of Volmond appears, followed quickly by a third and forth. The first of the second wave of clones moves to White's forehead and places his hand over the girl's.

"Stabilizing and Amplifying brain waves."

The second clone of the three places his hands above White's lungs.

"Regulating Oxygen intake."

The third moves to Volmond's side and places his hands over White's stomach.

"Reconstructing damaged organs and tissue."

The girl takes a breath, and a faint green aura surrounds her and channels her Restoration aura into White.

Volmond's last four clones appear and swiftly move into position around White. The first touches White's collar bone.

"Reestablishing Nervous System and Sensor Network." Immediately after stating this, each clone goes rigid then speak in perfect unison.

"Guardian of the rebirth, we invoke thee. Mold our flesh into a form befitting power unmatched. Beginning full body restoration and modification."

At once, each clone shatters and coalesces into a shining light that envelopes White entirely, intensifying the feelings the spell initially wrought and causing her body to superheat. At the same time, Volmond is drawing sigil after sigil in the air, while Seraph continues to drain away the last of the clashing energies.

"Blood vaporization," warns the doctor.

She responds quickly, and one of the figures that had been standing back steps forth, a cold air sweeping from him, helping her cool White.

"Gradually," instructs Volmond as the light subsides, gradually merging with White until all that's left is a glow present on her form. "White, on a scale of one to ten, one being unbothered while ten is in excruciating pain, how do you feel?"

"I would say five. Then again, when one becomes the center point of a supernova, one tends to adapt to such pains." She says quietly, removing the object in her mouth.

"Good, that means you are mostly recovered and adapting to your new form," Volmond explains, "Try not to exert yourself for about two days, understand?"

"New form...?" She asks, her eyes becoming more focused.

"I wonder," asks Volmond, a sly, but not malicious smile forming as he puts away his tools and sends Seraph on her way. "See for yourself, milady."

She looks at her self and is slightly alarmed. "Why have you done this?" She says with a controlled sense of wonder and alarm mixed evenly in her voice.

"Boredom, because I dislike the hero always winning, because it was the fastest way to heal you, because I enjoy watching people's reactions. Pick from any of those, they're all true."

White closes her eyes, crossing her arms. One of the five brings her a black body suit, and helps her into it, zipping the back shut when finished, then placing a pearl white chainmail over it, then helps White back into the bed.

"What is your ulterior motive in all of this? Such things as this never come without a price tag.... the world is not such a charitable place."

"Simple, don't keel over too soon or else you'll end up broken like Seraph was," smile Volmond, "As long as you give the 'heroes' of this story of yours hell, I won't have any qualms with you or your misgivings."

White blinks, then sighs. "Very well.... leave me be, if that will be all then. Your assistance was.... appreciated." She rubs her forehead.

"Wait, I'll name my price if I am required in the future," he says. "I want her to act as my permanent assistant, she's rather well trained." He points at the girl. "Also, a parting... gift." In an instant, Volmond closes the distance between himself and White and plants a small kiss on her forehead before completely vanishing from the area physically.

Remember that charity, kiddo. I won't forget it.

White closes her eyes, sighing. "The beings that roam this world.... ....truely I tell you, Silent Angel. I believe secretly everyone is absolutely nuts, and we're all just living in denial of it... ....only way to explain that happens I guess."

Silent Angel bows. "Is there anything you would command of us?"

White waves her hand. "Not at the moment. Nezumi, Azula, remain here. Everyone else is free to go. The organization has earned itself a brief respite."

The other CE's leave the room, leaving the girl that had helped heal White, and Azula in the room.

"My lady?" Azula asks calmly.

White lays her head down and looks at her. "Yes?"

"What do we do now?"

White slowly closes her eyes. "Rest. In a few day's time.... we begin anew. Until then.... rest."

Fate is not moving on my side... these long years will have been for naught. I fear that the time for Kado and I to fight and decide this battle may come too soon, and leave him or I dead... or even both. The family line remains uncertain.... ....For the sake of the organization.... I may have to take initiative to secure the future of Phoenix...

Kado... become stronger.... ....your destiny demands it... and mine... demands I continue the line.

Two days.... ....We have much to do.... to prepare. We have....

But one month....


"I wonder," asks Volmond to no one as he returns to his place of dwelling across the dimensions, "Does White realize that she's missing a tiny fraction of herself or that Seraph was truly unneeded in the operation because I could've removed the energies myself? I guess I'll find out when we next meet..." The doctor chuckles to himself, materializing a  small vial filled with "positive energy,"before vanishing completely.

The Heavenly Encounter Edit

Not long after White finished her recuperation did another being disturb the militaristic order within Yosai Fortress. It was a day like any other, the armies of the fortress patrolled their normal routes on the ground while the Elemental Warlords stalked from high above. Everything appeared to be within the ordinary until...

A mysterious humanoid being manifested in the middle of a patrol squad in a storm of angelic feathers. Unlike the previous intruder, this one did not seem to fit a distinct role or position, rather he appeared to be a simple tourist. The figure looked at each of the soldiers, boredom flashing across his turquoise eyes, before speaking.

" I have been sent to request a favor from a being referred to as 'Lady White,'" he says in monotonous yet soothingly musical tone, "Where would I meet such a person?"

The soldiers look at each other. "You with that Volmond then?" A captain says shortly.

"Indeed, though something tells me there is something amiss here," replies the figure, "Did my creator do something strange?"

"What is it that you want with her?" The captain responds.

"To request a favor regarding Volmond's temporary assistant while he was here, as he put it," answers the humanoid matter-of-factly, "For what reason he wants this person, I do not truly know nor do I care to know."

The captain sighs with irritation. "Talk with White about it.... her quarters are at the central tower. Make it quick."

"Thank you," says the humanoid as he walks towards what he assumes is the central tower. "Also, do not rush. Your lives are short enough."

He walks in, into the grand hall of the tower, towards the double doors a throne of sorts sits at the end, where White sits looking down at a book, silently reading. At her side is Silent Angel and Azula, who both step slightly in front of White.

"Identify yourself." Azula says shortly.

White looks up slightly, and sees the being.

"You serve Volmond, is that correct?" She lowers her head back towards the book. "I can tell, you smell of him."

"I do not take orders from beings such as you," hisses the humanoid at Azula, his eyes flickering golden for a split second when he narrows them at her. He then turns to White and acts as if nothing happened. "Indeed. I am Volmond's creation, Helios Avant or Heaven. My creator has sent me to request a favor from you in return for what I assume shall be a future service. I do not care whether you accept or reject what Volmond asks for, only that you hear it so that I may return to him without hindrance."

"What is it that he wants? ...Though I feel as though I may already know."

"That makes you wiser than most then," affirms Helios, "Though I do not understand why he would want an assistant, I do not care either.Ah, I must tell you formally: My creator wishes to borrow his assistant from his prior visit in order to do something. What that something is, I do not know nor do I care, as previously stated, but it may have to do with the appearance of Forgotten Realm of the Gods."

Her glance goes to Azula, then back to Helios.

"She was placed back into stasis shortly after I recovered. Understand I have no desire to freely hand out my creations. I do not just willingly give such things out to others, even for Volmond, who offered me a service such as he has. I've already lost one of them to outsiders, I am not keen to part with a second. Their creation is not a simple, inexpensive, or quick affair. And for her case, I especially am reluctant. It takes time to create random variations of genetics, but for that specific being.... will take a long time to replicate. And time is something I am not willing to leisurely give."

She closes her book, making a resounding echo through the hall. "I will say this one thing. Perhaps I was desperate in my pain. But I do not trust your master. I will not so easily cow and blindly agree to such arrangements. I must have definative answers, and nothing less. I am no one's pawn, and I will not give a favorable answer until that point that I am satisfied. It was with great reluctance that I accepted his aid, and it shall continue to be so that I view him with caution."

Helios bursts out laughing and does not stop for several minutes. The moment he does, however, he smiles with an intrigued look in his eyes.

"Finally," he exclaims, covering his eyes with his hands. "Finally a person who doesn't just agree to that bastard's terms the moment he asks for something! Even gods have fallen prey to him because of how 'favorable' he acts in their presence. You, however must be special in some way for him to drop his ploy or admit that he has secondary goals." Helios' smile widens and his eyes fade to gold. His voice shifts and grows more melodious in nature as he continues. "White was it? Judging by your appearance, you're in your twenties, but your bloodline tells me that you are older. Additionally, you are a member of Phoenix, the leader, but you aren't the first White, rather a descendant. 

" I won't question your choices nor your origin, but I will say this: be warier of Volmond. He's probably already gotten what he needs from you, but he respects you enough to ask for something... Strange considering how he rarely asks for anything. Then again, the fact that he did not come himself means that he is preoccupied with something he deems important. That also explains Asteria's orders... Hm? Oh, it seems I lost myself. My main point is don't trust Volmond, at least not beyond a certain extent. I may not know his scheme, but I know he will not betray you without a reason to do so." 

Immediately, Helios' eyes and voice revert to normal as he watches White's reaction.

"...I see. My instincts are rarely wrong. Tell him of my response and that I will accept nothing less than a straight honest answer. ...And I have the means to ensure that I know the difference."

"'Kay," responds Helios, "I'll call him." His eyes change colors once again, this time a static green filled with numbers and symbols. He holds out a finger for a moment, then pulls it back as his eyes glow brightly.

"Volmond, White wants answers I don't have... No, I did not attack her or her annoying tool!.. Yes, I was diplomatic and no, you cannot speak through me! What!? You don't pay me to begin with, asshole!... Don't you bring Asteria into this- Stop changing the subject! You know what, NO! I will NOT Relay your message, you can do that yourself because I completed my task! I don't care that you created me, you know for a fact that I want to kill you for harming Asteria!... You know what, I'm done. You solve your own damn problem, I did what I was asked to do and the answer was no. You come deal with this!... Oh, you will? Good," Helios acts as if nothing happened before addressing White. "He'll be here in a few sec-"

Before the humanoid can finish his sentence, a disheveled Volmond warps into the room accompanied by a large desk covered in dusty books and ancient diagrams written in long forgotten languages. The doctor himself looks to be in less than perfect condition. His hair is a tangled mess and dark bags circle his reddened eyes. His coat sleeves are rolled up, revealing dozens of patch's with coffee cups printed on them attached to each arm. Various papers protrude from various pockets on his person and the pair of glasses he happens to have on are askew. The doctor sighs and closes the book in his hand.

"What do you want to know and be specific," he intones tiredly, "I have six-hundred different things at the forefront of my mind and thousands more in the back, I have no more coffee or tea(I need to steal some of Chaos'...), a headache and a realm to prevent from collapsing and destroying the Aether, Nether and opening Tartarus. Please ENLIGHTEN my to what you want, dear lady."

"You seem to have already provided some answers... ...What is it that you want with Nezumi? My creations are not something I can release into the world without great caution. The last time with her predecessor has left a sour taste towards me willingly allowing them to have autonomy, especially in the presence of beings like you."

"I have many enemies, and many who might seek to undermine my ambitions. I cannot readily trust anyone's word. Those who can easily get past my fortress's defenses and already come with knowledge of me have earned even greater distrust."

Volmond shoots an annoyed glare at Helios, who only smiles.

"I want your mousey friend's aid in a project of mine. It is not something I can explain in the short amount of time I have, but I can explain her would be duties," he sighs raggedly, "Essentially, I would need Nezumi to cast an extremely powerful, dangerous spell at the exact moment that the Void of Stars, the Forgotten Realm of Gods, is disconnected from this plane of existence. The spell itself is this." He gestures to the mess on his desk and waves the book in his hand. "While I can handle the research and preparation, I will be too taxed to actually cast the spell without some sort of unneeded repercussion. At the same time, Seraph, Heaven and Asteria will be busy severeing the realm from this plane and whatever else that entitles doing within the Void of Stars. That's where Nezumi would come in: Actually casting Grand Schism to keep the realm detached from this one. Of course, I would need to explain to her what the spell is and what it requires in order for her to understand how crucial it is. The longer you wait, the worse off it will be for you and your enemies, not just me. If the Aether and Nether are destroyed, there will be massive dimensional destabilization initially, something that will worsen once Tartarus spews into the world and releases the Olde Gods back into this plane. Worse though is what will follow: Everything will be brought to the realm of Nonexistence, where even the slightest of missteps will lead to your soul and body being devoured and unable to reincarnate or worse, you will become a dredge to the Lord of Inverse who will make permanent death feel like a pleasurable release from the suffering you will face at his hands. " As Volmond says this, a haunted look passes through his hazel eyes before they darken and he regains his composure. "White, I know you don't trust me. That's a given. Even so, why don't you trust me for now? I'll even throw in a few freebies like Kokua and my True Name."

