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Kingdom Hearts: Apocalypse ~Part 1 Rebirth " Machinecken Town"~



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Cal shoves her hands into her soggy pockets, observing passively as Vi lands butt-first right on top of Trace. It's the unpleasant comment after that has the hybrid clicking her tongue like a disappointed nanny.

“You two,” her puckered lips twist. “Be nice.”

God, she’s really owning up to this new babysitter role she found herself in, isn’t she?

Still, this is... Finding him was actually way easier than Cal would have imagined. There, in the cell, the sorry dude lay, as if accepting his fate to be damned in prison. Or maybe counting down the minutes till a jailbreak. A jailbreak that Cal and Vi most certainly have a hand in now, which means whoever put this guy in here in the first place would certainly be after their heads, too. Yikes.

Unsavory is the right way to put it.

Beaten up like a criminal, darkness patched its way over his exposed, bruised skin, and yet the crime Trace is supposedly guilty of remains a mystery to her. (Or, more like, not her interest or desire to learn.) Anyway, judging from the way he handled those guards just now, the hybrid didn’t have to speculate too long what may have brought him here. Along the way, Trace justified his brutality by professing he didn’t kill them, as if the suits' murder would have made any difference to Calpurnia.

But eventually they’d have to find some way out of there without causing any more commotion than they already had, and just like that they were back at the hotel thanks to Vi. The keyblader really did have some convenient tricks up her sleeve. Cal wastes no time shuffling to a nearby chair and rocking back on her heels to collapse on the seat, the wood whining in protest at the sudden weight.

Listening to Trace’s explanation of the events, clarifying just why he was in a cell in the first place, was actually rather striking, despite her initial lack of interest. For one, Trace has a point. Since coming here, her other half has been relatively quiet. On good behavior. In fact, the only time he did spike back up was with the aggression towards Trace's captors during the prison break.

Hospitality is still something Cal is getting used to, and she blinks at the towel is tossed in her direction. Only just catches it in time and regarding Trace's comment with another owlish blink. Then, she laughs.

When Cal laughs, it’s an empty hollowed sort of thing, like the humor and purity is dried up. A cackle.

“Never thought I’d hear that from a guy like you.” Her voice changes, mimicking Traces tone but with a touch more exaggeration to be taken seriously. “Thank you both.”

So weird hearing genuine appreciation! And, honestly? She’s not so sure how to feel about it. But today’s had a fair share of weird firsts, and at this point Cal wouldn’t be too surprised if Trace did go ahead and apologize as Vi demanded of him. Running the towel through her drenched hair, she looks expectantly at Trace from across the room, a small smirk upturning the corner of her lips, awaiting his response.
 

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Trace's ears twinged upward. Calpurnia's vote of thanks sounded sincere, but it also rang in his ears as a tease. Cute. A scoff left him faintly with a slight upturn of his lip, this was hard for both of them and yet oddly enough bit by bit being made easier giving it time. Today he'd terrorized these two women, first out of genuine curiosity, this overall was much different from typical responses from human and hybrid alike. It couldn't be ignored that Anti disagreed with Calpurnia in particular's overall passive effect being had on Trace, as if she were becoming a buffer on his overarching madness and slowly starting to express that part of his persona less as a result.

'Don't forget what we have to do...Trace...I'm letting you know I don't approve of this distraction they bring.'

It were as if Anti felt threatened, but surely even the heartless realized it was always at the mercy of Trace at every given second. Trace had to admit it to the heartless, give it the obvious truth so they could stop splitting hairs.

'...I'm still figuring this out, be patient, because even I don't know ok?'

There you had it, he kept the heartless satiated with his honest opinion. Clutching his head, Vi's voice passed through it and his ears wrang. His fist balled, you already knew what was coming next and he didn't blink. She wasn't looking directly at him, but your in a room with hybrids, heightened senses and can read the mood. This girl was clearly embarrassed, Trace thought nothing of what he said because he was blunt and not one to hesitate, and he didn't hesitate here either.

"
Look Vi. I'm not the best liar ok? Like hell am I going to ever apologize for stating the facts, *lets not forget who can't seem to land properly*. Didn't get a sorry for you nearly crushing both my lungs now did I? Convenient that it was you and not Calpurnia that fell on me, work on your accuracy when you're trans-positioning then maybe you won't have to deal with my word choice next time."

(*I'm referring to when Vi teleported into Trace's cross and hit her back knocking herself out cold, and again teleporting directly over Trace and falling on his chest lmfao*)

Trace held his head and sighed. He could breathe a bit more paced now, Anti even against it's better judgement, was assisting with helping it's host recover giving it a few hours, Trace would be fairing a lot better than he did pre and post-capture. He collapsed back onto the bed and shut his eyes for a second.

"Vi." he said, you could sense the fatigue in his voice, but this tone was actually somewhat friendly, "Would you mind stepping out for a minute? I need to talk to Calpurnia one on one. You can put down the attack dog act, I'm not going to harm her, thats ridiculous, she's one of my own."


Without moving from his spot, he whistled and his feathered friend Bray swooped and opened the door, and proceeded to land on Vi's shoulder and point towards the open door to the other room. Intelligent little guy, and Trace's most reliable asset because lord knows Anti was not trustworthy or reliable outside his ability to heal Trace.
 

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~ All These Broken Souls ~

~- Bittersweet Taste -~
Willow's Keep


He watched them, the humans as they went tearing after the Hybrid. Agitation built in his chest, causing him to kick out, sparks flying as hoof met flint stone. The Hybrid was strong; even at a distance, the stallion could sense the monster's strength. He could also feel the sin the once-man possessed, the dark insanity that drove him to his actions.

The humans captured the Hybrid, forcing him into a helicopter. The stallion followed the machine, keeping his distance even as he kept it in sight. The Hybrid's motives didn't matter to the stallion. All that mattered to him were the sins, the wrongs that the man had committed. It made him the perfect prey, an offering to the vile hungers of the Dark Prince. The stallion would watch this one for now. He would follow the helicopter to its bunker, where the humans took the Hybrid inside. He would stand guard and watch until the Hybrid escaped, which the stallion was certain that he would do. Then, he would follow back close enough to keep the Hybrid within his sensing range. There was very little chance of the Heartless or Hybrids of this fallen World taking any more notice of the stallion than they already had. And why should these monsters care about one more fallen heart in their midst?

Yes, for now, the stallion would stay, and watch this Hybrid, the one that had these sins that reached out to him more strongly than the sins of the other Hybrids, the sins that made him the perfect prey. He could feel the hunger in the others, the edge to their senses that said it had been too long since the last feeding. It made him skittish, being near so many predators when they acted so bestial. There was nothing any of them could do, however. Until he had fed, the others would be more instinctive, more like their true natures. Until he made the kill, they'd all have that bitter, devastating gnaw and ache of this dark appetite.

This hunger.

~- Flying Through the Satellites -~
Olympus Coliseum


Thermal updrafts pillowed his wings, carrying the eagle ever higher on their energy and very little of his own. His sharp eyes kept track of what was on the ground, far, far below him. There was a young woman walking behind a strange man in flowing black robes, robes that seemed to fade into thick, dark smoke near the hem. Power emanated from this man, power that made it obvious that he wasn't mortal; power that marked him as a god, the god of the dead. A glint shown in the eagle's eye, the only expression of humor that the fierce, proud bird could muster.

Well away from the woman and the god, the eagle's gaze than turned to two others, also a young woman and man. Though both of this pair were very much not divine, they too had power of their own. The man's power emanated from him, an aura that the eagle could sense no matter how far away he was from the man; even being on different Worlds, the eagle would still sense the man.

The woman and man seemed to be having an argument. To be more accurate, the woman was talking to him, her arms raised and gestures expansive as her dark eyes flashed. The man was silent, his expression hidden behind the mask that he always wore; only the slightest tilt of his head in her direction gave any indication that he was listening to her at all.

But the eagle knew that the man listened. He may not answer her, but he listened to her. It was why they were here, after all. To search out an end for their mission, they had followed the dark eyed woman to this world, as the masked man and the eagle always did. So the eagle soared, and he searched for the strong hearts that the woman mentioned, because it helped all of them to their end goal. There was another member of their party here, but the eagle didn't want to think of him, not when it caused nothing but endless agitation for the eagle to do so. Not when the masked man was the only one who had anything resembling control over that monster.

The dragon.

~- Moths to the Flame -~
Halloween Town


The other cat sure made a lot of noise. In response, she kept her own tread light as she raced after him, her ears swiveling as she tracked him through the forest.

At length, her pace slowed, then she finally stopped, her flanks heaving as she gulped air. The young cat plopped onto her haunches, her ears twitching in the sudden silence. When had he stopped making so much noise? She couldn't find him now!

The sound of soft breathing attracted her attention, and distracted her from her former prey. Her whiskers swept forward as her head twisted toward the sound. Rising to her paws, she walked toward the noise, soon coming across a young woman lying among the tree roots. She seemed to be exhausted, and the scent of darkness clung to her when the young cat took a deep breath in. She nosed the woman's hand, a soft whine flicking through her chest. It wasn't her girl, but the cat still wanted...

The barest snap of a twig had the cat's head spinning, a loud growl ripping through her. In response, a low snarl answered, and the other cat suddenly came into view. A thrill of fear went through her, and it was anyone's guess as to what the young woman's thoughts would be to the sight in front of her. A young, female Clouded Leopard had approached her, curiosity in every line of her body. There was something not quite natural about the leopard, that much would be obvious to anyone, but she seemed friendly. Then, shortly after the half-grown she-cat had appeared, a full grown Snow Leopard appeared, easily ten times the size of the female cat. Hunger shown in his eyes as watched the she-cat and woman. Again, there was something not quite natural about him, but unless the situation improved drastically, it wouldn't matter.