White closes her eyes. "Azula. Silent Angel. Remain here." She glows white for a moment, then disappears.

Silent Angel and Azula look at each other, then Azula looks at Volmond. "She has gone down to the place where she keeps the others in stasis. She may need time, depending how fast Nezumi fell to sleep."

She closes her eyes for a moment. "She's coming back."

White appears in a similar flash of light, already sitting down once more. A mechanical noise can be heard as part of the floor next to White's throne opens, revealing a metal capsule with cold air pouring off it. A metal panel opens up, revealing a glass sort of display window with the girl that had helped him in the procedure inside. A metal device is being attached to the side of her head, being inserted behind her ear and shaped like black feathers, with red detail. She appears to be still sleeping, but on verge of waking.

Volmond remains silent before engulfing Helios in black flames without a glance towards the humanoid, who glares murderously at him before vanishing with the flames. He sighs, but a faint smile has crept onto his lips. His posture straightens and he smiles strangely at White.

"While she's stirring, I'll answer one or two questions," he says as the papers on his desk and in his coat begin to shift and move around while ink spills from a hidden ink well. The ink disperses, forming black globules that float above the desk, then spins into a ring.

Her eyes seem to harden, as she brings her hands together and lays her chin on her hands. "Why don't we start with what happened those few days ago. Particularly... .....I practice and utilize many sealing techniques. To seal entire souls along with the consciousness of the being, and refine them into the power of our Slayers.... an awareness of the soul is necessary. The reason I accepted your help partially involves my suspicion that you could have taken what you wanted, regardless of my consent. My point is. What is it that you're doing, drawing from my essence?"

The machine finishes attaching to Nezumi, and it slowly seems to be charging an energy, red lights slowly turning on.

"You wouldn't believe me if I told that it was to revive a person dear to me, would you," asks Volmond, his eyes remaining dark and unreadable. "It matters not and what's done is done. Of all the things to lose, you lost the least important part of yourself. You didn't lose your entire body or your life source. You also haven't suffered enough to understand my reasoning so telling you is rather pointless."

A strange smile crosses her face. "True... I suppose one could say I haven't suffered anything. Of course, it is impossible to claim such a thing without first being me. Both the light, and the dark, are equally capable of deception. It's a common misunderstanding that light is pure, and dark is corruption. The light can distort and produce something apparent, but if one were to touch it, it is only a trick of the light, as they say. And that of the dark, that is obvious enough. It obscures, and few know how to delve into its depths and not lose themselves. It is a complicated affair..... is it not?"

Her smile is rather tight. "I wonder which is more obvious that one is hiding something? The man in the shadows, who is veiled to all, or the man who can stand in the light, yet still none knows him?"

"The better question is do the people wish to know either," says Volmond, "It may require some effort to see beyond the veil, but do people really want to know that the person that they've demonized is actually someone forced down a harsher path, but wants the same as them? Or that the person they've deified is corrupt to the core and simply wears a pristine mask? People are cowards, they stick to what they've grown accustomed to and stave off change because it may destroy what they've deluded themselves with. Those who branch from this are the ones who change things, for better or worse. I wonder where you stand in that regard." Volmond matches White's smile as two rings of black metal form beside him, one at each shoulder.

The glass slides open with a hiss, and Nezumi's eyes slowly slide open, looking at White and Volmond.

"....You.... awoke me...? My lady....?" She says sleepily, her head rolling to one side to look at White.

White looks at the rings, eyeing them with caution.

Volmond only smiles.

"Good day, Ms. Nezumi. How are you feeling?"

She turns her head towards him. ".....Sleepy..... ....Why are you here....?" Her eyes try to shake off the sleep.

"I temporarily require your assistance, madam," Volmond replies giving a quick, but dazzling grin to her and White. "If it alright with you and Lady White that is..."

White's eyes slide toward Nezumi, and Nezumi goes ridged for a moment, before closing her eyes for a moment. "I see. I understand, my lady." She slowly leans forward, and tentatively walks out of the pod, which closes behind her and retracts under the floor, the hole disappearing.

White looks back at him. "I would not have brought her forth if I had decided against it. Do not abuse this inch of trust I have allowed this time." Her eyes narrow slightly.

"I was seeing if you were having second thoughts, milady," Volmond replies, losing his smile before the murderous intent in the area spikes drastically and black flames erupt from around the doctor. "I do not plan on allowing any harm to befall Ms. Nezumi and should anyone attempt to harm a hair on her precious head, I'll butcher and mutilate them until nothing remains of their miserable existence, not even their immortal soul." With that, the murderous intent vanishes along with the flames and Volmond smiles again. "Sound good, milady?"

"I see." She sighs. "Be on your way then. I have things I must do."

Volmond bows, then takes Nezumi's hand and teleports them both, along with his desk back to his base of operations.

Operation: Reclaimation Edit

White sits at the head seat of the meeting table, looking over Torrent and Toma, as well as Azula and five other CE's, including Nezumi.

Torrent sighs. "So what's this about? Why are these CE's here?"

"That's a very good question. We have lost too many members as a result of defection. We have to put a stop to it. Therefore I am instigating a new policy of retrieval of all defection members."

"We shall recapture Aoi, this will be the responsibility of all of Eta Squad here, and Azula, who shall hence forth be their leader. We shall reclaim Noriko, whose duty to be reclaimed falls to you, Torrent, you shall go with one of the Eta Squad members I have designated as Kagerou." A white haired CE with a devious smirk bows.

"Your hero is at your service." He chuckles, and Torrent groans. "Great.... a idiot who deludes himself into thinking he's the hero."

"So you wish to dispute my worth? Very well, we are rivals for the title of hero."

Torrent's eye twitches. "I think I liked dealing with Noriko more."

White shakes her head in irritation. "And as for Naomi... Toma, you should be more than capable of handling her, right?"

Toma nods. "What of Kado? Will he not prevent it?"

White closes her eyes. "On that note, I'll be preparing something special in mind for him."

"...Then there is the issue of Daikeim. He and Drake both made clear their intentions. So now I will consider his actions worthy of retaliation. Silent Angel. Remember what I said?"

"....Yes ma'am. Do you wish me to carry it out?"

"Not yet." White smirks. "You'll be getting a special partner to deal with that issue, soon enough."

----

A mechanical voice sounds in

<Doctor, the process is moving along faster than expected. The Infinity Unit and Burst Unit will be complete within the hour. The Infinity Burst Unit, Overdrive Heat Unit, Infernal Sword Unit and Arthurian Units shall be completed within the next ten.>

Volmond looks up, "I see. In that case, continue the modification of Gaea. She has been giving too much lip as of late." 

<Affirmative.>

-------

The assembled members of Phoenix gather in the courtyard, and Torrent, Kagerou, and Toma depart.

Silent Angel looks at White.

"What was this special partner you mentioned?"

The Battle's AftermathEdit

Nanashi reappears in White's office in a luminescent bloody mess, critical damage present over his entire form. His eyes flicker between several colors before he collapses.

White sighs in irritation. "You went and well, went nuts. I told you to be careful damn it. ...Whatever... Nezumi, get to work on him right now. This needs to get dealt with as soon as possible. I'll talk to him personally when the moron wakes up." Nezumi appears, and with a heavy grunt lifts him up and begins to take him down to the lower levels.

Several hours later Nanashi awakens, his eyes no longer blue. Instead they are emerald in color. Additionally several black lines have formed on his face and his armored form has lost bulk. "All information processed and updated... Huh, seems like I overdid it, though I got a few new tricks as well." He stretches and assesses his condition. "And I'm mostly recovered, minus that attack to my neck which hasn't recovered or worsened at all..."

A hand pushes him down onto the operating table. "Please, sit down while I finish. I'm almost done." A girl in front of him says, with white hair with red tips. "My name is Eta Nezumi 365. White ordered me to see to your repair. It appears you've taken damage to your central unit, she wanted me to tend to the issue at once. May I see your neck?"

"It may not be that easy... The damage has remained the exact same, which tells me it may be an unnatural injury," he says, but turns over to give her access to his neck nonetheless.

The girl feels the damaged area, using her Aether manipulation, also using her hands to lightly press the area to determine the type of damage.

The injury is cursed, preventing even high magic from restoring it completely without heavy reprocussions. Other than that, the damage is decisively pinpoint.

"Alright then... White, instructions?" Disable him and ready him for surgery. Here is the code...

The girl, Nezumi, looks at Nanashi. "Nanashi, instruction: Self Shutdown, Authorization: Valid. Unit to Respond, Nanashi Lambda 096."

"Duration, until activation code authorized."

"Terminal Error in Shutdown Process, Force Rebooting Mainframe," drones Nanashi as his eyes dull to a dead grey, then glow a faint green once every five seconds.

Nezumi sighs, and lifts him into a containment pod, and it closes and seals him inside, automating Nanashi's brainwaves and functions to minimal required levels to keep him alive, sending him further down in the depths of the fortress. It receives a signal, where the pod arrives at a secret chamber at the very bottom of the complex, deep below the crust.

White is waiting. "So many times I have overlooked your actions... so many times I let things slide... ...but you crossed me for the last time... I don't know what you were planning with that curse... ....but you should have left it with Naki and Shinwa... the Archangel was the last chance... now... I think it's time I took something too."

The pod opens up, and White injects the contents of a needle into Nanashi's veins. "If I can't have him... ....you won't either... ....say goodbye to your brother's soul... this time forever. System, prepare to devolve subject Nanashi Lambda 096, reclaim all genetic material. I may as well recycle."

The pod disappears again, into the hidden machinery where the facility begins a painful process of removing Nanashi's organ, while stripping his body of the valuable Lambda genetics, the injection beginning a painful slow burning away of Nanashi's identity.

"I have no use for trash..." White says, disappearing. "I will simply find another more suited to my goal..."

Something strange happens to Nanashi as the process continues, his armor and form dissolves into light particles, ejecting all foreign matter. He reforms outside of the pod, his hair darker and his eyes a bright green.

"Damn you're impatient," he grumbles, his voice and mannerism distinctly different, "I was rerouting the data network to work at optimum efficiency when you shut down all of the core processes. Anyways, I'm not simply trash, nor am I a moron. You try getting punched across a solar system, then absorbing the data of a thousand extinct species and see if you're in one piece directly afterwards... Anyways, Legna is highly incapacitated. He won't be interferring unless someone effectively fuels him with a star or is willing to sacrifice their life to undo the seal I put on him... Which I doubt will happen unless your other side is that altruistic or someone actually owes him their life."

White appears again, though very transparent. "You're alive. So much for self satisfaction at getting back at him myself... ...regardless." Her voice is now harsher as she says the last word. "I believe I told you to ask of why Legna was intruding in the fortress, did I not specifically tell you that? I would have been fine with him being, I don't know, knocked out for a while... I didn't ask for you to make him a corpse. What exactly did you do? And also, why are you alive? You're becoming just as much of a liability as that foolish Epsilon."

Nanashi chuckles darkly.

"He was acting out a role that he was apparently given a long time ago, though he was also checking up on you and Nezumi," he says, not caring for the change in tone, "And I didn't kill him, I beat him into next week and severely weakened him if that's what you mean. I also read his memories, learned his strengths and weaknesses and copied all but two of his abilities. As for why I'm alive, blame my Units and absorbed traits. Also, try having the hardiness to survive being blown clean through six planets and the ability to naturally dampen damage from all sources thanks to your body developing layers of interweaved scales rather than layers of plates. Any other questions?"

"....Role....? Tch... and checking on me... and... Nezumi...?" Her voice is agitated, though in what exact way she keeps guarded.

"Yeah, Role. I'll let you figure out what that is," he says, "And yes, he was checking on you and Nezumi outside of that role- at least he was trying to until I interrupted him." He has something more to say, but refrains from doing so when his hair reverts to normal and his voice and mannerisms return to normal. He rubs his forehead, "I get the distinct feeling someone tried to off me... That's not really something you should do... Oh, I'm back at the fortress, I must've blacked out after I sealed Leg's abilities."

Her gaze maintains its potency. "It isn't a wonder. After all, you have always been a wildcard with your remembering. Something I am not pleased with in the slightest. If I was wiser, I would have rewiped your memory the first time I saw it coming back. You're not predictable, and that is too dangerous to allow. My point stands with you escaping me 'trying to off you' as further proof of that. So in that case, I ask you, what am I to do with you now? You're not an idle threat I can ignore anymore."