They'd both be dead.

~- And I Fell Behind -~

"What's wrong, Dearest? Has something upset you?"

The wolf turned away from her, unable to meet the girl's gaze. Even so, he felt her eyes watching him, their ruby-red glow always laughing softly. He couldn't see her, but he knew how those eyes glittered, and that her lips were turned up ever so slightly, their pale, shell-pink skin pulled into the barest hint of a mocking smile. She knew by now just where to strike at him, and he still didn't know how to shield himself from her sweet cruelty.

She knelt at his side, her fingers gently running through his fur, stroking his shoulder to "ease" some of his tension. "I know it's difficult for you to be here, but I had to be sure, do you understand? The woman was wretched, and she would have destroyed everything that you and I have worked so hard for! And her apprentice... don't you want to see that girl get what she deserves?"

He wanted to growl at her, to turn around and bite her hand, close his teeth around her wrist and shatter the bones before pulling away so hard that he removed her hand from her arm, then finally go for her throat. Kill her, and he could at least be free of her. Instead, a soft noise caught in the back of his throat, a sound closer to a pleading whine than a warning growl as he moved away from her touch.

He walked away, but he didn't go far. He couldn't abandon her, not completely, and she knew it. He couldn't fight her, no matter how he tried. He wasn't strong enough. He never had been. If only he were stronger, than the last four years would have been completely different. But he wasn't strong.

He never had been.
 
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Goddamn it man, i was only ninteen. I felt like a baby in this room compared the much older adults, and there was a sense of rigidness in my shaking when I heard those words. They were a bit extra in tone, but you don't know what that kind of praise did for a girl like me. I shook in my heels for a moment and reveled in the sheer satisfaction of the acknowledgement and a job well done.

Thank you both.”


It's like my eyes were the softest they'd been, instead of squinting my body shook. I sweat just a tad, completely unlady-like, and my eyes forcibly shut as I could feel a sudden rush of water there. I sniffled, raising an arm from my body suit to brush past my face because I was humbled, I was honored, and I felt like I belonged here. Trace was already starting to get on my damn nerves with this "attempt" to remember he was human before. I said it about Cal, lending me the handle of "Maggie" maybe to protect herself sure. I couldn't say Trace speaking so bluntly thus far, that he's been dishonest yet, and it made believing this 180 even harder to digest for me, because I couldn't read him over how Cal and him were bringing out an unexpected emotional response from me.

This was hard man.

I smiled at first, I looked over at Calpurnia with my eyes closed and I smiled, no teeth, just a closed mouth smile. The two of them didn't know it yet, because I haven't told them, but I never really had any friends. I was a strongly independant person from the islands, and the only person I associated with, well...you know the story from a year ago regarding the outbreak. It seems silly doesn't it, to be dealing with a group, a species so close to what took everything you valued from you really just didn't make any sense. And at the same exact time I couldn't help but wonder what the two of them, being human at a point in their lives, and just how much they lost. And thats a major part in the reason...that I'm still here, among this band of misfits who all have one thing in common, loss.

"Look Vi. I'm not the best liar ok? Like hell am I going to ever apologize for stating the facts, *lets not forget who can't seem to land properly*. Didn't get a sorry for you nearly crushing both my lungs now did I? Convenient that it was you and not Calpurnia that fell on me, work on your accuracy when you're trans-positioning then maybe you won't have to deal with my word choice next time."

Wait a minute...was he actually...scolding me? WHAT??

"When I can't see the area I'm moving to, it's completely random where and how far in my range i'll come out. I didn't do that on purpose you know...either time."

That last collection of words I looked away off to a corner of the room. This was classic Trace, blunt and without hesitation, but I didn't feel any hostility from his verbiage or like he was being a terror, it actually felt like he was talking to me like...i don't know, a friend? What was that to a hybrid...to come from a hybrid, I couldn't be sure, but for now I saw it a a vote of friendly exchange between us. My skepticism just stuck with me, but at the sametime I wasn't really feeling threatened at all, especially after what Cal said earlier.

When he called me specifically this time, no "kid" or "keyblader" it was a definite change. His tone was alarming to me, it was drastically different, but actually sounded fairly polite and layered with some traces of kindness.

"Would you mind stepping out for a minute? I need to talk to Calpurnia one on one. You can put down the attack dog act, I'm not going to harm her, thats ridiculous, she's one of my own."

When the bird landed on my shoulder and pointed I started to understand. Instead of going over to the door I walked to the corner of the room Cal was close to the door leading to the balcony where Trace jumped off from the third floor earlier. I'm sure she could see it in my eyes, they were soft with concern for her, but I gave her a silent nod and a smiled, for once "putting a lid on it" and not talking her or him to death. I crossed the threshold of the door, and walked onto the balcony, getting up on the ledge and looking down over at the castle town for the first time since I'd been here.

"Whoa..."

The heartless bird Bray rustled it's feathers on my shoulder, I was remembering the weight of it's perch, sometimes it was so light you'd nearly forget he was there at times. As I looked at Trace's homeworld, I looked at just how...destroyed most of the landscape was and it was provoking a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I wasn't prepared for, so strong I vomited over the edge for what was the third time today. Scorch marks of human silhouettes, consumed hybrids moving in smaller convoys, destroyed building and others on the verge of collapse, this was one of the few parts of the castle town that looked relatively safe and that it held up well. I clutched my heart, trying to cull my emotions as they started to flood into me, this was bringing back some awful memories of home...if it could even be called home anymore.

"You two...live here...?"

The bird hooted, turning it's head and tucking it backwards mimicking a real owl.

"I'll take that as a yes."
 

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Well Vrivianne was surprisingly a bit less aggressive this time. As he lay there on his bed, his hand pressed to his forehead and the other to lay there motionless next to him. The sound of her footsteps as she decided on her own to leave the room. Trace thought nothing more of it, she was unpracticed and untried, but oddly enough just as fascinating as Calpurnia, albeit both in their own ways. It brought his attention back, it was just the two of them now.

He took a breath.

"Come over here Cal. Really not trying to move or throw my voice across the room."

There blots and patches of darkness covering his body on every afflicted area in which he sustained all manner of physical brutalities. It's been a very long, LONG time since he'd been bruised like this, and wouldn't you know it, in the same town he called home it happened again. Somethings you just can't escape, the twinge of pain throbbing from his neck, shoulders, abdomen, and thighs were a nightmare resisting. His head seemed to pain the next series of words carefully.

"It's hard to really rely on anyone in these times. Not when you're life changes unexpectedly and dramatically at that. This was a much different place a year ago, and while the people are now all but completely gone...they were assholes here. I couldn't trust them, even myself, because of how hypocritical it and even I myself was guilty. Having a heart."

He opened up with a heavy sigh.

"When the hybrids came here, I was one of the first attacked and something just...was thrust out of me as my heart was literally being stolen from me by Anti. I accepted it, that this was what I wanted, and instead of resisting I didn't suppress how mad I truly was, by nature of what my colleagues and the townsfolk had come to associate with me. Mad and yeah, they were right. But at the end of it, their hearts were too good for the cold and dejected forms that were trapped inside these awful people. When Anti saw what I was, it pulled back almost instantly and just allowed me to slaughter them while praising my consumed brothers, I didn't despair...I reveled, and the reason this place looks like a hammered mess...is because of my taking my revenge against this society and it's condescension for those of us that actually thought more of the placement of the heart, the beauty of heartless, of the combination of human and heartless finally realized as hybrids."

The sides of his face were starting to normalize, and over his throat was coming down from the intense swelling. Able to talk properly as he'd been a bit warped from much earlier. He leaned over placed a patch over his shoulder before taking it and biting into his pillow as he moved it to pop it back into place. A violent breathe was released into the fabric and he vented his breathes in between before he sat up in his bed.

"While I don't have to tell you any of this, well, it's hard not to. You've done little to aggress onto me and from what I've seen of Dante, you could've even without it's help. The thing I don't understand, is why you didn't run. I had no intention of leaving you to your own devices Cal, but I never told you why or why I kissed you. Technically Dante, but it was for you trust me."

There was a shift in his eyes pigmentation as he sat there and the pitch in his voice changed.

"It's--because I'm a goddamn fool thats getting distracted by the opposite sex."

DUDE. What the fuck!

"When your heartless begins to feed off your personality and become more intelligent, we can also be petty. Trace, what were you going to say?"

I hate you so much right now.

Anti laughed, leaving the human half to damage control. Again, Trace sighed.

"I'll get to the point. When we met, I could sense it. I was no hero, neither were you and everything I've done to you in a short window of time was to see how you would react all the while pushing you towards gripping and pinning down your heartless companion. You didn't run nor did ya come for my head and let me say, that i'm pretty damn impressed. Thats why I kissed you, it's not just because I'm psychotic, thats not the reason. You managed to meet expectations I didn't realize I was setting and it prompted that response that even I'm still a little confused about."

He laid back on the bed and stared at the ceiling and closed his eyes.

"I've said a lot sure, but give me your honest opinions here. Same with what you want to do with the kid, she said she wants to turn, you really want her to go through with it?"
 

Kingdomkeylight

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[Flames of Fury...]

"What have I told you Hel," a crackle of clear irritation held itself brimming towards the boiling point as Artemis got back up from the dodge roll his partner had performed earlier. Rather then dusting the disgusting dirt material now all over his clothes, hair, and skin instead the Hellian puffed out wave of black smoke as said debris started to burn off like fuel to his no pissed off nature. The disturbing decay like smoke spread fast outward in a circular motion around Artemis, and Hel.

"Its not nice to play with your food,"
in a rather disturbing motion his frown shifts to a twisted grin as the black smoke rises. Returning to his partner he patted her on the shoulder with a warm hand as his eyes started to match hers in a furious glow. Unknowingly to their opponent the black smoke was a radar spell letting its user feel what couldn't be seen, and with simply a moment of eye contact Hel could feel the spells finding just as Artemis could.

"I must admit dragon flesh does sound rather tasty to a royal palette like mine. Though a side of worm will more then ruin the meal," the spirit growled at Ari before with spin his hand shot past the right side of Hel's face before blasting a hellfire shot diagonally upward awarding a much desire impact on a certain bad taste as for a moment the Hellian could see the delicious shock on Ari's face as he was squarely hit in the stomach sending the annoyance flying of a rooftop. Seemingly knocking the wind out of the Hybrid in a way he had probably never experienced before. Upon impact with the ground the purple flames wildly spread across the hybrids torso to burn the ass hat as long as possible.

"I think well done sounds nice tonight don't you,"
he amusingly leaned on Hel's shoulder before returning his attention to a surely enraged Ari as he lifted his left hand casually. For all this snakes threats so for his capabilities had in no way sized up to what the Hellian would call a worthy opponent especially after all the boasting. Then again it was there for a reason something was now surrounding them in Halloween Town... the hissing, the presence in the smoke, and of course Hel's nerves seeping to him. There was something unseen watching them, a dragon of concentrated darkness... heh would indeed be a fine meal tonight. However it was currently not in the same plain of existence as them at the moment, but at the same time all the red flags of it being there from Hel, and the black smoke were undeniable.

"Maybe your pet will be more entertaining then the its insignificant worm of a master crawling on the ground like the trash it is," he mocked with a fake tone of sincerity as the black smoke consumed Artemis, and Hel along with a good city block of distance behind them to cover their scent from the Hybrid as well as gain safety from the more concerning threat at hand.

"We need to make him drag it out, or we wont be able to beat him as he'll just use it to save his ass last second. That or of course we can run if you can't hold your nerve," Artemis spoke rather seriously as he rarely did. This Ari was no joke that first attack had been a lucky shot on a cocky opponent such a opportunity for another hit would have to been earned the hard way. Alone Ari could probably be managed by working together in tandem with him channeled in the hammer. Yet this wasn't the case Ari had a clear trump card on them that required that they fought side by side.

"We just jumped here by chance we do not need to get involved any further. One time I wont make fun of you," a part of Artemis definitely wanted to smash that hybrids face into the harsh ground, but at the same time the rest of him had sworn to protect Hel, and while his mouth was running checks that stated he could put this hybrid, and its pet to sleep...
 

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It was not long before the frail girl succumbed to the exhaustion and just fell asleep. In a way, she savored these moments, the only time where she felt at peace. It was also to these moments she would pander if death would be more favorable than continue living in a borrowed life.

As she slept, her ever-present and unseen watcher stood guard over her. It was like a dull tranquility but peaceful nonetheless, under her dirt-ridden cloak, she found warmth and shelter. But just as fate willed it, her peaceful moment would fall into an abrupt end.

A sign of life in this droll forest, a critter came up to the resting girl to sate its curiosity.

"..."

The unseen guardian let it pass, but still on alert nonetheless. Besides if the creature does so project the slightest of ill intent, it was still on the unseen one's range. It was not long before the worst has arrived, a predator.

It looked like this predatory beast has tailed the critter all the way here, and has now involved the girl in his charge. The unseen one held its shrouded cane and tapped its tip to the ground making loud boom, akin to a bell's toll. It was loud enough to echo throughout a wide radius but unheard from its user's ears, she was still asleep despite that sudden action.

It was a mere act of warning, and enough to ward off predators like it. The unseen one, still invisible to every living soul in sight, stood his ground before the sleeping child. The bell does not toll twice, that first warning was already of a strong significance; should it choose to escalate, then the next toll would be certain ill fate upon it.
 

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~- Self-Inflicted Pain -~

"Sumimasen?" (Excuse me?)

Ari was not expecting his spell to back fire, nor for the girl in front of him to say what she had. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he added in English, "One you have the right to kill, he's tall, has dark hair and eyes like the ocean. He'll be dressed as a warrior monk. The other boy I need alive, he'll have blond hair and blue eyes, probably looks like the one that's dressed as a monk. I'll pay you once the task is done."

It was at that point he got sucker punched.

Rolling with it, he sprang to his feet and hid his pain. It stung, yes, but that pain was nothing compared to Ichi's shit. He glanced at the girl, and commented, "Stick around if you like, or if you like you can go. I don't care, I just have something I need to take care of."

With that Ari gave himself a burst of speed by channeling his pent up energy into his legs, it was much like how a tense snake strikes. Closing the distance, he did a round house on the girl, who tried to block but apparently hadn't prepared herself for the force, because she went rolling across the ground. The guy would have had a little bit more time to brace, which is why Ari feinted a punch to the face before he swept his right leg towards the other man's feet. Ari though didn't stop there, using the momentum from the maneuver, he slid into a round house kick that was aimed at the guy's stomach. The dragon still remained concealed in the fog, Ari knew that it'd only interfere if it deemed it necessary, otherwise it wouldn't.

~- Heading for a Reunion -~

Henry watched as Topsy got ready to drink it, only for a portal to open up and for someone to come tumbling out of it. Topsy got pinned by the person, and Henry had poofed into his cat form, bristling with agitation. He listened as Topsy groaned something about "Wrong heartthrob." as the person apologized profusely for the incident. Growling low in his throat, Henry trotted over and leapt up onto Topsy right shoulder. Curling around the other man's neck, Henry saw the girl rifle around for something before handing Topsy another potion.

Which he got to drink it this time.

Henry saw the burst of energy that surrounded the older mage, and he felt the shiver that went through him. Flicking his tail impatiently, Henry felt the girl's eyes on him and he shot her a questioning look. He could sense the question hanging in the air, and Henry answered, "I-I do this when I'm startled, sorry."

Almost as if he knew what Topsy was thinking, Henry flicked him in the head with his tail. Smacking the guy in the eye, Henry huffed in amusement as the other mage rubbed the assaulted body part. Switching his position to the other shoulder, Henry sniffed the air and remarked, "Andrew's in that direction, and it smells like he's in trouble...again."

"Is this going to be a running gag?" The girl asked, and Henry wasn't quite sure what she was feeling.

Shrugging his shoulders, he answered, "Maybe, just given his older siblings. Savy's notorious for getting into trouble." The last part Henry had to raise his voice a bit, because Topsy had started moving in the direction of Andrew, trying to leave Leyla behind because his focus. Henry could smell the grief, concern and frustration clinging to his ride, and it was suffocating potent but Henry did have enough common sense to not ask about the situation. Instead he carefully sank his claws in so he wouldn't fall off.

~- Might Just Disappear -~

"Kill Krampus, and the fully infected he made will die with him. If not a option we must capture him so I can kill the Hybrid parasite within him thus causing the rest to have a slim chance of salvation if their original conscious still exists. Your choice."

Andy laughed. Did this guy really think it'd be that freaking simple? He had a feeling where this world was headed, and it irritated him to no freaking end. He looked around him at all the destroyed lives, and Machinecken slithered back into his head, setting his nerves on fire once more. He realized that the green clad warrior had moved away from him, and that the kids had moved closer to him. Staring down at them for a moment, he heard Krampus call out, "You're all such naughty children."

Andy knew the legends involving this creature.....

Wait. Legends.

Fuq!

Andrew held his hands out in front of him, closing his eyes he wove together a fast protection spell. It was flimsy, it wouldn't last under a barrage from Krampus but it'd hold the mooks at bay. A circle of light spread out from him, stretching to be as big as he was tall. His eyes darted around him and he saw the half-demon, half-goat creature lurking in the shadows. It was a far shot, but he still chose to try it anyway. Holding the glowing serpentine yellow-green eyed gaze, he steeled himself and called out, "Krampus, child of Hel and the grandchild of Loki. I command you to stop your mischief and demand you let them go."

A low, rumbling laughter echoed around the cavern, but Andy was the only one to see where it came from. "You cannot control me child. You do not hold the proper blood in your veins, besides I'd worry more for your charges then me."

Andy didn't have time to wonder what was meant by that. He was struck from behind, the air being knocked from his lungs even before he connected with the ground. Shock, Lock and Barrel's screams were cut short and he heard a rustling behind him. Pushing himself to his hands and knees, Andy sucked in a breath through clenched teeth, his vision swimming. Glancing behind him, he saw the weird creature that lurked there, it looked to be the mix of a rag doll and spider.

A noise in front of him drew Andy's attention, and it was only because of years of training that he was able to roll out of the way in time. Krampus landed next to him, his eyes locking with the hybrid's and Andy was bombarded by the hybrid's stench. Gagging, Andy scrambled backwards as his mind tried to figure out what to do, he wasn't a stranger to anything creepy, but Krampus and that spider hybrid thing definitely took the cake.

"Spider. Thing. Kill. Now." He stammered, choosing to ignore Krampus so he had a chance to get himself under control.