"Threat, me? As much as I find your actions disagreeable and confusing, like your care to an extent for Legna despite him crossing you on purpose or not or you allowing Epsilon to escape only to have us track him when you could have bugged him and found out what you wanted likewise, I'm not really a threat. A wildcard yes, but with my luck, both amazing and terrible, it's to be expected," he says as his eyes shift to an annoyed golden color, "As for the thing about you trying to off me... You've seen that that will not work out the way you want it to. You could try again, but I really doubt that's a good idea, even with your abilities in tandem with the Light Slayer. Your best bet is to let sleeping dogs lie, better than them waking up and snapping at you for disturbing them. That and I'd prefer not to fight or be imprisoned, I'm at the point where I can't necessarily say things won't backfire because of my luck or an accidental oversight oversight. Plus getting punched through a planet or six is not enjoyable, nor is converting your lungs to allow you to breathe in space..."

Her eyes seem a much stronger red than usual. "I hate him," White venomously hisses. "He has taken the basis of my research away from me, and so vexingly sided with my former positive half! He has even volunteered to help my enemy bring me down... grrrrrrrrr...." She turns away from him, a strong desire to destroy... anything really emits from her aura.

"Please leave these chambers now, lest I lose what little temper I have yet to hold back... it would be unfortunate for you and your brothers and sisters if I were to have an... ...episode...."

He shrugs, phasing to the top of a tower, "He's really after the person he refers to as Goldie and did try to mend things..."

"Hmmm... don't know anyone named 'Goldie', but I CAN say that trying to reason with a woman is like trying to reason with an erupting volcano." A voice says from behind him, and a yellow cloaked man is floating on his back with his hands behind his head in a relaxed position. He chuckles for a moment upon Nanashi seeing him.

"I reckon dear Vol's probably more pissy than a goose right now."

"Actually, he's about ready to perform mass Xenocide, but he should be cool down by the time he can do that," he quips, "That and I've met nicer erupting volcanoes... That being said, he's referring to you when he says or said Goldie. He also thinks that your boss is probably going to eat her own words at some point or that she's really going to royally screw herself over." He shrugs. "His words, not mine."

"....My.... boss.... ....fraid I don't know what you're talking about there... eat her own words? Screw herself over... fraid I'm not quite clear on that... define 'boss'. Besides, I'm not the sort of person you can just... kill... destroy... which ever works for you..." The figure chuckles.

"Frankly, Ol' Vol doesn't quite know enough about us to really be stepping into the field... could be covered in mines you know..."

"Eh, you'd be surprised at how quickly he picks things up," he says, "He means who I'm assuming to be White Cloak. He considers her loosely to be your boss. As for you, his plans don't specifically go into killing you, more so him booting you into some plane filled with White Noise after he has a 'talk' with you about White... And next time, he probably will use the full extent of his power, not the basic stuff to prevent his opponent from learning his really dangerous stuff."

"Well, he certainly blew plenty of chances to have a 'talk'. Like the time I was o so busy building a world and about two billion souls from scratch... and I'm afraid the only advice I can give at this point is to look in the damn shiny mirror. You even know who I am, boy? And yes, I'm calling you a boy, my boy to be specific. No I'm not your father, but that's a pretty close description to... our relationship... maybe I'll give you a treat if you guess right." He laughs for a moment, but his mouth becomes visible, and the grin fades to a frown.

"But seriously though... it's so damn typical, little arrogant brats like you and your brother..." His frown is slowly evolving into an annoyed scowl.

"I would jokingly say that you're an estranged uncle, but you're far closer to the creator of all Chaos Engines, explaining why White's control is listed as secondary," says Nanashi, closing his eyes and  massaging his forehead, "And yeah, Vol is arrogant, but he's also willing to get things done, even if it damns him further. Me, I'm emotionally drained and borderline raving thanks to the amount of information I'm processing at this moment, the process having reset when White ordered a Force Shutdown... Out of curiousity, how old are you? I'm still trying to figure out how much of a living dinosaur fossil I am."

The figure chuckles. "I don't know how old you are, or at least, the person that was you. How old you were doesn't matter to me. But biologically, all CE's are more or less by nature almost eternally young. In a sense. I wouldn't usually pick old dying men for a specimen. Not exactly the best base material... as for me... well... I predate White the Fifth's reign. If that tells you something, there you have it.

But by arrogant I mean you prattle on and on about your power, with no real understanding of who you're talking to. I ain't one of those chumps you're used to. Question, how would you like to be squished between two planets the size of Jupiter?"

"Define squished in this context specifically and I'll give you a valid answer," says Nanashi, continuing to rub his forehead, "As for 'my power,' I don't really care about it beyond the ability to get what I need to get done complete. Sure I like a couple of the new abilities that I got, but I don't care much as of the present. That being said, If I were to put effort into it, I wouldn't be a 'chump' myself. I do not fancy myself an invincible being or a god of destruction as you seem to be implying I think of myself. I see myself as a book with no determined number of pages because the story or whatever message within has yet to be complete." 

The figure makes a small laugh. "An excellent way to look at one's self. I like that. 'A book with no determined number of pages, because the story is yet to be complete.' That's many things right there. People, Time, Fate, History, it's a good thought. I like that very much." The figure sits up, then stands up.  

"Listen, I want you to tell your brother this. And for him not to forget it: Sure. I done wrecked up Shinwa's life. The optimum way her life could have gone got broken. Big time. Yes, I lied. I'm not gonna defend myself, only offer one of those cryptic phrases, in the hopes he gets the bill."

The figure sighs. "Few can see the true extend of the timeline. Us, we can see it just fine. But we ''don't ''see everything. We're not all knowing, but to say we are limited would be disrespectful. We know many things, Nanashi. For instance, what if, just a stretch though, the end of the world happened because what has transpired in this world never happened? What if, in the grand scheme of things, White becoming what she is today, Shinwa and White, was the better outcome, not for her, but for the world?  

Again, I am not justifying anything. But I question his right to judge, frankly. And you know what I'm kinda sick of? Do you honestly think, that I take pleasure in destroying peoples lives? I do not. In fact, lately I've been trying to help poor unfortunate souls. They really disliked my help, but let me ask you something. Disregarding what has happened in the past, was it not I who coaxed Volmond and Shinwa into a position where Volmond wouldn't have to go through the loss of someone he loves? If it weren't for me, Shinwa would never have had to go through this. That's true. But I say to him, don't ignore the gift I offered to him. If it weren't for me, Shinwa would not have been saved. She would die, alone, hated, reviled, and doomed to have her soul judged. In the end, she has a chance of happiness, because I gave a damn. Now I say, 'get the stick out of your damn ass and be grateful for whatcha damn have'."

"You're almost preaching to the choir," Nanashi sighs, "Vol's... Shall we say driven... That's a nicer word for it. Long story short, he got the short end of the stick one too many times and sort of, basing this on his memory here, lost the person who was most important to him thanks to some sadistic interdimensional jackass that apparently eats gods. Long before that, he became so disenamored with other people that trust and loyalty became the two things he justified his actions upon- before he added revenge and logic to the mix for an interestingly volatile yet stable cocktail. His real basis for his anger towards you is based on... Huh. This part of his memory is completely obscured despite taking place here a few days ago... There's a dark figure then everything blacks out until Shinwa and White split... 

Anyways, he's not really angry about your actions resulting in the split, but because of what you told her that led to her current lifestyle- Well previous at this point. Indeed he's not looking at things with logic beyond his plans to revenge, in fact it seems that for one reason or another he would have been happier... Not meeting her because- Oh gods no! Enough!" Nanashi jerks backwards, his face suddenly redder than a beet. He summons a stone and smashes it against his forehead before spraying himself with frigid water. "Did. not. Need. To. See. THAT!"

"Well-" He stops and starts laughing with an insane degree of cackles. "Daaaaaaaw, it seems like the elder brother is a bit, 'sensitive', ehh?" The figure cackles mockingly.

"Ahaha... ahaha... eehhhh... yeah. Ok. Done now. Anyway. Like I already said. You can't be sure what events cause what to happen. Ultimately, it may prove that while indeed I did a cruel thing, won't lie, it may ultimately prove that my actions were what was right for the world. And you can tell him, again, to get the stick out of his ass and be grateful for what he has. Everyone loses something. Sometimes they never get it back. But maybe he should consider just how different things are, and just how much worse life could have been. Who knows what possibilities exist? But I'll tell you now. If he's looking for me here, I only show up for official business. Otherwise I'm out there somewhere, doing whatever I please. If he wants to play cosmic tag, fine by me. But I won't be treating him to any respect, and he can forget about a 'talk'. I have no desire to speak with an arrogant fool who's so self righteous they're blinded to any form of reason. If he is not going to relent, I won't blame him, yet ever shall I regard him as a toddler crying over spilled milk."

The figure turns his back to Nanashi.

"Fine by me... I'm beginning to see why I was called the saint of he family," Nanashi says to himself before dropping from the tower, landing on his feet lightly upon touching the ground. "Such indecency... Gah!"

Oh, before you ever get any ideas, Nanashi, understand that if you disobey White, if you've managed to break free of her, that I will deal with you. Play nice, ok? It would be a shame if I had to.. ...discipline you.

You're telling this to the person who would rather talk his opponents down than fight. As for White... I make no solid promises for once I'm fully restored emotionally. I can say I will try, but I can't guarantee that everything will be idealistically smooth or realistically without issue.

Oh, yes, and I can also control you, in a much simpler way than with those little organs of White's... ...so don't get cocky kid... I could make you do the waltz or the goosestep for hours and you'd be helpless... ...or maybe as punishment I'll send you some... indecent images. I hear someone's a saint around here... *chuckle*

I wasn't being cocky, only making a statement based on my most recent interaction with White. That and I do not know whether or not part of me will be bitter or annoyed once my emotions return. That is the basis of my statement... Also, what are the waltz and goosestep?

There is a depressed air from the figure's mind. That's... depressing.... on so many levels... you know, I might just convince White to have CE's have a proper education system... ...that's just sad. Me, the great and mighty ---- is depressed... congratulations.

... I apologize?

I mean really, come on, my own creations, dumber than bricks, don't even know what a dance or a army marching technique is... pitiful... and I thought I was was impressed by your knowledge of sigils, now I'm just impressed you can know that and not know what a dance is...

I've never liked dancing, so I didn't apply myself to anything except Samba nor did I learn anything besides that and Baroque, which I was forced to learn. I was never interested in the military or fighting either.

The figure disappears.

Well, it looks like I'll have to deal with another fool besides that Drake... only this one is less reasonable and more powerful. An Almighty Idiot, one could say... well, whatever. If he comes after me, well, I have my own creative measures as insurance...

Nanashi shrugs before contacting White.

Unless you have something you require me for, I'll be heading to Earth again, I need to arrange a few things and gather few resources that'll benefit the fortress.

What exactly are you arranging, and what resources do you mean? She says irritably. I dislike your anonymous behavior...

The first thing is more of a show don't tell type of deal, you would have to see it to believe it. As for resources, I noticed a lack of shielding and defensive options for the top and underside of the fortress so I'm getting a few things to alleviate that, namely Galtite and Adamantite and a few other choice metals along with a device that may or may not be useful depending on whether or not it still works and works the way I believe.

.....Very well... ...damn that brat is still crying.... I can hear him from here... so annoying...

Nanashi sighs, I'll handle that after I get back from the sunken continent... Besides, not everyone is like me, who didn't care about the transformation. Wasn't really doing much with my humanity at that point anyways...

He warps out of the fortress in a phantasmal burst of energy.

----

Several hours later, Nanashi reappears in beam like flash of blue and gold light. I'm back. Is Nageki still crying?

Good. You're back. You can help by getting a bucket or a few hundred. I swear the kid has two modes. Deathly quiet and Hurricane Season. In other words... DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE DAMN BRAT BEFORE I CHOKE HIM!!!

...Please take a "Chill Pill" and do something else like listen to music or draw or write... He warps to Nageki's room. "Hey Nageki, not ignoring what happened to you, but you need to really calm down. White's hanging on by a thin thread and you don't want to be on her bad side... That and crying won't solve your problems, you've gotta cope with what you are or life will be worse than a living hell. You've gotta be strong, how else are you going to impress your big sis?"

"Big... sis...? But... they... she... took her away, she never came back! I'm... I'm... ...all alone now..."

"You aren't. Your sis is still alive, she's just not here anymore thanks to a certain person... If you can stay strong, I know you'll see her again... Miracles like that are possible."