As for why Andy was freaked, it was because he saw Krampus's true form, not the half-goat, half-demon thing that Green and Walt would have seen. The sound of running footsteps drew Krampus's attention away from Andy, and the blond was relieved for it. He was even more relieved when the hybrid chose to retreat for the time being. Looking at the spider creature, Andy took a shaky breath and climbed back to his feet, preparing himself for what was to come only for the source of the footsteps to appear the cavern. Glancing in the direction, he saw Topsy and Leyla enter, he also saw a cat on Topsy's shoulder.

Raising an eyebrow, he was about to ask when Topsy mouthed, "Long story."

"You owe me some pillowtalk mister." He mouthed back.

It didn't take long for Leyla or Topsy to reach his side, nor for the cat to hightail it to a safe place. Focusing back on the spider, Andy got ready for the new challenge that stood in front of them.

~- All Aboard the Nope Train -~

The clanging of steel rang out, echoing around the hall. The source of the noise was two young men, sparring in the center of the room. They both had dark hair, one had a dark brown hair that went to his shoulders and was muscular. He wore a vest but nothing beneath, so it exposed his chest, and the tattoo that rested on his arm peeked out beneath the sleeve. He was taller than the one he was sparing with, his amber eyes focused on the task at hand but glittering with excitement.

The shorter of the two had blue eyes and short, messy black hair. His eyes crackled with determination as his sparring partner laughed, "Noct, give it some heart. We both know you can do better than this, your strikes are pathetic!"

A snarl of frustration escaping him, Noctis was about to snap back at his friend when an anxious called from the sidelines, "Gladio, do you really need to taunt him that way?"

Noctis's eyes darted to the two blonds that stood to the side, the taller of the two was the one that had spoken. Ignis had a disapproving look on his face, while Prompto was fidgeting with his hands, his blue eyes darting from side to side. Kicking himself off of the ground, Noct threw his sword past Gladio's head. Holding his hand out, Noct warped to where the sword had embedded itself in the balcony, putting a fair amount of distance between himself and his sparring partner. Gladio whipped around, amber eyes narrowing in suspicion as Gladio took a step forward.

Noct wouldn't allow it.

In a fluid motion, he yanked the weapon out and flung it straight at Gladio. Phasing out, Noct reappeared in front of his friend and gripped the sword with both hands, swinging down. Noct's arms vibrated as the impact traveled through him. Kicking out with his foot, Noct used the momentum to send him across the room. Rolling across the ground, Noct called his weapon to him and threw it at Gladio.

It was deflected, but that was expected. Gladio came at him, swinging his broadsword.

Noct rolled out of the way, again it was expected.

A lance sprang to life in Noct right hand, he swung at Gladio even as Noct willed himself to start phasing to avoid the retaliating strike. Gladio locked the blades together, spinning his broadsword he kicked out at Noct, and even though logically it shouldn't have connected, it did.

Noct realized it too late that he'd used too much energy.

Catching Gladio's foot in his stomach, Noct grunted as he rolled across the floor. He came to a painful stop against one of the pillars, whacking his hip against it and sending a spasm of pain radiating along his leg. Even though he didn't mean to, Noctis let out a soft gasp. Sitting up, he went to rub some of the pain out only to wince as it aggravated the old injury that rested there. Looking at Gladio, he could see his friend's concern at his reaction, and Noct waved him off. Getting to his feet, Noct commented half-heartedly, "Don't worry about it, Gladio. Iris hits harder, and that was when she was six."

Gladio's eyes crackled with fire, even if the concern remained in place. Before Gladio could retort though, Ignis stepped between them and recommended coolly, "How about we call an end to this? Noct, go to your room."

"But-"

"Go Noct," Ignis ordered, an edge creeping into his tone and telling Noct that there was no room. Grumbling softly, he turned on his heel and walked out of the room, Prompto hot on his heels. The two wandered through the hall in silence, Prompto looking concerned and Noct trying his hardest not to limp...and failing miserably.

It was only once they got to Noct's apartment that the silence was finally broken between the two friends. "Noct, are you okay?"

Tossing a look in Prompto's direction, he looked at his friend, evaluating his friend's face as he answered back, "Yeah, I'm fine. Why?"

Prompto didn't answer the question, he just gave a nervous look before saying good bye and walked away. Noct was left there feeling confused, but he shrugged it off and went inside. Looking at the clutter in the living room, Noct bowed his head and quickly hurried past it, trying not to focus on it or the stack of dishes in the sink. Reaching his bedroom door, Noct slammed it behind him and quickly ran to his bed. It was childish, but he didn't care, he dove under the covers and buried his head beneath the pillow. He'd deal with the mess when he woke up.

~- Strange Things Did Happen -~

Disney Castle - Throne Room

Aria crouched in front of the thrones, her eyes focused on the mice that ruled the world. Her eyes was on the king, his eyes sad with the news she'd brought him. She knew it wasn't something he was happy about, not that she personally could blame him. The hybrid threat was spreading, despite his best attempts to keep it under heel. Aria also knew he was one of the few Heroes of Old that were still known to be active, the others were either MIA or dead. Or at least with what Aria had heard, maybe the rumors were wrong. She didn't know for sure.

"Does your mother know you're here?" Mickey asked.

Shaking her head, Aria answered, "No, she doesn't. I am the only one left in my family that still has their mind, everyone else is either dead or out of touch with reality."

She couldn't identify the emotion in the mouse king's eyes, but she had the feeling it was something she wouldn't like. The banging at the door caught the king's attention, and Aria looked over her shoulder at it. She could sense the malicious darkness on the other side of the portal, it longed for the heart of light that resided in the room. Mickey looked over his shoulder, examining the cornerstone before he removed himself from his throne and moved toward her.

"Come on, we gotta defend this place."

Mickey's tone was a comfort in its familiarity, it left zero room for arguing. Straitening to her full height, Aria slowly walked forward, being drawn to the darkness she sang, "Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight, in the hanging tree. Are you, are you coming to the tree? Where dead man called out for his love to flee. Come little children, the time's come to play, here in my garden of shadows...."

She couldn't focus on Mickey's bewildered expression, if she did she'd lose her chance of possession on the dark hearts. She could feel the spell taking affect, calling the hearts to her, giving her control of them. The darkness that had been in the room manifested, taking on the form of dragons and they watched her, awaiting a command. Reaching out a hand, she pointed to the door that the hybrids were on the other side. Mickey understood without an explanation, he quickly hopped onto the back of a dark dragon and rode it into battle. Aria directed the other from her place on the back line, her voice rising and falling with the song as she called more dark dragons into the throne room.
 

Tyrant Raver

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As Walt cleared through a drove of grunts, a man clad in green quickly swooped in and swept a considerable lot of them for him. The man was also kind enough to heal his wounds and revitalize his stamina, the wonders of White Magic never fails to do its purpose. Not far behind the man, was a boy who seemed like someone whom was just fresh out of a bloody struggle.

"Kill Krampus, and the fully infected he made will die with him. If not a option we must capture him so I can kill the Hybrid parasite within him thus causing the rest to have a slim chance of salvation if their original conscious still exists. Your choice."
The man in the green clad, oddly enough, called himself Green explained in such a straight-laced manner that Walt almost mistaken him for a machine than a real person. And of course, along with the boy's laughter was Walt's furrowed reaction to Green's instructions. It was nice to to have pointers, but he just says the tall order like it was the most normal thing in the world.

"...!"

Walt felt a lightning bolt struck his spine as he sensed a dangerous presence.

"You're all such naughty children."

And there he was, Krampus in his mocking grandeur once again. Heightening his senses, Walt scanned his immediate surroundings. And sure enough, he felt multiple entities scampering towards them at an alarming pace.

As he was about to warn the others, the boy that was with Green was quickly pulled in by an unseen presence. And yet again from the other direction, the kids, Lock, Shock and Barrel were being overrun by the sudden wave. Looks like he had to choose, and just chose the latter.

"Waaah!",

"Please help!",

"I can't hold on!"

The three kids were at a tug of war with the creatures pulling Lock unto the thick of horde, whilst unknowingly some of them were already surrounding the kids.

O ivory walls of a great kingdom, hear thy heart as I beckon thy glory!

Level 3 Release: Galahados!

Upon the incantation as its activation, Walt's prosthetic arm illuminated like the rays of the golden sun. His arm materialized its golden armor plates that assembled upon its slots. With the arm armor assembly completed, the light radiated from his arm all gathered up to his palm.

"Grrah!"

With a swing of his arm, the mighty visage of his Keyblade revealed. Not a key-shaped blade, but a great shield taking the form of Walt's fortitude and perseverance. Gathering momentum as he charged through, he spun from his heels and threw the shield like a metal frisbee.

The spinning shield flew through the horde, ricocheting in various vectors as if it was locked on to each and every one of the creatures. As the shield ricocheted back to his grasp, Walt gripped it onto its edge and threw it again with extra force unto it. With such strength of his throw, he turned his shield into a flying buzzsaw, cutting through the horde that surrounded the three kids.

But try as he may, sadly it was not enough. Before he could advance, Walt was instantly blockaded by the sheer number of enemies barreling through. As the kids cried for help and Walt practically tearing through droves, it was then a moment of inevitability took place.

"...!"

The three kids were snatched up from behind into the darkness by web-like strings, and just like that, they were gone from sight with a blink of an eye.

"Nooooo...!!!"

Lightning bolted through his arm as Walt slammed his fist unto the ground, creating a buzzing impact that blew away the horde in a swath of destruction. And in their place, a large spider-like creature of darkness landed upon the craggy interior. It was not long for him to realize that the creature was aiming for him next.

"Tch!"

Walt braced himself, there was no time to lament. He could still hear the faint cries for help resonating from within the creature. He raised his shield as he prepare to meet the creature head on.
 