Nageki blinks incredulously. "How can I trust what you say? What if you're lying to me? I... I..." He bows his head, too exhausted to continue even crying.

"What am I.... what did you even do to me...?"

"I give you my word that I do not lie. If I am, may I be struck down by a stray meteor," vows Nanashi before sighing, "I did something I didn't want to do... I made you like me to an extent, minus the power to do terrible things like I can... I'm truly sorry for changing you. You can hit me if you'd like, I won't defend myself or avoid."

"....Sis... I hope she's ok...."

"Last I heard, she was going to school but worried about you too, kiddo. In better circumstances, I'd offer to deliver a message from you to her, but I can't with Rancor White breathing doen my neck as if its her personal territory and scratching post..."

What do I care if he talks to his sister? Not my problem. Can't let you take him to her, that's just asking for trouble... anything to stop the damn crying.

"I've been okayed to relay a message from you to her, so if you have anything you want to write or say, prepare it."

"Well... I... ....I want to know if she's ok, how she's been, what she's been doing... and also that I miss her...." He hugs himself and starts looking sad.

"Anything else, Nageki?"

"I....I don't know... I just really wish... I could see her..."

"I'll see what I can do, within reason. I can't take you to her or vice versa without a mark being placed on my head by White... I'll be back soon, until then try not to cry."

He nods quietly, and tucks himself into the sheets and curls up.

Nanashi vanishes in a beam of blue and gold energy.

----

Nanashi returns to the fortress, his Ether now dissipated. he gives White no return message, instead walking to Nageki's room and knocking on the door.

"Come in," Nageki says quietly.

He enters the room and sits down.

"Good News, your sister is doing alright," he says, "She said that she misses you and that she loves you. She also wants you to be strong until she can see you again."

Nageki's eyes glisten, but he says nothing, covered by his blankets. "Nanashi....? Do you think... we'll ever be free?

"It won't be easy, but yes... I'm mostly free myself, but I have a bigger, more tedious boss to worry about as opposed to White."

"A bigger boss?" He asks.

"Mhmm, someone with more power over me than White did. That's all I can really say abut him."

Nageki sighs. ".....I'm... ...hungry..." He mumbles.

"Then let's head to the mess hall, I haven't eaten... Since a few days ago actually," Nanashi shrugs before leading Nageki to the food hall.

There is food laid out, and at the far end of the hall on the opposite side of the table, White sits, eating quietly, then looks up.

"I figured you two would be coming in here." Toma is also present, eating some noodles.

"I'm not really here for myself, only to make sure that the Kiddo gets a good meal," says Nanashi, "That's the good thing about being me, among things."

"Well since you're here, you might as well eat as well. Don't make this a debate."

"Already doing that,"  he says, having already gotten and eaten several large plates of food. He downs a glass of black and white liquid, then some sort of green shake.

Nageki quietly picks at some meat, then slowly starts eating, while White largely seems uninterested in them.

When he's done, Nanashi readies his plates for cleaning then, with wings of gold and blue energy forming, launches himself into the sky upon leaving the cafeteria.

White carries her plates to the kitchen, a door across from her. After washing them, she sighs, and walks to her bedroom chamber and closes the doors.

I need a nap... too much nonsense....

Several minutes later an explosion rings out, followed by a loud roar followed by a "No, bad! Stop that Neptis!" which is met by another roar. Several minutes after that a loud rumble is heard and there is a spike of elemental energy. Shortly thereafter, White senses a barrier forming around the fortress and noticible decrease in outside noise.

When White appears, there is a dull red, and her hair seems slightly messy.

"You know the saying, 'let sleeping dragons lie'? You should really try not to make so much noise when it's nap time..." She half growls, grumbles, and yawns.

"What are you even doing?"

"Setting up the additional defenses. I didn't expect Neptis to be so volatile or demanding... Luckily that issue has been solved. In other news, look at the sky. You'll notice the slight grey tint. That's a tertiary level of shielding that negates unwanted entry via teleportation or outside attack for the most part. I also gave your military the metal I had refined to upgrade their gear and boost their performance in battle fourfold with no strain upon themselves... Now, go back to sleep if you're tired, I'll be working out the chinks in a few things."

With a quiet sight, she disappears back into her quarters with a puff of smoke.

"If I hear one more explosion, I'm going to eat someone...." She growls as she buries her face in her pillow. And thus irony plays its cruel humor as an explosion goes off in the kitchen.

"......I think I'm going to have a snack now..." She growls.

Nanashi sighs, "Just ignore it, you'll feel better later if you do. I'LL check up on it, you get in some rest."

A tail and dragonic horns are visible. "Maybe just a little bite...? Besides, they're always screwing things up..." She grumbles.

"Take. A. Nap. I swear, you and Nanairo act the exact same," sighs Nanashi as he enters the kitchen. "Alright, explain yourselves before one of you gets eaten by your boss."

White partially bites into her pillow, but lays down.

The two servants, one covered in soot, numbly stare at Nanashi. The not so burned one glares at the obviously exploded one.

"The idiot, in his glorious wisdom, thought it would be a good idea to put a container of gasoline next to the oven." He snarls.

"I see. Don't do that again, seriously. You were three seconds from getting killed because you survived," he tells the soot servant before looking at the other servant, "If you aren't already assigned to a task, properly educate him on the do's and don'ts of the kitchen and keep him away from flammable objects. Also, please don't make another loud noise or make me come back in here within the next few hours..."

"Oh trust me, I have no intention of letting him be in the kitchen again. Ever." He says with a scowl at the blown up servant.

"Good enough," shrugs Nanashi, leaving the kitchen.

White is now asleep, though very uneasy, her bite on the pillow lessened.

Nanashi messes with shield he installed to the fortress, eventually adding in a wavelength scanning function, preventing entry if one is not in tune with the wavelength or does not no the password in the event that they aren't a CE. He then meditates, drowning out the world as he synchronizes with the elements and Ether. He doesn't realize that his shadow is rapidly expanding and warping as his consciousness fades into the information and elements.

Below the fortress, the active Etas are assembled among their sleeping kin, pale silhouettes of their brothers and sisters lying in sleep in the containers they too once slept in, keeping them company.

Sukimu regards them all with a quiet eye. "So many... Epsilons... Zetas, Etas.... ....how many are there, Silent Angel?"

Silent Angel rests his back against a wall next to a sleeping CE's container, the one right next to his empty one. He made sure to always check up on it whenever he came down here.

"....I believe the count was 2,545. As many as a hundred Eta, and probably one thousand Zetas and Epsilons each. As for the Lambdas... I'm not sure. White only made four, but since then there was... three more added in. So, seven Lambdas, I think."

A white haired male with dark blue eyes looks over at Silent Angel.

"How hard can it be to count four plus three? You need some help with your math?" He asks quietly.

Silent Angel sighs with annoyance. "When you're not being quiet, I'd swear you'd have a personality, Lyre."

Lyre merely laughs. "True I suppose."

Nanashi continues meditating until he reaches a state of total attumement and understanding. His shadow calms down and takes on the form of a large sea dragon before morphing into what looks like armor then a person before returning to normal. Nanashi himself gains a halo and peaceful aura as his clothes morph into something similar to a buddha's. He opens his eyes, which flare incandescently before settling on green. A serene, almost sleepy aura flows over the fortress as he leaves his meditative state and takes slow deliberate steps, moving silently and softly.

He walks by a black hooded figure, who idily watches Nanashi walk by.

Nanashi gives the faintest of acknowledgements to the figure as he walks, finally stopping once he reaches the fortress' edge. He lifts a hand slowly before gently flicking the air before him, releasing a pulse of energy that chimes like a bell in the direction of the ocean, but seemingly does nothing. All at once his clothes return to normal and the serene aura begins to fade.

"That takes too long to be used in a critical situation, I'll have to reduce the time spent concentrating," he says quietly, "Until then, I'll be limited to the other three forms and using the Units, Neptis and Noctis..."

The hooded figure walks up to Nanashi and looks at him. "You're one of White's pet projects, am I right? Got a name?"

"Nanashi, though I doubt I'm a pet, more of an experiment that went awry then corrected itself, creating a new purpose," he answers, "And you must be the new Dark Slayer."

The figure nods. "Pretty much. Think I noticed you earlier when I was... 'playing' with White."

"How's the arm doing? That didn't look pleasant, even with adrenaline pumping like mad," comments Nanashi, "Then again, I'm not one to talk. Older brothers are odd existences to their younger siblings."

The figure brandishes the arm as if it were never damaged. "Well, when you're a spirit and you can just make a new arm, doesn't really matter too much. Yeah, that is true. Though little siblings are wreckless little morons who think they know everything, and need a big brother or sister to set their sails in the right direction. Especially when it comes to my little brother. White's told me plenty about him..."

"We have the same issue then... Why can't they make things easy and cooperate the first time you ask for it?"

The figure chuckles. "Well, it would probably make our lives boring then."

"Some people would prefer that, but I see your point."

"Now if you excuse me, I think I'll... 'entertain' some guards...." The cloaked figure walks off.

"So that was a Negative Spirit... Well, not counting White," notes Nanashi as he contemplates how to reduce the time it takes for him to transform into his new form. "I'll call that Arhat... Theorectically, I could surpass that, but I doubt I have enough wisdom to instantaneously reach the state of complete Buddhahood... I'll have to meditate far more to reach that." He sighs, but not sullenly or dejectedly. He looks around before meditating once more, circuit like lines forming across his body as it begins to change back into his Arhat form... Only to stop short. "Right, Enlightenment cannot be forcefully obtained, only through the passage of time and many trials..."

White Cloak observes him from atop Yosai, and the other Cloaks assemble. "I knew he would become a problem... Yellow, your insistence in meddling with people's lives has finally bitten you and bitten you hard. You never take responsibility for anything."

Yellow just chuckles. "I do not fear a revenge driven mentally addled fool. It is the drive for revenge itself that will lead to his destruction. And to think too, that I was trying to help him, and he holds a grudge against it. Such childishness is unfathomable to me."

White Cloak sighs. "And that's exactly why you get in trouble. Because not everyone is capable of thinking rationally. Sometimes I doubt your own rationality."

Yellow Cloak sighs irritably. "Well, the month is on, and events seem to be going as expected. We've done a lot of tweaking and adjustments to prepare for this final last party, and I hope to see a resolution. It is rather sad that our eight seat remains unoccupied..."

Yellow Cloak gestures to the eighth, black seat in the room, and there is a sort of hushed air for a moment.

"Anyway, have a little faith. Events should get kick started around the time the girl returns from her trip to... ...the royals, and it's anyone's gambit if Kalin's gone a stretch too far this time. The covert operation should start soon once the rest of that amusing celebration gets back together. ...Unfortunately there's a few pieces we need to take care of. ...The two new born Lambdas and the renegade Sister."

There is rumbles of agreements, and they disappear, save for Yellow Cloak and White Cloak. "Don't mess this up, we ARE going with your plan after all, Eien."

Yellow Cloak chuckles. "Oh don't worry... I have... ...insurance."

"....You sensed it, right? The one beyond the time distortion?"

Yellow Cloak's aura tightens. "Yes... ...if that reality became easily detectable... ....then the chances of... ...that mistake being born is high... ...we must tread carefully, not make a single lapse in judgement when everything hits the proverbial moment."

White Cloak nods tightly. "This is your plan. Don't screw it up. For your sake..." The two disappear.

Nanashi looks upwards. "I felt as if I was being watched... Back to the issue at hand. In order to concentrate better, I'd need more information prior to the transformation in order to speed up the rate in which I could transform... Ah! That may work. White do you have anything in relation to all eight basic elements?"

...Specifically? Like a elemental power source or something....?

If it were portable and wearable, yes.

Well we have eight Avatars of elemental gods. I very much doubt you could drain their power significantly though. Or do you require an actual mobile source for the long term? In that case I could arrange something.

Long term, at least until I have fully comprehended the elements.

Then I will have the smiths begin work on something for you. It'll take about half an hour.

You have my thanks then. Nanashi goes back to meditating to pass the time until his conscious shifts planes. He if somewhat confused at first, but easily acclimates to the mental landscape. Three spheres are presented to him, again confusing him before he selects the middle one and is returned to reality. "I get the feeling that was important, but not to an extent I'm thinking of..."

Nageki exits White's tower, around his neck an amulet. He starts looking around for Nanashi.

"Hm?" Nanashi appears behind Nageki, no longer releasing an aura upon teleporting. 

Nageki holds out the amulet around his neck for Nanashi, it being made out of a gold with a strange iridescent sheen, and the centerpiece a large red gem with a vortex of elemental energy swirling inside. 