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Just Dari

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Unwanted guest, Halloween Town was full of these little "gems" today. From the rag-tag criminals that unceremoniously broke the hierarchy of Machineckn Town, to colorful offworlders who's loyalties belonged to no one. Some of us could be counted as vigilantes, taking the law into their own hands and taking out mutual respected villains, others, like Newt were just tools to the highest bidder.

There was a compression, focal point so tiny, it was physically impossible to see, the power of an atom when split? Boom.

Her air split it in half, causing a sudden burst of force inside the black smoke lacerating it's bonds and pushing it away as the wind traveled in a dome-like protrusion outwards and carrying the smoke, and escape plan of the two that interfered with it. Reaching inside her green dress, just beneath the bra strap, a single lighter and menthol smoke, she placed in her mouth and lit the cigarette, taking a dainty little puff and blowing the smoke into the air, even revealing the dragon that waited.

"Enough already, no one caaaaaaaaares."

Her steel toe boot tip tapped the dirt and the eject mechanism shot that foot back up for a slick wind up to a kick she arc'd like a ballet dancer. The momentum shifted from the spring of the toe to a horizontal twist and it shifted the power along her thigh to exit through the knee. Her planted foot sank into the dead ground, and remained stationary to keep and add to the transfer of momentum into a spell cast of all things.

"Aero"

A shimmer from her thigh projected what looked like a an afflicting wind-sphere around her acquaintance that chose to leap forward with reckless abandon in retaliation to well, a cypress and some manner of spirit. Spirit. Really? We're really dealing with super-imposed dead that can afflict physical matter now? The red-head would be on the receiving end of a tumor if this perplexed her sense of things needing to be actual. Beyond that, the descriptions her acquaintance had given her, that could be literally anyone, was it worth the trouble she questioned herself.

"You mind just...leaving? Or, we can throw a celebration over your bones and entrails while I use your male friend's body to commit a necro-sin...after I kill him a second time..." she giggled and bashfully placed a single finger over her upper lip.
 

Kingdomkeylight

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[Hell Hath No Fury...]

"HEL," Artemis hissed into a full roar as the time between Hel getting sent tumbling, and the soon to be fried lizards volley of attacks gave Artemis no time to secure his partner. Their smoke cover was blown away making Ari's quick switch painfully much easier as the spirit was now in clear view. The spirits hands were engulfed in flames as he braced them upward to block the feint attack causing a searing hiss to resound as the flames scattered upon Ari's fist making impact. Artemis winced as he felt himself getting pushed back as his block was broken forcing him a step back. Unwillingly to be pushed back further unfortunately earned the spirit a kick to the back of his forward leg with enough momentum to force him to a ground cracking kneel with one leg.

"YOUR MINE," Artemis roared demonically as he caught the round house kick with both his hands. Clearly pissed of the demons hands started to shine to life in hellish runes dispersing concentrated purple flames threatening to burn away the caught foot as the hellian shot back up with full force uplifting Ari into the air. Throwing one hand away from his prey the runes converged into his now ball fist as he hammer it in a arc introducing Ari to the duo's war hammer that brutally nailed down the Hybrid causing the ground to shatter as it sent cracks in ever direction. Readjusting his grip all the way down to where the hammer head and pole met the hellion was clearly ready to bring a furious pummel unto this cocky asshats face. Yet before such a well deserved beat down could start.

"Enough already, no one caaaaaaaaares."

Having forgotten the hybrids accomplice in ruthless error to his rage Artemis was sent flying like a ragdoll as he growled in thankfully disperse rage giving him back his concentration to the problem at hand. The taunts of the flaunted wind bag fell on deft ears as with his right hand still filled with hellion runes decided to blindingly flare into a massive flame thrower that fused with the Aero spell creating a half dome of intense fire.

"We're fire proof... hopefully they can't say the same," Artemis hissed in pain as he lugged Hel in his arms as they retreated out of sight quite a bit of distance away from the unexpected hostile guests they had ran into. For now they would sneak into the underground entrance Artemis had found unaware of what was happening underground was just as hostile as what had just happen above.
……………………………………………………………………………

[Branching Out A Plan...]

"You're all such naughty children."

"My, my how spooky you are for a casted shadow of a jolly soul," Green chuckled as Andy was immediately panicked by something he nor Walt could apparently see to the point the boy seemed to lose his nerve for a moment as not only Krampus, but a strange spider contraption creature entered the fray... well... that was new, and a massive problem.

"Well Nana aren't you just getting more proficient," Green sighed as he ruffled his hair as the spider sprang into battle with the kids, and Walt who chased after it. Krampus could now make Hybrid combative creatures more advanced then the mindless hordes that they had been dealing with up to this point. The nightmare lore based hybrid was becoming more, and more a massive world ending issue. Seemed it was time to initiate his two phase plan now made more difficult thanks to the spider creature. However as luck would have it some folks joined Andy. Krampus was the target, but upon the screaming pleading souls of the three kids Green found himself in a slight conundrum of action. On one side if he joined up with Andys group their would be a good chance of silencing Krampus now. Yet by following that route he left Walt alone in a rather trying manner of rescue... with a soft sigh, and out of place smile he turned away from Krampus.

"Well then lets catch this spider by its threads shall we," Green sung calmly to Walt as the barrel of his gun retracted cancelling out the magical blade, and switching the sniper rifle into its assault rifle mode.

"However, I have a requested once we have freed the kids I ask that you help me catch the creature into one of my traps I have been brewing if that's alright. We may be able to revert this one back into its original form. Shouldn't be much to ask from a keyblade wielder I assume," Green spoke nonchalantly as if what he was asking was simple. He had seen Walt's attacks a moment ago, and though it was uniquely used there was no denying that hand was somehow a keyblade. KEFT was always willing to work with keybladers on hybrid exterminations so at least to say Green should be able to work of this gentleman tactics.

"Well then lets see how this thing functions so we can reclaim your friends," Green immediately took a gunner stance before unleashing a hell of bullets at all the mindless hybrid in the way until the clip ran out thankfully liquifying quite a good amount of the frontal part of the new wave guarding the spider. Kicking off forward Green started to weave past the hybrids no coming from the side flanks around the spider humming as he switched out clips from his belt thanks to helping Andy originally he was down to four including the one that he had just snapped in place. Claws scratched at his armor as he got closer to the spider reminding Green how it was good call to switch to his mid set uniform as it was able to deflect the grazing attacks. Yet he knew the spider would probably have no problem ripping through it if given the chance. Flanking to the right he started to unleash a volley of shots at the spider ragdolls feet forcing it to move in response. Green watched as it scurried away from the shots its body loosely opening here all over with each step momentarily showing the kids here and there. It clearly was keeping them in the abdomen, and potentially with one clean heavy hit to the front could potentially force it to unravel wide enough for someone fast to grab the kids.

"Pinning down the front half may be are most successful option," Green called out to Walt as the armored gunner sprang upward towards the walls kicking off so he could get to the back of the creature chasing after it while corralling its movement with gun fire to keep it away from Andy's group.

"Mobile Sprout Pitcher," Green called out as his left gauntlet gentle released a puff of spores signaling some sort of reaction that Andy's group would here lightly rumbling from the corridor Green, and Andy had originally came from. It would take the spell a moment to mobilize, but that would be alright for now. At this time getting those kids free was the priority.
………………………………………………..

[A Pitter Patter Upon The Moonlight....]

As the girl known as Vrivianne watch the world from her perch down below the scarred world a small flame could be seen coming to life... from the looks of it for a moment, or two confirmed its wasn't some hazardous spark yet simply put a stationary flame seeable to anyone looking down at the small cottage torn asunder building that surrounded it. Any of the seen hybrid controls oddly did not seem to react to it at first, but as some got close a rather unexpected shift of path showed they were no avoiding it. Whatever was inside hidden by what little roof was left from the view of Trace's building was clearly making the hybrids uneasy as more, and more patrols seemed to further their distance from the ash covered cottage.

If one were so bold to investigate they would find no hostile intent, nor trap, or even unspoken way for the flame to have started. All they would be greeted with was a small man made camp fire inside a falling apart cottage with only a single soul sitting down simply watching the flames with a soft whistle of a unusual tune similar to the gentle waves of the ocean. The person in question was a young male in appearance garbed in a undertakers clothing. Around him was simply a shovel that had been used to dig out the hole for the fire, a few pieces of wood to feed it, and upon the mans lap a rather unique cane emitting a rather strange black mist that dissipated in the air a mere inch away from the cane.

Lofty purple eyes watched the flames as the strangers wavy blue hair rustled with the wind entering through the cracks strummed about the wall behind him wasn't shocking seeing how the wall to his front was completely gone. Yet since parts of the roof held the strange had dictated this spot to be his resting place for the moment. He needed his energy after all to hunt down whatever he was looking for in such a sadden town.

As the stranger threw another piece of the wood to the fire his hand was met with a droplet of water as it signaled the unexpected gentle rain that started to come down. With no response other then the tune he was whistling he watched as the fire burn knowing it really didn't matter if it went out even if his face portrayed a sickle look he would easily hold through a cold night like this.
 

purgatory

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​Well the bird certainly wasn't estranged to the site of this world. I had to really wonder, if Trace's friend was about as sentient as any of us. Leaning over the edge of the balcony my eyes were tensing between the rubble and cobblestone. So he really lived here , the only thought provoking banter that tickled my head over and over on repeat. Why did a hybrid have a home so...barren of life...and the consumed that walked the streets, I just couldn't.