"Thanks," he says, accepting the amulet, "Now back to meditating..."

A guard approaches them.

"White wishes to inform you that you are to be Nageki's guardian. Train him, teach him, do as you wish with him, but you may not remove his implants. When White requests the child to be returned, he is to be returned. That is what she told me to say to you." He says flatly.

"Nageki, we're going on a trip," says Nanashi, "Get yourself ready."

"I don't think I really have anything... also... where are we going?" He asks quietly.

"An underwater ruin and possibly to meet a certain person. Get in some rest and pack some food."

Nageki blinks, then quietly runs off.

While Nageki is away, Nanashi begins to meditate once more.

Nageki finds a bag to put food in, and once he does, he quietly retreats to his room, where he lays down on the bed, quietly thinking himself to sleep.

While Nanashi meditates, he once again makes contact with the mysterious plane. This time the other two orbs merge with him.

The next morning, Nageki quietly gets up and wanders the fortress alone, stopping at one of the tiered walkways. He stares out at the ocean, silently thinking of his sister.

Nanashi ends his meditation the moment he senses Nageki is awake. He takes a quick shower then waits for the boy's arrival.

Nageki quietly returns to his room and grabs his bag, and slowly makes his way to Nanashi.

"Ready, Kiddo?"

Nageki nods quietly. "....Yes sir...."

"No formalities, physically I'm seven years your senior. Besides, I'm only deadly serious around people I dunno or dislike. Now, let's go." Without effort, he teleports himself abd Nageki to the Atlantic Ocean.

Formido ExquensEdit

One could say Yosai Fortress was rather lucky when the oddities began. First the appearance of the one who shattered logic, then the return of the Prodigal Son for a quick change in pace. Those truly affected would later claim to not know what caused these bizarre visits or what their aftermath was, genuinely confused by what happened in such a short span of time.

Maybe it was an act of irony or a shift in Karma that brought the first visitor to the fortress, a cosmic act of spite that came just as things began to settle down. One thing was certain: White would have a headache for a long time afterwards.

Vzark was wandering around still, still thinking about the fight, but eventually shakes it off. "Ugh, I don't even know what the fuck to do now."

"Thinking about something kiddo?" The voice of a young woman comes from behind him. "Maybe this old lady can lend you a hand or two~."

Vzark turns around to the unfamilar voice. "You...don't look very old. Who are you?"

"Just a wanderer," says the owner of the voice, a young woman about half Vzark's height with long iridescent hair and tattered tan cloak hiding the majority of her form. Her eyes are multicolored and constantly changing. "What seems to be the problem, kiddo?"

"...My current predicament is im not sure im that strong. One of my peers mentioned that any serious enemy would end up killing me. I need to become powerful." "I had thought that my powers were good enough but that doesn't seem to be the case"

"If that's all, I can help," the young woman says as she digs in her cloak and produces eight identical black bands and a harness of sorts. "Here are a few weights. They scale based on your strength and a few other factors. Currently they are as light as a feather, but once you put them on, you'll feel their actual weight for you. Oh, for your safety, keep the harness on." She quickly pecks him on the forehead. "There, a blessing. With it... Well you'll see."

On one of the high towers, Azula watches the scene, accompanied by Abeni, eyes narrowed as she sends an alert to White.

"Hiya young ones," says the woman, appearing behind the two. "Your Mistress should be here in a moment, no?"

Vzark was dumbfounded at the fact she just instantly vanished. "Thats the second time thats happened to me today....guess its just a normal thing around here." Vzark inspected the weights, intrigued.

The two wheel around, a fiery red glow around Abeni, while Azula's hair appears more flame like, both of their eyes distinctly more reptilian, and both of them appear distinctly agitated.

"Why are you here?" Azula says, the ground beneath her feet cracking from the increase of her Erosion Aura.

"Are wanderers prohibited from travelling here? I am simply passing through, though I could spare some time to play with you two before I greet your Mistress." The young woman rolls her shoulders and pops her neck. "Ah right, that's not healthy or something like that..."

"Outsiders are forbidden... especially after the last couple of 'friendly visits'." Abeni says in turn.

Azula doesn't move. "What is it that you want with her?"

"Nothing in particular, just saying hello, maybe having a cup of tea and discussing a mutual adversary and ally. Not really fired up, but if the passive aggressive stuff continues I can't say I won't get a little excited," she says to Azula, then turns to Abeni, "Eh, you should probably ask the guy who made the barrier around the fortress to reinforce it, kinda like a bubble in my opinion, but most things are fragile to me." She shrugs nonchalantly.

Suddenly eight figures forcibly land on the rooftop, each one a specific color, and a distinctive weapon. White, Black, Red, Blue and a very ice pale blue, yellow, brown, and green, all landing in a circle around them, then a fair dressed woman with a visibly irritated expression lands near Azula and Abeni, hand on her white sword's hilt, but isn't drawing it.

Soon after, twelve heavily mechanized humanoid beings of various size land next to her as well.

"Judging from your appearance, the level of power I can sense from you, and what you just spoke of, I wouldn't happen to be incorrect if I named you as 'Aeon', correct?" Her tone is significantly more controlled than her face, which is more visibly detailing her annoyance at this intrusion.

"Maybe, maybe not. You must be the dark side of the moon figuratively speaking. White, no?" Aeon shrugs again, not caring about the numbers. "Your civility is remarkable, but let's not use fronts, lying to yourself only makes you age faster and lose trust in yourself. That being said, you know what would happen if you started, right? Riiiight?"

"I'm rather disinterested in having my fortress reduced to atomic dust. What do you want?" She says evenly.

"Ask your two Chimera, I seldom like repeating myself outside of clarifying notions." Aeon glances briefly at Azula and Abeni.

White closes her eyes and walks off the edge of the roof, floating to the ground below with her wings without a word, landing at the entrance of her tower.

"I'll take that as an invitation for tea~. Please have more than green or black." Aeon appears on the ground in an instant before looking at the sky. "Hmm, someone who smells of this place will be here soon..."

White's eyes open in response, a little bit more red. "..." She silently walks in the doors, Azula and Abeni land next, though they wait for Aeon to move.

Aeon glances at Abeni. "You'll recognize the next one..." She continues onward.

Abeni and Azula follow her, Abeni narrows her eyes.

"So, how far up are we going?" Aeon looks around slowly.

They have entered the dining hall of the tower, White is already seated at the head, quietly watching as they come in.

"Not at all. The ground floor be your only concern." She says dully, though she shoots a glare at some white robed servants, who scurry toward the kitchen.

"Ah. Then continue onward introverted guide!"

She pointedly looks at the chair facing her on the other end. "Sit and talk. If you're anything like him, I'd rather keep you away from anything on the off chance you are more calculating than he."

"Like this?" Aeon sits where she is directed, biting into a whole honey roasted ham.

"Yes, like that." The two servants from before shakily bring tea and then just as quickly retreat.

"I see," says Aeon, cutting into a chocolate pecan pie, having eaten the entire ham. "Want a slice?"

"No. I don't eat when I'm angry. Except the people that make me angry. But since that isn't an option, I choose not to eat."

"That's nice," shrugs Aeon, downing the tea after a glance. "Now to the topic at hand: Is your relationship with him continued or halted, dear girl? Regardless of that answer, what can you really say you know about him aside from whatever amount of his past he discussed with you?"

White's expression clearly fortells her upcoming sarcastic answer. "Well if I was in a relationship with him, that would make him a cheat. But since I'm not, no, and I rather have grown writhe with him, taking my things, not once, twice, but thrice, I am kin on at least making him 'aware' of the cute little butterflies in my heart toward him... the ones that origin from hell."

With a slight growl, she sighs. "Elaborate upon the second question. He is very much distinctively under an impression he has a task that only he can succeed or fulfill, and he to my eyes, is foolish by burning more bridges than he builds."

"I see, something we agree on," nods Aeon before continuing. "To be clear, do you know the full depth of his strength or the number of bonds he has? Have you seen the deepest section of his internal darkness, the part from which a great power stirs? I assume you know of the Inverse and their emperor locked in the space between universes."

White brings her hands together and rests her chin on them, looking at Aeon quietly for a while.

"One of the many burned bridges sits before you. I don't think there really is a strong bridge between my other half and him. If he is how he is the last I remember interacting with him still, then he keeps his peace. I don't think either two of us know what all is in there. I know she does but, I do not care about it.

And yes, considering one of my creations had to defend me from what I am told is its Avatar, or one of many. ...And considering the other time when..." She closes her eyes.

"Yes, I know of it. ...You could say it is... ...one of my repurposed goals... ...but you are a stranger, and one I'm not keen on giving any trust, so my motives are none of your business." White seems to have collected herself, seemingly more on a business minded mindset, or at least more focused and less anger.

"I'll be frank: I couldn't care less about your motives, plans or goals. None of them directly correlate with me and I really have no interest in the upcoming conflict you'll be a part of if that's what you refer to when you say 'my business'. So long as you refrain from doing anything utterly foolish on such a scale that I'm forced to appear, I won't. Besides, you already have enough things to worry about from what I can tell and I'm not fond of kicking a lame horse while it's down." Aeon blinks slowly. "If I were you, I'd avoid looking too far into the Inverse lest you draw their Lord's attention and the consequences that will bring to your doorstep... I'd also suggest keeping his brother civil with you at the very least. He's special in a way that could change the future you may be expecting for better or worse and keeping his potential enmity as low as possible. I've seen greater gods than I fall because they incited his wrath slightly, entire pantheons obliterated from a small indiscrepancy. To be honest, I can fight him to a standstill, but that is easier said then done in my... reduced state as I am currently." Aeon stretches her arms upwards and sighs. 

White just shrugs. "My enmity for him is already at critical. He should expect retaliation, especially after all the setbacks I've had to deal with because of him."

"In this case it's his enmity that's more concerning. Go after him all you want, but beware the dark eyes of a dark mind... Oh, the other has arrived. It's about time for me to depart then." As suddenly as she appeared, the tiny goddess vanished without a trace.

The Heart of Yosai Edit

-+The tower in front of them is over ten times as large as any of the main towers, and even taller than the rest of the fortress. The entrance is well decorated, with huge marble doors.

"This is the main tower..." Nezumi says quietly, still being dragged.

"I wonder what gave that away..." Vzark walks up to the entrance, opening the doors, and heading inside.

The inside is a massive main hall with a central dining table, with many doors on the sides, with one giant set of doors behind a white throne.

"Far far far far top right..."

Vzark heads over to where Nezumi directs to, entering the room.

The kitchen he finds has pretty much everything and more, even stuff he has no idea what to do with is in there. Everything is a shiny, clean, perfect white color, or just very shiny and clean.

"Jesus Christ, I guess here's another reason why its "White's Kitchen"

"Funny." Nezumi says dully, finally righting herself.

"But yeah, I have no idea where to start....hmm" Vzark goes over to a bowl of fruit, picking up an apple. "Try this"

She tilts her head in confusion at it.

"Just bite into it, and chew"

She bites it slowly.

"It wont hurt you, I promise, and it is suggested to put an average amount of force into the bite if you want to get a desirable piece of it."

She appears to chew on it very slowly, biting another piece every once in a while.

"So...do you like it then?"

She doesn't respond, still eating. She has just now nibbled off half of the apple.

"...Just tell me when you're done with that and whether you enjoy it or not." Vzark begins looking around the kitchen, thinking of various things he could attempt to make.

She can be heard nibbling for the next twenty minutes.

Haler finds a absolutely gigantic supply closet with countless ingredients, and further in he finds a massive walk in freezer, with countless types of meat.

"Maybe I could make a steak....probably medium well since shes new..." Vzark starts gathering ingredients and the meat to make a steak, and heads back to Nezumi.

She can be seen nibbling the last portion of apple.

"Now that you're done with that as an opener, lets see if I can fgure out how to make something proper..."

"Crunchy. Moist. Semi Sweet, Acidic Element. Minorly acceptable. Still hungry."

"Im making something called Steak, so after you eat this you'll probably be full. Its completely different from that apple you just ate"

She watches him with a blank stare.

After a while, Vzark finally finishes and has two plates of steak in his hands, one for him, and one for Nezumi. He sets them down, and hands her a knife and fork. "I do hope you at least know how to use these"

"What are those?"

"...They're eating utensils. You use them to cut food and eat without using your hands. Just watch" Vzark grabs his knife and fork and starts cutting into the steak, placing the piece into his mouth, and eating it "Simple and effective, really"

She tries, and slowly begins sampling the food.

Vzark doesn't say anything and continues eating, waiting for Nezumi to finish or say any response.

Her inital reaction is pained. "Hot!"

"Yeah...it was cooked pretty well so naturally it'll be quite hot at first. Probably best to let it cool down a bit"

Nezumi makes a wrinkled nose expression at the meat.

"I take it you don't like it then?"

"Hot..."

"Try and let it cool down then, blow on it if needed too"

"..." She sits there, starting to look at the meat with boredom.

Vzark gets up and starts looking around, finding vast amounts of ice cream in a freezer. "Jesus christ....well, theres a lot so it shouldn't be too noticeable if some is gone..." Vzark gets a bowl and a spoon, and takes out a scoop, bringing it over to Nezumi.

"What is that?" She asks suspiciously.

"Its called ice cream. Cold, but usually has a distinct flavor and is quite sweet"

"..." She starts trying the meat again after a few minutes, and seems to eat it a little bit faster, then when finished, turns her attention to the ice scream, unsure of what to do with it.

"Use the spoon to scoop out some ice cream from the bowl, and then just but it in you mouth. Its best not to chew on it, but instead just let it melt"

She quietly starts eating the icecream.

"So what do you think?"

"Head hurts. Sweet. Head hurts. Hurts. Ow. Ow. Ow."

"Yeah, don't eat it too fast, or you'll get something called a brain freeze. No, your brain does not actually freeze, you just get a headache that goes away soon."

"Ow." She is holding her head. "Food hurts."

Vzark lets out a slight laugh. "It only hurts because you don't know how to eat it correctly, just eat cold foods slower and be cautious with hot foods. Fruits and Vegetables are fine, and don't really have guidelines. Ice Cream is usually great though"

"..." After she finishes the icecream, she sits quietly.

"It may seem like a weird concept, eating that is, but what do you think?"

She regards him with quiet eyes. "...What is the point of this?" She asks in her quiet voice.

"The point of eating or showing you all of this stuff?"

"...What are you trying to accomplish?

"...Well, I just want to see if I can get you see life as more than sleep and servitude......... You only see life as those two aspects, because thats all you do. I just want you to at least try these new things before writing your life of as only for servitude and sleep."

"Why do you care about that? You have nothing to gain by influencing me."

"Hey, if we're going to be working together as a team, I don't want my partner thinking that all they have to life is servitude, and always wanting to be in eternal slumber. What I have to gain is a person I know I can rely on, as well as a friend"

"...Friend?"

"Well yeah, are the others not your friends?"

"...What is friend? ...Are you questioning my capacity?"

"What? No, of course not. Im sure I can rely on you as an ally, I just want to know if I can rely on you as a friend, and whether you even want to be a friend. A friend is basically someone you can associate with, and be somewhat open to them. A much more reliable and trustworthy ally."

"Irrelevance toward the original question. How does food and 'fun' relate to friend?"

"Well unlike allies, friends generally share experiences with each other that they usually don't forget. Allies fight together and support each other, and friends do that too, but they also just talk to each other, explore, have fun, and are always there for each other. Even the simplest things can be a huge event between friends"

"........" She stares at the empty icecream bowl. ".......I don't understand." She seems to have a blank expression of confusion.

"Friends get each other more ice cream"

"..." She gets up silently, and begins to walk off. "I am sleepy... I will be around later." She says quietly, walking off.

Vzark gives a slight wave runs his hands through his hair after shes gone. "Jesus fucking christ."

Nezumi returns below, and for the first time she can remember, her sleep is fleeting and fitful.

Vzark leaves the kitchen, hoping that he had made at least some sort of impact after everything.

Nezumi continues to sleep for the next hour.

Vzark in the meantime feels a gaze on him after he leaves the main tower.

Vzark quickly turns in the direction of where hes sensing the gaze.

A black cloaked figure is gazing at him from one of the arches.

"I assume you have something to say to me?"

"You're that new kid ol' Nanashi helped with some training, eh?"

"Yeah that would be me. Why do you ask?

"Just checking you out. Name's Kake. I was talking with Nana earlier, in case you need a refresher."

"Oh yeah, I remember you. I never got to properly introduce myself. Im Vzark."

"I know. I heard it before. And I find what you're doing amusing."

Vzark squints. "I don't see what's to be amused about"

"It's like life back at the village almost. The little boy trying to befriend the little girl... touching."

"The "little boy" isnt too keen on being compared to a child in a village. But fine, whatever you say. Why do you care about it anyway?"

"It's amusing to see beings like you engage in such fair."

"I assume you mean the fact I'm a Chaos Engine. How does that make my interactions any more amusing?"

"It is funny weapons of war still hold a desire for normalcy, even if they are accursed creatures..."

"If we weren't meant to have such desires then I doubt we'd be mentally capable of them"

He shrugs. "Doesn't matter either way."

"So....I assume you know Nezumi to an extent. Why is she so....distant?"

"That's how White made her. She was made, not born. From my understanding she is a clone of a chaos engine no longer alive, though I have heard speculation that she is now alive. She was made to be an absolute obedient being, with no desire or wants."

Vzark clenched his fists, clearly angry, but he holds his tongue. "...I see. Is there a possible way to change that?"

"Heh heh, not my place or my interest. What am I, the relationship specialist?"

"Don't patronize me, and besides, you don't have to be an expert in something to give a slight bit of advice"

"You're a man, be a man, and tough it out. If it's something you care about so much, find your own solution. Understanding people is the best way to understand how to handle them. I don't know, just try something. I'm not a thinker, I'm a doer, ok?"

Vzark opens his mouth to say something but stays silent. "...Okay, I suppose you're right. It does make sense"

Kake shrugs, before sniffing.

"Icecream?"

Vzark doesn't show any signs that he knows what Kake is talking about. "What?"

"I smell icecream on you." He pauses, then starts laughing. "Oh you poor sod. When she wakes up, you're going to be in so much trouble."

"But it's just ice cream, right? There's nothing special about it"

"The ice cream is White's. ...She's kind of a mega bitch about it."

"Out of all the things, it had to be ice cream... come the fuck on...and the might be a mega bitch about it because people call her a mega bitch"

"Keep throwing that name out. You're digging deeper."

Vzark growls, clearly annoyed. "What are the chances of her brushing it off?"

"If my sister is anything like I imagine, she will likely leave you with a few broken bones at minimal."

"I just hope you have a dramatic imagination then...."

"Nah, she once swatted me really hard... frankly she killed me when I tried to stop her from joining Phoenix in the first place."

"Sounds like quite an interesting sibling to have"

"Interesting that you aren't questioning anything I've said. Not that it's false, but I expected a bigger reaction. In any case, good luck with your little girlfriend." He vanishes.

"She isn't my fucking....and he's gone. God damnit..." Vzark walls off again, clearly more irritated than before.

After Vzark is out of sight, he reappears, chucking, then begins staring off into the horizon.

Vzark finds Kagerou and another Chaos Engine, this one a male with an impartial look on his face as he fights Kagerou. He appears the eldest of the Etas he has seen thus far, easily twenty or thirty.

Vzark sits back againt a wall and watches the fight, clearly examining the way they both fight.

The stranger is much more defensive and quiet, while Kagerou is proactively attacking and trying to taunt him, to no avail.

"I wonder who that guy is...." Vzark continues to watch the fight, somewhat rooting for the stranger.

After a while, the two stop. "Good work today Kagerou." 

"Hmm. You too, Silent."

"Silent? So thats the guy I heard about earlier. He seems.....unreadable almost."

He turns quietly toward Vzark. "...."

After a moment he speaks. "You're Vzark."

"Yep. And you're Silent Angel I believe"

"Correct."

"So whats your role exactly? You seem to carry yourself a little more than the others"

"...I aid my brothers and sisters."

"That would seem like a general thing to do, but fair answer."

"What is your role?" He returns the question.

"I'm still finding that out currently."

"What is it that gives you drive or reason to move forward?"

"...Perfection, success....power. Im not sure why, but they seem to drive most of my motivation"

"Hmm... not exactly what I was hoping for."

"Am I inclined to know what you were hoping for exactly?"

"All three things are understandable to want, but it worries me. Many a man is consumed by such desires."

"I would think we're more than average men, I doubt it will consume me"

"Don't be so sure..."

"Hmph. I guess aiding your brothers and sisters is quite accurate then if you give advice like now"

"Not everyone is perfect Vzark. Remember that. Even the best of people can be corrupted when they check themselves."

"Maybe, but if you try to be perfect, you'll at least have a large and strong goal to go by"

"Hmm." He looks off, then begins to walk away.

"He's nicer than Lyre, but just as serious. I guess that's a plus"

There is a slight chill as he says that.

"Let me guess, Lyre is behind me?

Kagerou laughs. "No. But he did hear you."

"Of course he did. Well it's true."

The ground gets really cold beneath his feet.

Vzark walks off the cold spot. "Jesus christ Lyre, just chill out.....unintentional pun."

A large ice spike erupts where he was standing, his foot gets trapped inside it.

Vzark rips his foot out the ice. "Does he always do this?"

"Yes. When the icy people get mad, it's usually bad. Heh, that rhymed."

"Indeed it did....How come he doesn't freeze you for saying that?"

"Because you told him to chill."

"The pun was unintentional!"

"Yeah he doesn't care. It's best to just leave people like him alone."

" Of course. I'll keep that in mind then. I wont redact my earlier statements though."

"Hmm, then duck and roll to the right."

Vzark growls and quickly ducks, rolling to the right.

A massive ice boulder smashes where he was just moments ago.

"Either he's actually pissed, or he's testing you."

"Lyre doesn't seem like the kind of person to be pissed at one unintentional thing." Vzark starts focusing to sense where any attacks would come from.

Nothing happens. Meanwhile, Nezumi wakes up, unable to stay asleep.

Vzark keeps his guard up and stays alert. "What about Silent Angel? Is he always so serious?"

"Oh he's always quiet. He's a nice guy, when he's not brooding."

"I guess the name Silent Angel fits then. How often is he brooding?"

"Whenever he is silent."

""Considering Silent is in his name I assume that's often."

"Doesn't need to be said..."

"Meh. Anyway, if you would excuse me I must find someone who doesn't immediately decide to play aggressive tag the moment they meet someone."

"Oh my dear brother, how art thou a villian... maybe you should try your luck again with Abeni. That'll be fun."

"Oh shut up. You're still the one who got us knocked out by her in the first place"

"Worth it."

"Ugh. You're insufferable. From what I can tell is that you don't understand how to be aware of anything."

"I don't understand what that means."

"It doesn't matter anyway. I don't expect you to understand it"

Kagerou throws something tiny in Vzark's face, which makes a quick tiny flash and a loud bang.

"You little shit..." Vzark quickly recovers from the flash and the bang, keeping himself on guard and opening his view and focus, expecting something else.

Another soon flies into his face.

Vzark quickly moves out the way, the object flying past him and going off farther behind him. "Are you really doing this shit again?"

"Yep!" Another object smacks into his face and explodes.

Vzark recovers and is clearly irritated. "HOW MANY OF THESE FUCKING THINGS DO YOU HAVE?!"

"6,467."

"..." Vzark uses explosion manipulation to trigger all of the mini bombs at once directly onto Kagerou.

Kagerou is oddly absent.

"Fuck this." Vzark walks off, oddly keeping his hand on the grip of his sword.

"Hey." A quiet voice speaks up soon after.

"What now?"

Nezumi is standing nearby. "..."

"Oh, shit, sorry. Hey Nezumi"

Nezumi seems to have a tired expression on her face.

"Are...you alright? You seem a lot more tired than usual"

"Tired.... so tired... ...no sleep..."

"Hmm. Does that usually happen? Not enough sleep that is."

"...Never have slept poorly."

"Something could be and or have been bothering you when you went to sleep, anything come to mind?"

"...." She seems to stare at him intensely.

"....Was it me?"

There is a faint blue aura around her in response, almost flamelike.

"Look, im sorry. I shouldn't have forced you to do the shit we did earlier. I just, well, I wanted to see if I could show you that there's more to just sleeping and servitude. Sorry."

"..." The aura strengthens into a large burning pillar of flame around her, and from it she manifests a sword, silently pointing it at him.

"...Fine. Im not going to argue, so if you want to fight, so be it." Vzark steps back and draws his sword, keeping a more defensive stance, and keeping the things he learned from Nanashi's training in mind.

With only a flicker of intensity in her eyes, a giant blue fireball surges at him, she has barely moved.

Vzark feels a feeling come over him and his eyes emit a yellow green glow, and suddenly vanishes and appears behind Nezumi, bringing the pommel of his sword to her back, pushing her away.