My worth, what was it that even got me here in the first place. Chance, I was just some drunk depressed and a long way from home. You'd think I was counting on it, alcohol poisoning...if any at all to just end me. I could recant the past couple of hours vividly in my mind, Halloween Town, Machinecken Town, and these two hybrids. If this deal was to be believed, then one day...I'd be just like them. Hating humans...something Trace did, I couldn't say I could blame him, but I can't...outright detest myself. My eyes darted from left to right, the crumble and rubble of an apartment falling apart with it's side ripped into.

"I don't get it...I don't understand either of you, no matter how much you explain it." there was a light glint in my eye.

"Cal..."

Daydreaming as per usual, I'd already lost track of space and time in front of me. The sound of Bray ruffling it's feathers and body on my shoulder was a sharp snap to reality. I reached to my side and plucked a marker from my Grigori, and simply allowed it to drop to the surface slowly. Gravity pulled it, and what felt like watching a fall in slow motion, my attention was completely focused on the tiny marker getting smaller the further away it fell. I squeezed myself and in no time I was on the ground floor, catching the marker and facing multiple scaled hybrids. Patches of red eyes, noses that sought to catch my scent, suddenly going from a mode of aggression, to docile and tame.

"Looks like that charm he gave me...really does work? O-oh kay..." I uttered nervously as I walked down the beaten path.

"This place...its so far away...from feeling like it's alive..."

Passing a cottage on the ground floor, the hybrids on the ground alerted and turned to this one building. Even the flicker of my key-chain was going off rapidly, as they sprout their red electrified feelers staring into an abandoned building. In my own confusion, I looked into a house and saw a lonely person throwing wood on a fire. Instantly, i realized it was fairly cold here on the ground and stroked my shoulders rubbing against my body-suit. Unnecessary, the suit was well insulted for all different types of combat conditions, even temperature adjustments. As my keyblade dangled from my thick hips, it swung around as I tried to get closer through the mob of hybrids outside and peered within.

"Hello?"
 

TheMostRad

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~ Now Entering Olympus Coliseum Atmosphere ~
~Hull Armor at - 15 - Percent~

"THANK YOU, AUDY!"

Dende was rapidly losing control of The Kingdom Come, but such was nothing new. For all of his book smarts and other-worldly travels, he continued to be a slapdash pilot and haphazard Gummi mechanic. He could theoretically conjure up dark portals, but they always seemed more dangerous than his usual winging-it - Why take the portal and risk the Heartless attacks when you could just fly...and risk Heartless ship attacks...where instead of dying engulfed by Shadows, you'll die in the void of space...

*CRONCH*
~Hull Armor at - 10 - Percent~
"Oy gromsch... AuDy, divert all remaining power from thrusters to wing propellers, we're gonna have to turn this dive into a glide!"

~Negative - Left Propeller Damaged In-Flight - Initiating Crash Landing Procedures~
~Diverting All Power To Frontal Shields - Readying Safety Impact Foam~

Dende sat back in his chair and sighed, deftly reaching into a few of his many pockets and readying reagents for a Reflega potion. His body shook with the turbulence racking his slipshod ship, yet his hands kept perfectly steady with the dexterity of a professional who's grown alarmingly familiar with the numerous ways a frog can go "splat".

With the potion prepped, Dende looked up out the dome to scope out where he would be landing. He spotted the Coliseum Courtyard, nice and empty. However, there was something flying up and away from the Coliseum itself...something...draconic?! "Whoa now!" Dende veered as hard of a right as he could to avoid clipping the creature, but his trajectory was thrown off and now pointed towards a bit steeper of a drop. While the Underworld was his destination, he had been hoping to avoid fishing pieces of his ship out of the Styx, but Dende had rolled with harder punches. In the last moments before impact, Dende downed the shimmering solution he had crafted, pulled his Automated Dynamics Navi-G from its slot on the dashboard, and braced himself. "Reflega!"

The Kingdom Come squished together into a gummy Gummi mess with various blocks breaking off from the impact, and even more flying off due to the combo of expanding impact foam and a Reflega bubble bursting from the cockpit. At the center of the crater lay Dende, more sore from the magical expenditure it took to cast the bubble than from the actual crash, who sat up after a short moment and brushed himself off, taking a quick abridged inventory. Backpack, check. Coat, check. AuDy, check. "Sorry, buddy, thanks for saving my skin again." Dende tucked the Navi-G into his backpack and stood himself up. "Now I've got to get going - Knowing my luck, I'm probably gonna be late..."

Dende set off for Hades' Chambers at a spirited hop. Even if he had no serious intentions of jumping into a deal, being tardy probably wouldn't aid his end of the trade. He slid down the stream along the Cave of the Dead, then sprinting up the narrow paths of the Valley of the Dead before reaching the chamber doors. As he ran up the last set of stairs, he procured a pencil and notepad from his pockets, knowing there would be ample notes to take. He announced himself before looking up as he cleared the last stair - "Mr. Hades, Hello, my name is Dende Daceran and I'm your Two O'Clo-"

His rising eyes first caught a glance of the pale girl in the chair, and then he spotted the Lord of the Dead upon his throne. For an amphibious creature, he looked rather sheepish. "I, ah, I can come back later if you're in the middle of something? It's on me for being late, I know, you know what I'll just see myself back down."
 

Story Keeper

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~- Spirit Guide -~

Cutter stared at Hades, trying to figure out how to approach the situation as was expected of her. Hades seemed ready to answer when the door opened and...a frog entered. Cutter stared at it as it talked to Hades, curiosity shining in her eyes at the oddity. It’s so cute, I wonder if it’s like the frogs back home? A moment later she registered the current situation, rising to her feet she bowed to Hades and said politely, “Excuse me, I’ll see myself out for now.”

She left before she was truly given permission to leave, her thoughts churning at what had just happened. Her thumb drifted to her mouth as her mind wandered, biting the tip of the nail, Cutter mulled her situation. The ghosts in the realm started to drift towards her, intrigued by the living body that had entered their realm willing. She slowed her pace until she came to a stop, listening to the moans of the dead and the howl of a dog somewhere close by.

She didn’t have a doubt that Hades could retrieve her at any point, which meant he was busy with his other guest. So, what to do? She could start making her own plan, in which case she’d have to explore this realm. Maybe even find something to help put Heracules in his proper place. She was about to take a step forward only to pause. The cause? A spirit ball that appeared a few feet from her, it bobbed in front of her for a couple of minutes. Walking towards it, she whispered, “Do you want me to fall you?”

The spirit orb bobbed again, and she could have sworn it was a yes. Suddenly entranced, Cutter followed after the orb in a daze, not even paying attention to where her feet was taking her.

~- Hate the Mostl -~

Hel barely kept from elbowing Artemis in retaliation. She knew he was just doing what he thought was best, but dammit it she wanted to fight them! Especially that condescending witch. She could understand why, yet it didn’t change her opinion. Once they were safely away, she kicked him hard in the leg so she tumbled to the ground. She whipped around to face him, an irritated look in her eyes as she snapped, “What the actual hell Artemis? Why’d you runaway?”

She started pacing from the bundle of nervous energy. It was only when she heard a noise that she stopped in her tracks. Her muscles tensing, she raised a hand for Artemis to be quiet as she tried to figure out what had distracted her. Panthers and wolves materialized from the shadows, a sinister light in their eyes as they watched the pair. “Not to be quoting her but no one cares!”

The creatures didn’t seem to appreciate the dismissal, if the lunge forward was an indication of the creatures mood. She spun out of the way, she kicked out with her right foot to retaliate against one panther creature that got too close to her. She felt a familiar itch across her skin, she knew it was the darkness egging her on, daring her to summon the war hammer. She refused to conform, it just didn’t sit well with her to do it if it wasted her time, which was what she could tell this fight was going to be.

~- Rapid Change -~

Ari would be the first to say he had no idea what just happened. Staring at Newt, he ignored the dragon that watched him, it was Ichi’s pawn after all. Anyway, Newt, back on track to what he originally wanted. Pulling out a picture, he flicked it at her. “I want the man in the picture dead, his younger brother was rumored to have been a resident of Machineken for the last few years. Both of them are powerful, and can call on creatures to help themselves. Do you know of a man named Topsy? I want you to deal with him as well so he doesn’t interfere with my goals, the method is up to you. There’s only one out of the three I need alive and it’s the blond.”

He did vaguely regret coming to this world, it was...odd to say the least. He glanced at Newt, filing away different things about her person that might be useful later. Focing back on the multi headed dragon that had been exposed, he ordered, “Return to Ichi, tell him Susano prowls the worlds.” The dragon hissed before moving away, it wouldn’t have taken much to guess where it was going.

“If you see a man that kind of looks like me but has grey-silver hair and unusual green eyes, run. He won’t hesitate to destroy you.” He hadn’t looked at her during the warning, and he honestly didn’t know why he felt the need to warn her anyway. Facing her fully, Ari switched his stance to a more casual one as he added, “What do you usually charge for your services, Ms. Assassin?”

~- War Zone -~

Andrew drew way more comfort in his friends than he should have. It was easy to call the next spell, a soft blue glow entering his eyes. The sound of waves crashing filled his ears, drowning out the taunts from Krampus. He had to chase one off to manage the other, and he could see the hearts that still existed in the spider hybrid. A sigh escaped him as he closed his eyes. “Null-tide,” he breathed.

The glow didn’t disappear, instead growing brighter on his skin. The ancient dialect of the Astrals slid into his mind, the cool voice wasn’t one he recognized. He tensed a hair more as he pleaded mentally, I know I haven’t officially entered a pact with you, but I need your strength. Please Tidemother.

This once child. We will fix this on Eos.

Thank you. Andrew felt the water rush into the cavern, ignoring him and his allies. Krampus and the other hybrids were washed away, leaving just the spider behind. Stumbling a little, Andy grabbed a hold of Topsy’s arm. “I’m sorry for earlier, there was just so much going on.” Andy didn’t know if his sudden lightheadedness was overuse of magic, the concussion or Topsy being so close. All of them were a legit reason. He was hit with a burst of anger and sadness, one came from Krampus, and the other the spider hybrid.

For the moment though, Krampus was not in sight. He focused on the spider, his heart cracking and threatened to shatter the more he looked at it...at her. A tear sliding down his face, he thought, I’m sorry you have to go through this. We’ll save you no matter what.” He didn’t realize that he’d grabbed Topsy’s hand as his thoughts turned dark on him. There was only a couple of reasons why he was still breathing, his fear spiking again he whispered, I need you, please don’t leave me.” He was quickly drawn beneath the hybrid’s negative emotions, his eyes glazing over like new cut glass as he added, “The hearts within are hurting. I can’t...I don’t know.”

Why doesn’t he listen to me? Why won’t he hear me? Jack, I love you. Don’t you love me too? Andy was just hazarding a guess at the source of the faintest heart’s despair, the energy was similar to Jack and his own dismay. His tails twitched as his ears pressed flat against his head. He squeezed Topsy’s hand once more before he reluctantly moved to the spider, plans forming in his head. Dispelling all of the magic around him, he called the lance and swung at the spider.

It roared in answer before it skittered away from him, heading straight for Walt again. Sprinting after it, he racked his brain for potential attacks. Spider silk, venom, blunt force, speed... Those were typical defensive tactics Andy had personally noticed from spiders when they did attack. Sure it didn’t take into account the human aspect of things.

Silk flicking started as the hybrid stomped and roared. Rolling out of the way of the silk, Andy didn’t look back to see if someone had gotten hit by it. He hoped no one had, only to be distracted when he was greeted by the hybrid rushing him. He just managed to avoid getting hit as the spider ran over him, glancing up at the abdomen he took note of the rag doll symbol underneath. His throat tightened and his eyes burned, the despair the hybrid was radiating could be tasted in the air, especially by those that were sensitive to the emotions of others.

A faint cry of help reached his ears before the spider was herded away by Green. He didn’t pay attention to the sound around him, his focus on the spider as he went after it. The spider stopped running , turning to face them it lunged forward to strike. Throwing himself at Green, Andy rolled across the ground even as he lashed out with his lance.

The ground sizzled where the venom made contact, so no dry bites? Brilliant.

“Don’t get bit,” he warned, before moving back into the fray.

The spider reared back, exposing her fangs before striking at Andy. He just avoided the fangs, in exchange though his right arm got grazed by one of her legs. Panting a little, he rolled to avoid another strike, the stones scraping his skin. Scrambling to his feet, he tightened his grip and swung out. The spider moved back, Andy muttered something and temporarily froze her in place. The scream that came from the hybrid made him wince, it was a mix of human and animal.

“Green flank it on the right. You,” Andy pointed to Walt, “The other side!”

He’d take it from the front, so that he was the only one who got bit. Getting to his feet again, he sent it a look that screamed “I’m so sorry.” Before getting ready for the next string, he’d hold off though because he wanted to see about corridnating an attack.
 

Just Dari

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If only it was magic, it was never magic.

The she pulled the bonds apart, creating nitrogen, instantly solidifying the flames into hunks of ice and dropped to the floor to the sides of the aero spell. Her eyes stared with half-interest, the two whoever they were, as quickly as they'd arrived be it by some miscalculation or whatever the hell, decided almost instantly to turn tail. Everyone was on their pussy game today, not even trying to beat it either.

The woman sighed. A ball of compressed air whisped along, and she did a full rotation and launched it similar to when she was punishing the young boy from earlier. Her ball of air was yet another gas-bomb. "You want to run your mouth, fine. Go to sleep..."

Just as they disappeared from sight, so too did her gas bomb. The beautiful things about using attacks with an area of effect, they didn't necessitate the need to score a direct hit, thats not what made'm lethal weapons of choice. A boom followed, a trail of purple mist circulated and filled the area, from ground to ceiling expanding roughly a distance of thirty meters. The gas had the qualities of a noxious element, the likes of which effectively neutralized the muscles, a sedation inducing mixture of the elements.

Listening to this person who's name she didn't know, he acted as if he didn't almost just explode from the interference the other two, her eyes were more focused on the slabs off ice that dropped off her personal build and composition for creating what would normally go for an "aero spell" but not a spell. She had a slight impatient vibe, but wasting time talking in the round-a-bout way like this, not her thing. Rolling her eyes she didn't say anything, didn't want to hurt feelings you know? Didn't give her name, didn't identify, the less personal the better unless other services were exchanged, but not here.

"Bill after the kill. Never the same price depending on whats performed, you'll get an invoice when I'm done." she said, turning after taking the picture and studying it thoroughly. "We're done here."
 

Story Keeper

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~- A Brand New Day -~

Time Skip: Eos

Andy didn't know what to think, so many things had happened in a short span of time. Machinecken had been destroyed, Halloween Town had fallen, and suddenly they were back on Eos. His childhood home, Andy had been forbidden by Ignis from doing too much fighting because of his concussion. Noctis had been left flustered given their introduction to the world (under normal circumstances he would have laughed). Ari, apparently Harley's brother, had sacrificed himself so they could avoid the oldest. Sevastian had been terrified at the mere sight of the man, someone by the name of Ichi? No matter how much he begged though, Sevastian and Henry both refused to give detail on why.

Noctis had given them a rundown of things, how the Nifleheim Empire had been attacking them again. Although a peace treaty was supposed to be taking place soonish. Andy highly doubted that was the case, especially when it was mentioned the ambassador was one Ardyn Izunia. Andy had hid the fact his skin had crawled at the name, although he did lean closer to Topsy in a unaware effort for comfort. Sevastian had huffed in displeasure during that incident, although he hadn't said anything. He knew that it was just the adrenaline burning off that left him exhausted, and that he felt like he could sleep for ages, but still....

Andy felt guilty for wasting the majority of the day, and under Gladio's suggestion, he was up and wandering the city. It felt so great to be back home, and the Astrals were chatting a million miles a minute. He was sure that Topsy was going to be sparring with Gladio, but that wasn't for another hour. Glancing to the protective wall, he noted that the sun was going down, which meant the stronger monsters would be prowling soon. The ones that only the most skilled monster hunters dared to face because the monsters radiated the Starscourge.

His skin prickled at the thought of the disease, even as his heart ached. Turning his back on the wall, Andy headed back towards the training grounds so maybe he could talk to Topsy before the sparring match took place.
 
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Eternal Dream

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~- Ghosts in the Mirror -~

Leyla stood outside of the city walls, her eyes to the setting sun as she started the calisthenics Zack had taught her years ago. The exercises were second nature to her, allowing her to relax her body. Normally, the rote movements helped to relax her mind as well, but not this time. This time, it gave her far too much time to think, and while the calisthenics helped her physically, they were far from comforting mentally. It was a double edged sword, one she couldn't help but wield.

Krampus had been far too strong for any of them. They'd fought as hard as they could, the god hosts, (that was what they called themselves?) pulling out some incredible power and moves, the boy Andy in amazing form with his summons, and even Topsy had an excellent magical trick or two to contribute. Leyla threw every blade and trick of her own at the Heartless, but it still hadn't been enough. Krampus succeeded in felling Halloween Town, and it was the second World in as many days that Leyla witnessed fall to Darkness.

Before they had fled the crumbling World, a man had appeared. Before Leyla could study his aura, though, Sevastion's had caught her attention; it had gone absolutely haywire, alarm, terror, and utter hatred sparking through it. She'd seen his hand move to the sword at his side; but before he could draw it, another man had appeared, similarities in his aura suggesting that he was brother to the one that had caused Sevastion's reaction. Leyla and the others were swallowed by a portal then, but she thought she saw the first man strike down the one that had come to their aide.


They'd been tumbled out into a brand new World after that. More accurately, they'd been tumbled into someone's room, and Leyla had landed right on top of that someone. She'd had a moment to register dark hair, blue eyes, and a rather handsome face; than she scrambled off of him, her face flaming from having landed on top of a boy for the second time in a day. By the time she'd regained her composure enough to apologize, she'd turned around to find that he'd left, his friends laughing something about a Lady Luna and how Leyla looked something like her, and the need for a cold shower. It was humiliating.

Despite the awkwardness, though, it was a pleasant surprise to find out just how nice Noctis and his friends were. They'd helped the small group of World travelers out; the fact that this seemed to be Andy's home World, and that he'd been friends with Noctis when they were boys, certainly helped. There'd been a game last night between all of them, one that had devolved into Andy, Noctis, and his friends all taking potshots at each other. It had been sweet, but it hurt. Noctis and his friends, she could tell they regarded each other like family; more than that, they acted like brothers. Their snipes, calling each other on stupid things and their faults...

It reminded her of the Hunters.

"Hey, pretty girl. It's Leyla, right?"

She turned around, watching as Noctis' friend, Prompto, picked his way toward her. He smiled, blonde hair falling in his face, and Leyla found herself returning the smile as she said, "Yes, it is. Is everything alright?"