The moment he disappears, she wheels around and slashes his clothing, causing a bluish fire to erupt on his jacket.

The fire absorbs into Vzark's blade, and he erratically darts towards Nezumi at high speed, swinging his blade towards her.

With a swish of her hand, she summons blue fiery missles that move just as erratically, all while hopping from one side to another rather effortlessly out of his range.

Vzark creates a powerful aura shield around him, sprouting wings to boost himself even faster, and slahes Nezumi's arm. He also lets out the fire he absorbed into his sword as a cosmic like blast, which sends Nezumi across the ground.

The sword scraps against what seems like an invisible armor, and a flame like shield blocks the second attack, and her retaliation is a condensed explosion of fire at point blank range delivered via fist.

The fist is blocked by the aura shield and bounces off, and the remaining force is absorbed into Vzark's sword. He quickly flies back and keeps his guard up.

His vision seems to pause as he jumps back, and as it resumes, he has a large burning slash down the whole of his left leg, Nezumi lands quietly behind him.

Vzark roars in anger and creates a massive explosion which engulfs him and Nezumi. The aura shield protects him from it, but the sheer force of the blast sends Nezumi flying into a nearby wall.

The armor like aura nullifies the blast and the impact, and Nezumi is quickly standing again.

Vzark's hand starts to emit a pinkish purple like energy, that increasingly glows in size, and starts to become a blinding light. Rocks, fire, water, light, and darkness begin to swirl around it, and Vzark fires the blast towards Nezumi and an extremely high velocity, in which it splits into multiple blasts that engulf her.

When the blasts disappear, Nezumi is gone, and suddenly he is kicked straight in the head from behind.

Vzark recovers brings his blade across Nezumi's side, letting out the cosmic blast which shatters Nezumi's shield, emitting a thick mist of green energy. After the mist fades, Vzark appears to be gone.

Nezumi stands her ground, the blue aura and flames all vanish, replaced by a silver aura.

Vzark suddenly darts towards Nezumi out of nowhere, quickly attempting to bring his sword into a slash across Nezumi's side.

The sword gets blocked by the aura, and Nezumi gives him an icy stare.

To Nezumi's surprise, Vzark suddenly fades into the air right as she stares at him, and her neck is suddenly grabbed from behind, in which Vzark slams her into a wall, dragging her up it and throwing her to the ground.

She doesn't move.

Vzark raises her gravity to almost nothing, allowing him to do the attack he attempted to do before, lowing her gravity again as she is thrown.

When he grabs her again, she fades into dust.

Vzark keeps his blade ready, expanding his view of the area. He slowly walks around the room, studying the area around him as he anticipates retaliation.

He doesn't see anything, though after a few minutes, he is eventually tapped on the shoulder by Nezumi, who is sitting on his head, and he hasn't felt a thing prior.

"You should keep your tricks more carefully concealed."

"Normally you shouldn't have to keep them in secret form people on your side, as they generally aren't supposed to randomly fight you."

"I was testing you. It is my duty to test. Examine. Only use your power when you have no alternative. Such reckless use of power may get you killed."

Vzark nearly becomes furious with rage at that remark, but remains somewhat calm. "And what's it to you if I'm killed? You yourself said the only things you care about are sleep and servitude." Vzark's anger did however seep out at this remark.

She suddenly returns to full weight, making him topple to the ground, and she sits on his chest, looking down at him.

"You have skill but do not allow yourself to be transparent." There is a strange look in her eyes. "What do you care about?"

Vzark grunts as he hits the ground, opening his mouth to say something, but nothing comes out. "I...perfection and success I guess, I don't know..."

The strange look gets stronger, and she looks out over the ocean. "So you have nothing too."

"...I don't understand"

"You are like me. You're not like the others. Silent Angel wants to protect a family he wishes to keep intact. Kagerou wants to prove himself and his worth to someone, to make a name for himself. Lyre wants to change things... ...I don't have anything like that... I've just woken up every day and not had a direction or something for tommorow. No life to live... and I've been content with it. ...Waking, serving, sleeping, its all I am."

Vzark lays his head against the floor, clearly unsure as to what to say. "But don't y out wonder why that's all you are? And what you could do other than that?" Vzark stays quiet again. "But I guess you're right. I don't know what I care about, or what I even should care about. I'm sorry. I should have considered what I care about before forcing other things to care about on someone else."

"...I have a suggestion."

"Considering I have nothing else I think a suggestion would be great. Lay it on me"

".....We become a pair. We will find out our purpose together." She looks back down at him. "If we are so equally lost, there is no harm in being lost together."

"...Yeah. I suppose you're right. Being a team is most likely the best choice. I must be honest though, I don't have much experience in working with another "

"First for everything." Her stomach can be heard grumbling.

"Sounds like you're hungry again, hmm?" Vzark smiles, clearly teasing her.

"...."

"Oh come on, you have to admit you enjoyed the food somewhat"

"...I will get off if you feed me."

"Deal. Lets go, yes?"

She quietly gets off him.

Vzark gets up, and dusts himself off. "Are you willing to lead the way or do I need to drag you again?"

Her head tilts to one side.

"I'm going to have to drag you again, aren't I."

Her head remains in place. Abeni, watching from one of the top towers, smirks a little. "This will be cute..."

Vzark has a blank expression on his face and grabs her hand, pulling her in direction of the Kitchen once more.

She simply lets him drag her again.

"This is going to become a re-occurring thing, isn't it?"

"..."

Vzark drags her back across to the Kitchen. "How have you not dirtied your clothes being dragged around yet?"

"I make new ones everyday and burn the old ones."

"...Huh. Why don't you just wash the old ones...?"

"I don't like being on the bottom floor... the waves are... ...."

"The waves are what? If we're going to be a pair, you're going to have to be open with me."

"....Big."

"Well, you can swim right?"

"..."

"Okay, second thing we're doing is teaching you how to swim."

She seems heavier all of a sudden.

"It won't be as bad as you'd think. Plus, its easy. You'll have nothing to be worried about."

"..." She seems to be dragging her feet a bit now as well.

"Dragging your feet won't help Nezumi, I am willing to carry you."

No response is heard.

"Besides, who knows. You might end up enjoying swimming."

She digs in harder.

"Hey, as your partner, I'll make sure you won't be in danger, okay? Just trust me."

She is now squirming. "No water! No water!"

Vzark slows down and stops dragging her. "Alright, no water I promise. But you have to know sooner or later you'll have yo face that fear. Just know you won't have to face it alone okay? But for now, no water, I'll remember that."

"...."

Vzark drags her again and finally reaches the kitchen, bringing her inside again. "Anything in particular you see that you'd like to try out? Or should I just bring whatever."

"...Surprise me..."

Vzark walks off and starts looking through ingredients. "Well, it may not be breakfast, but i'll just make an Omelette, besides, I doubt she has a concept of time specific foods." He gathers everything he needs, and starts cooking, After a while, he finishes the Omelette and lets it cool down so it isn't too hot, and brings it over to Nezumi.

She glances at it curiously. "Hmmm?"

"It's called an Omelette, you can pretty much eat it the same way I showed you how to eat the Steak. I let it cool down, so it shouldn't be too hot."

"...." She starts to try it.

Vzark lays back against a wall and waits for her to finish, reviewing his day through his mind.

She silently and slowly is chewing on the food.

"So what do you think? I'm not very good with Omelettes, so i'd like to know how you like it"

"...What is this made of?"

"Beaten eggs with cheese, meat, and vegetables as the filling. Why?"

"It is wierd. Food is wierd..."

"A lot of foods will definitely make you feel that way. Im sure theres some food you'll come to enjoy the taste of"

"Hmm." She looks about the kitchen quietly.

"By the way, you should probably try a drink as well. I suggest water or juice with an Omelette."

"Juice?"

"Juice is generally a concentrated liquid from fruits, which includes Apple Juice, Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, and a lot more. The most common and liked onces are Apple and Orange though"

"...Apple."

Vzark walks off and gets a cup, looking for apple juice. He fills the cup after finding some, and brings it back to Nezumi.

She takes the cup quietly, sniffing the liquid.

"Its most likely not going to taste exactly like the Apple you tried, but it will be similar"

She starts siping on it.

"Its pretty much the same concept of food, nothing will taste exactly the same. You'll end up enjoying one thing more than the other"

She continues sipping the juice.

"So what do you think?"

She seems to be siping it slowly on purpose now.

Vzark just has a blank expression and lays against the wall again, waiting.

She gives him an equally blank expression as she drinks.

Vzark walks off for a bit and comes back with a drink of apple juice of his own, sits down, and starts drinking.

She has finished her drink, and is staring at him now.

Vzark continues to drink his, and stops. "Your thoughts?"

"..." She holds out her cup to him.

"You want more...?"

She nods.

Vzark lets out a small smirk and takes her cup, and walks back. Soon after, he comes back with a full cup of apple juice, and hands it to her.

She takes it quietly and begins sipping again.

Vzark continues drinking his apple juice, sipping as well. "Im going to have to get more cups than this, aren't I?"

Nezumi seems to have a faint smile.

Vzark decides not to interrupt this, and instead gets up and starts cleaning everything he and Nezumi used.

Two white robed individuals walk through the door, eye him, and begin to cook.

"Huh. Probably best if we go then, they're probably cooking for someone important." Vzark stops and heads over to Nezumi.

One of the robed people lets too much gas out from a cooker and lights it accidentally, causing a rather loud explosion.

"Jesus christ!" Vzark backs away from the area, somewhat on ease.

The air afterwards is incredibly still for the longest time, until a quiet set of footsteps outside in the main hall become audible.

Vzark takes notice and collects himself, turning his attention to the footsteps, still moving away from the accident.

"Who am I going to eat for disturbing my nap and making a mess of my kitchen?"

"...Huh. I guess this is White then." Vzark takes a step back to clearly show to two servants who came into the kitchen, staying calm.

A very tired woman in white dress and black detail stalks into the room, her eyes are a distinct red. Her gaze lands on him, and he feels a twinge of fear, though he doesn't know why.

Vzark shrugs it off and diverts his attention. "I wouldn't be surprised if shes making me afraid on purpose. Go figure"

She quietly walks toward him.

Vzark takes a quick glance at Nezumi to see how she's reacting to all of this, and turns back to the tired woman.

Looking back at her, she has closed the distance between them, and is sniffing him.

"Not what I expected, but okay......." Vzark stayed still, unsure what to do.

Her eyes narrow sharply. "...You ate my ice cream." Behind her, the two servants are tip toeing out.

"I apologize...? I was under the thought that majority of the things here were up for grabs if you cleaned up. If its needed I can make you more, I know how"

"Why were you eating my ice cream?" The heads of the two servants suddenly explode in a violent puddle of blood, she hasn't looked away.

Nezumi remains quietly standing behind him.

Vzark seems to step forward slightly, covering Nezumi. "I..I was hungry and I have a...slight sweet tooth. Once again I apologize, I had no intent to cause someone to be angry with me. My offer to make you more still stands"

She notices the action and looks past him to Nezumi. She seems to regard her for a moment, then looks at Vzark, a slow bemused smile begins to appear.

Vzark's expression didn't change, despite being put off by her smile.

"An interesting one you are... ...clean this mess up and I'll overlook this." She walks off.

Vzark lets out a breath of air and starts cleaning up the area and the bodies, with an odd amount of efficiency.

Nezumi watches him quietly.

"You alright Nezumi?"

"Yes..."

Vzark quickly finished up, cleaning himself off. "Sorry, I didn't know White would get upset about the ice cream "

"She was more amused by the end of it than angry."

"I wouldn't understand as to why, but hey as long as it keeps me alive im fine with it"

Nezumi quietly tilts her head to one side.

"We should probably get out of the kitchen I assume, its likely for the best"

She quietly stands there. 

Vzark seems to take a few glances at Nezumi, unsure of what to say. "I'd drag you again but I don't know where to go" 

She doesn't say anything, but looks off to one side for a while. 

Vzark takes a glance in the direction shes looking at, checking if shes trying to show him something.  

Her expression seems to indicate some manner of deep thought. She then starts to walk off quietly.

"I'll uh...i'll head off as well then. See you some other time I suppose."

When he comes out, he sees the woman sitting on the throne in the central hall.

Vzark takes a look at her out of curiosity, unsure what to do.

The woman eyes him with a faint amused look before she returns to what looks like a quiet sleep.

Vzark lets out a small breath of relief and silently walks out the area, not wanting to disturb her sleep. "This really is quite the intriguing cast of people...."

Reformation Edit

As Vzark leaves, he sees a great host of soldiers begin to march to the central tower.

"Odd..." Vzark starts walking in their direction and stops at a fair distance, examining as to whats going on.

The soldiers all march to the front steps of the tower, and wait until the doors open, then proceed inside. After the doors close, Vzark feels a tinge of power seep from the building, and he notices it carries the presence of the woman.

"Hmph." Vzark stands there for a bit, waiting to feel anything else.

He begins to feel a stronger, malevolent version of the woman's aura as a wave of incredible power begins to emit from the tower.

"What the fuck is going on in there...?"

Abeni and Azula seem to be perched on a nearby roof, and doesn't seem too thrilled.

Vzark sees them and makes a curious face, spouting wings and flying up to them, perching nearby. "Whats happening?"

"...She is displaying her newfound power..." Azula mutters.

Vzark turns to the source of the power waves, staying silent for a bit. "Displaying or....testing?"

"...Both."

"Do we know what the power is yet?"

"....." Vzark notices a swell in power inside the building by the hundreds, as though multiple powerful beings were being created inside the building all at once.

"...Something to do with a few hundred soldiers being transformed into Chaos Engines."

"I assume its for the war you mentioned earlier...."

"...." Azula says nothing. Abeni rolls her shoulders, and lies down on the roof.

"Forgot it was a touchy subject....." Vzark kept staring at the area, and gripped the handle of his sword tighter. "This is really fucked up."

Azula stands up quietly and flies off, while Abeni remains lying down.

"This existence really tears her apart, you know."

"Being a Chaos Engine? I suppose I could understand......earlier, you said we used to be human, but...I don't remember anything. I remember trivial things like cooking, and the things I like, but whenever I try to recall a past life, nothing comes up. Thats the only thing that would make me dread this existence."

"Not necessarily that... before Phoenix reclaimed her, she was living a life on Echo, a world far from here, fighting for justice with the one she loved, but now, now she's become a weapon for the very things she desired to destroy. It's torturing her. And I cannot avenge her."

"But....why not? You and Azula seem so powerful, and I'm sure you're not the only ones who would...well, not enjoy their current situation....why not fight back? I've talked to a few people now and not everyone seems to keen on what's going on"

"Do you think me the kind of person who would just sit around and do nothing? I would already have killed White if the option existed." Abeni's tone seems more agitated, and there is a faint red aura.

Vzark seemed almost to not notice, too caught up In questions. "Is White really that powerful? To be able to defeat you, and Azula?"

"We're bound by the same thing you are." She turns her neck, and he sees a strange mound on the base of her neck.

"I....don't understand..." Vzark goes to feel his own neck, just now noticing the mound.

"It's what controls us. White controls us on a mere whim. With these. And we can do nothing."

Vzark stayed silent, and anger could be seen burning in his eyes. "I want to help, is there anyway we can somehow...get rid of them?"

A force akin to being punched knocks him off the roof and onto the ground far below.

Our... ....'lady' wishes to forewarn you she can hear you and will punish talk of insubordination swiftly and decisively.

Vzark says nothing and lies on the ground for a bit. He then gets up, and flies over to Abeni. "I understand now"

"Be wary of her, Vzark. She's become like me and big sis. She carries real power now."

"This seems to be just the beginning of it all...what a time to be alive... if you can call this fucking living."

Abeni quietly pats his head. "We'll only know when it's over."

"What...what if we don't make it when it's over? Maybe you will, but...I dont know if I'm actually strong enough...I need to be stronger"

Her tail swats him. "We're going up against humans. They will fold easily enough."

"Im not so sure, if humans are able to be turned into us, doesn't that mean they have the capacity to become just as powerful?"

"They are self hating, miserable creatures. Their unity is bound by mutual hatred of things that are different. And it is the only reason they are strong. We need only break them to win. We have power they can never have."

"...Alright. I suppose I might as well take your word. Regardless, its still most likely a good thing for me to at least prepare myself for conflict"

"The time will come. And over work yourself and I will clobber you into next year."

Vzark can't help but laugh, smiling. "I believe you wholeheartedly after fighting you"

"Then you've learned well, unlike some." She glances at Kagerou far below, who only smiles and waves, though Vzark can swear he can see Kagerou flashing him a middle finger briefly.

Vzark rolls his eyes at Kagerou, ignoring him. "Do you think you could well, train me? To be honest i dont trust myself with not over working, and Nanashi isn't here anymore to train me, although, what he did teach me I wont forget..." Vzark glances down at the ring that used to be the entire training course, along with his sword. "Its your decision of course, if you decline I could still get by"

"I could. If I have time."

"Considering all of..this, is going on I doubt any of us will have time"

She quietly pulls him close and roughs up his hair playfully. "Relax, it'll play out as it must."

Vzark almost goes on again but surprisingly stays quiet, quite content. "Yeah...you're probably right, thanks Abeni. I still find it odd how one moment im waking up from being in a pod, and im on a roof talking to someone I only met recently as if I've known them forever. Not that I have a problem, of course."

"I see no problem with it. Let me know if you need anything."

"I will, thanks, I think i'll just explore the area for a bit now, i've only seen a fraction. Might go zip lining again..."

Abeni smiles. "Might invite your girlfriend for a ride."

Vzark's eyes clearly dilated with embarrassment. "Hold on, she isn't my...we aren't...I don't....ugh..."

"You're denying it. All but confirmation for a girl like me." She says, the smile growing into a grin.

"Im denying it because it isn't true, look, just don't say anything about it to anyone, alright?"

"Oh I told Azula too. She thinks it's cute."

Vzark falls flat on his back on the roof, letting a groan escape his mouth.

"Oh and the white haired one is running away laughing because he heard everything we said up til now."

Vzark shoots up, a shocked and angry expression on his face. "FUCK!"

Abeni pats his head. "There there, hurt pride doesn't sting forever. Besides, Nezumi is a nice little girl. You two go well."

"Its not that im afraid of us not going "Well" together, well, im not really afraid about anything concerning this. Its mainly that shes a...hard case? Regardless I just want to make sure im able to get past the shield she has."

"Oh you two will do fine. Azula has had worse to deal with, longer."

"How so? I wouldn't expect Azula the type to have trouble with most things to be honest. Other than the obvious of course"

"She has a lover she is seperated from. They only recently got together when they were torn apart by Phoenix. I tried to bring him back but... ...I may have broken a leg or two. And then got interrupted by 'help'."

"So they're on opposite sides then...I can understand why she hates this war coming on"

"Mmm." She quietly lays back down.

"May I ask who this person is?"

"Our leader's name is White. The Eighth one to be exact."

"The eighth? How long has Phoenix existed?"

"Over eight hundred years."

"Wow. Eight hundred years of dickery..."

"More like four hundred. The last good Phoenix leader was the fourth."

"What happened to them?"

"Died. Betrayed by her right hand man."

"Who was their right hand man? Did they assume control?"

"He went by the name Eien. He was the fourth generation Lightning Slayer. Not really though, he just disappeared after he tore down Phoenix."

"Such an odd decision...he had the chance to rule over an entire empire and he just let it go?"

"Phoenix was a very different place and organization back then. This was abandoned during his time."

"I see...how did the fifth White get into power? How did it all change?"

"Apprentice to the Fourth. And I don't know. But that woman started it all for the Chaos Engines. I don't know everything, I'm the wrong one to ask."

"Hmm.....I think I just found out a new personal project. Mainly regarding our...origin.Who knows, maybe I'll find something that was lost for ages."

Abeni shrugs, closing her eyes.

"Hey Abeni, how come so many of the other Chaos Engines seem so distant from each other? From what I've seen it's not as close of a "community" as someone would suspect."

"Because we have different ideals. We aren't all alike."

"I understand, it's just that...well...never mind. Its an idiotic concept anyway"

"No ideal is idiotic unless it remains silent."

"I was going to say I think it would only make sense if we tried to be more unified, despite being different. We would likely understand one another better"

"Sense isn't how the world works. The young are most devoted to serving while the old remember who they once were. It creates a divide."

"I'm guessing that was done on purpose. They don't want us getting ideas while becoming a proper group."

"It wouldn't matter even if that was the case. White has the means to prevent us from making use of those ideas."

Vzark layer back unsure what to say. "I'm not sure how I feel about this life anymore"

"This life isn't what matters. It's the one we build after that matters."

"I just hope we at least have the chance to build anything"

Abeni looks at him quietly. The next moment, he finds himself sailing over half of Yosai in the span of a few mere moments, before crashing into the ocean waves below, with a very agonizing headache.

Despite the pain of the head ache, Vzark quickly swims to the surface, sprouting wings and flying back up into the air. He stays still for the pain of the head ache to go away. "WHAT THE FUCK?!"

A moment later Abeni appears next to him flapping her wings quietly. "Let's stop talking about the bleak future for now, yes?"

"Alright alright I got it! No more pessimistic talk about the future, I promise"

She roughs his hair up again.

"You know, to be quite honest I didn't expect you to well, be like this. Actually most of my expectations for how people would act were very wrong, some for the better, including yours. You're actually quite kind and I... really appreciate it" Vzark turned around. "But that's all you're getting out of me sappy wise, don't expect more."

Abeni smiles and silently reaches out and grabs him, tickling him.

Within short breaths and reluctant laughter, as well as attempting to get away from being tickled, Vzark tries to talk Abeni out of stopping to tickle him. "I take it all back, you're pure evil" Of course, he wasn't serious, and even if he was no one could take him seriously in such a state.

She eventually stops, patting him in dismissal. "Go on. I've things to do."

"Of course, speak to you some other time then" Vzark flies off, quite content.

After he leaves, Abeni looks at her hand silently. "...Pure evil, huh?"

Vzark headed over to the zip lines, sliding across the metal wires, looking for new areas to explore.

Service Edit

White comes in her private quarters, not noticing Aimaru as she throws off bloodied clothing and goes toward a closet to change.

"Uh...Milady, why are you clothes so bloody?"

"I was punishing a traitor."

"What did he or she do?"

"She is dead, is all that matters to me." She changes, getting into a more armored dress. "Ready yourself Aimaru."

"For what? Battle?"

"War."

"War? With whom?"

"The world..."

"The world? Why? What have they done?"

"It is full of weakness. An order based on weakness will never stand. It will only fall."

"I see...so you feel like it's your responsibility to restore strength to this world?"

"Yes. You could say that. And you and the rest of our kind will be the key."

"I don't see how someone as insignificant as me could possibly be the key to anything."

"The world is filled with weak beings. We shall make them like us. You possess powers you don't understand, and in time will become even greater."

"Very well then, I shall trust your judgment."

The door opens, and a girl with white hair with red tips walks through. "You summoned me, my Lady?"

"Ah yes, Nezumi. Nezumi, this is Aimaru. Aimaru, Nezumi."

Aimaru gives a slight bow, "It's an honor to meet you."

White looks at Nezumi. "It's time for upgrades Nezumi. Another round before everything begins." She pauses, and looks at Aimaru.

"Come with." She walks to the room's elevator, Nezumi close behind.

Aimaru follows.

"Prepare."

"For what?"

The elevator lurches and begins plummeting at high speeds toward the ocean below.

"GAH! This...again..."

Nezumi and White do not seem bothered at all.

'Such composure...I guess they've been through this over and over again though..."

"Are you bothered?" White says in a teasing smile.

Aimaru looks away with a straight face, "Not at all."

The elevator crashes into the sea, and sinks into the labs below.

"Such a lovely ride. Wouldn't you agree, Nezumi?"

She nods.

"You both have odd tastes...but I guess I'm not one to judge."

White begins to walk on into the labs. "Follow."

Aimaru follows close behind.

White leads him through long corridors of labs, the place almost maze like.

"With hallways like these, how do you know where you're going?"

"I just know."

"...photographic memory perhaps?"

They come to a large room in the complex, and White enters immediately. There seems to be a medical chair in the middle, which Nezumi approaches.

White gets various tools out, and then proceeds to pry previously unseen panels in Nezumi's chest open, revealing strange machinery.

"What are you doing, m'lady?"

"Maintenance and an upgrade."

"Why? Is she important for this war you speak of?"

"Yes, in a sense. Be a dear and hand me a wrench."

Aimaru grabs a wrench and hands it to White, "Here you go m'lady."

She begins to tinker with the various machines in Nezumi's chest cavity.

"What do you wish to learn here, Aimaru?"

"Learn?"

"Magic, swords, whatever."

"Hmm...are there others, besides you, the same as me?"

"Yes, that isn't a field of study. What would you like me to teach you?"

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