Prompto kept smiling, acting like he was at ease, but he wasn't fooling her. She saw the way his eyes kept scanning the horizon, his eyes narrowing as he gauged the gathering shadows as night approached. His hands rested near the guns he carried, his fingers one twitch away from having the weapons in his grip. Even so, he kept his voice light as he said, "The sunset is beautiful out here, isn't it? Even so, it's best to get inside the city walls, Leyla. Really powerful monsters roam outside the walls at night, and you don't want to get caught by them."

"I'm not afraid of a few monsters," she said softly. She brought one hand to her chest, the other playing with her seashell bracelet. Her eyes turned away from Prompto, she continued, "I've faced a lot of horrors, true demons. What are a couple of extra strong monsters?"

"Who is he?"

She snapped her eyes to him, surprised. Having gotten her attention, he said, "Think I don't know the look of someone that's heartsick? Andy said that a lot's happened in the last day or two, though he's not exactly sure what all you've got on your plate. I don't have any special powers like that aura sight that you mentioned, but I can see a thing or two. You've got someone on your mind, and you miss him."

"I told you that I was pretty much raised around the royal family of my World, right?" Prompto seemed a little surprised by her asking him a question in return, but he just nodded. Leyla took a breath, held it, then let it back out again before continuing, "The Hunters... they're incredible. Zack and Tony are like shooting stars, brilliant and eye catching, the center of attention, good or bad. If the twins are like stars, Rhys, the oldest, is like the night sky itself. He's warm and comforting, a little in the background compared to his brothers, but always there with a protective embrace for the ones he cares about."

The words stuck in her throat, and Leyla found that she couldn't talk for a long moment. Finally, she said softly, "Matt's the youngest. He's always been a little... a little unsure of himself, because he's not like his brothers. He's brilliant in a fight, but he's not a fighter; Rhys always said that Matt has plenty of talent, but no heart. He's always been unsure of himself, but I wish he could see what I could. He's like the moon. Warm, quiet, and a little reflective of those around him. But he's so gentle and kind. I just... I just..."

"You miss him." It wasn't a question; it was an obvious fact, and Prompto stated it as such. Leyla nodded, unwilling to speak for fear that she might start crying. Halloween Town, Traverse Town, Orange Cove. Master Anise, the Hunters, her friends. Matt. It was all too much, one tragedy building off the other, until it had all crested over the walls that she'd built to keep her problems at bay. She couldn't...

She clamped down on that thought. Now wasn't the time. Turning to Prompto she laughed softly, saying, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to unload on you like that; it was rather presumptuous of me to think that you'd care about the deeper problems of a virtual stranger. Like you said, nightfall's coming. We should head inside."

~--------~

OOC: Might edit with Sav later. Not sure.
 
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Story Keeper

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~- Master of My Fate -~

Andrew dodged people as was needed, their hearts reached out to him. He was a little troubled by it but brushed it aside for the time being. Or he tried to until one heart drew his attention.

Yes it was dark. It was also sad and felt very old. It reminded him of Topsy.

He headed toward the heart, his own ached because of the presence. His destination was getting closer, images even started to play in his head. He didn’t see it but darkness gathered on his skin. He turned into an alleyway and noticed that it was mostly empty, all but for a man with red-violet hair. He could already tell they were sharply dressed, Andy moved closer as if he was in a trance.

He wanted to heal their pain. He started to say something when he stopped, he vaguely recognized the man from years past. Muscles tensed in the anticipation of trouble, yet the other man remained relaxed as he approached. Andy took note of the smile on Ardyn’s face, even as his eyes remained guarded.

“You’ve grown so much! I’ve missed you, it seems like yesterday you were five.” Ardyn chirped, moving closer to him.

Andy immediately summoned his lance. Ardyn for his part looked hurt, Andy didn’t buy it though. He couldn’t explain why he hated Ardyn, he just did. The pain in his head increased, Andy closed his eyes for the briefest of moments. When they were opened again, Andy saw his lance had disappeared and Ardyn was in his face.

Harley appeared in his mind, Andy stumbled away from both men. He nearly fell only for Ardyn to steady him. “Whoa, easy there! Don’t want to get hurt now.” Ardyn teased gently.

Andy’s head spun as he gained more of Ardyn’s memories. He tightened his grip on Ardyn’s arm, he closed his eyes wishing he could heal some of the pain. Andy didn’t see some of the darkness move from Ardyn into himself.

“Wha-? No!” Ardyn shouted, before painfully introducing Andy to the wall to the right.

Andy winced even as he laughed internally, I need to stop smacking my head against things before I kill myself. He carefully opened his eyes, meeting Ardyn’s eyes. Fear rested there, it was hard to spot beneath the rage. Ardyn leaned close and hissed, “Turn your back on the Astrals. They are not worth it, they’ll destroy you.”

Andy didn’t bother to hide his confusion. A shake of the head and Ardyn walked away, before leaving though, Ardyn glanced back and tilted his hat in a mocking gesture. “Remember what I told you. And by the way, have a wonderful birthday if I don’t see you in a couple days. I hear there’s a festival in town starting tomorrow.” Ardyn winked and left Andy alone.

What just happened? What did he mean? Andy thought, then remembering what he was supposed to be doing he pushed himself away from the wall. He walked in the opposite direction of Ardyn, rubbing the hand with the sigil he sensed what Topsy was doing. He smiled at it, there was a couple of things he wanted to show Topsy and Sevastian while they were here.

A spring in his step, Andy tried to get it across the apparent link that he was eager to talk to Topsy. He also was hoping that he did pick up the nervous excitement that was caused by being home. Maybe they could get a bite to eat after the sparring match?

He spotted Topsy up ahead, a smile spreading across his face, Andy ran forward. Reaching the older mage, he put his hands on his knees and struggled to catch his breath. He frowned a little, trying to figure out why he was so worn out. Noticing the faint ache in his chest, he drew on his magic again to numb the pain so it didn't prove to be a problem. He didn't need Topsy worrying, not after what he'd (Topsy) been through in Halloween Town. Returning to his proper height, Andy forced a smile and chirped cheerfully, "How're you doing today? Do want to get something to eat? Also you still owe me an explanation of that dream, and pillow talk." Andy added the last bit, about the pillow talk, as a playful teasing remark. His eyes showed the sudden mischief that he was feeling.

~- Choking in the Crowd -~

Ardyn walked down the street, a smile on his face. The boy was an interesting one, he had a power to heal and empathize with those around him. Ardyn also sensed the boy's ability to speak to the Astrals, and that drove him crazy. The boy actually reminded Ardyn much of himself in his youth, before the Astrals had corrupted him. He had also gotten flashes of the boy's past, the tumble down the stairs he had a few days ago, the doctor advising him to rest and then everything that had happened to aggravate and worsen the blond's condition. Ardyn had seen Andy's meeting with his brother, and the man that had become the focus of Andy's affection. The fear of being separated from them, of his older brother trying dissuade him from his path. The boy's own encounter with Bahamut.

That blasted Draconian can leave the child alone. Ardyn snarled mentally, his fists tightening. He caught a glimpse of a young teen, she stood back in the shadows, her dark brown eyes fixed on Andy. Approaching her, he was about to say something, when she cut across, "You have your role to play Accursed, leave the Destined Child alone or my master will destroy you."

A snarl tore itself free. "Messenger of Bahamut." Ardyn growled, his eyes going black and the iris became yellow.

The "girl" turned to look at him, her form flickering as she smiled cruelly at him. "You can't stop them, do you really think Absolon will allow it? He's grown protective of the boy, there is nothing you can do without increasing your suffering. Bahamut will not take kindly to it."


"You have no right to him! He's a child!" Ardyn spat, and while he was trying to place who Absolon was he did recognize that the man that Andy was sweet on was on the council. So, that would be another hurdle he'd have to deal with. He shook his head, only for a slight smile to spread across his face. Why was he getting so worked up over a boy? Was it because of the similarity? It was the only thing that made sense. Then, switching his mind to something he could grasp, he reached out and snagged the "girl's" wrist. He tightened his grip, letting his darkness sink into her as he leaned forward.

"I'll make him a bet. I don't think his plan will work, I'm sure Andy will fall to darkness. If I win, I get to destroy this world. If the Draconian wins I'll play along with his plan." Ardyn waited, the messenger thought it over, her eyes closed. When she opened her eyes, the messenger nodded.

"He agrees to your terms. Now unhand me Accursed." She yanked her wrist free, before she vanished. A sigh escaped him, looking up at the sky, Ardyn smiled and then started walking again. He had plans to attend to if he wanted things to go his way.

~- Shut the World Away -~

So many souls that were lost. Corrupted even. Henry heard them crying out, begging for salvation. He’d heard the warning to stay within the city’s walls. The lights kept the monsters, daemons as they were called, at bay. He didn’t want to though, he wanted to set foot outside the city.

He wanted to save those souls.

He stared at the wall, he’d left the apartment with Ignis to get supplies for dinner. He wasn’t being much help though, not with the souls calling.

“How long have you been a, god-soul was it?”

The question drew his attention back to Ignis. The blond was analyzing him, trying to figure out if Henry was a threat. “A long time,” Henry answered. He didn’t feel like specifying the details.

Ignis nodded in understanding, before he returned to gathering spices and then heading for checkout. Henry glanced at the wall before following, his thoughts churning. Standing back, Henry waited for Ignis to come back.

“Was Andy always cheerful?” Henry asked.


“Yes, he tends to use happiness as a mask though. When you want to watch out is when he’s upset enough he can’t hide it. Has he been eating in the day you’ve known him?” Ignis countered.

Henry blinked in confusion, Ignis shook his head. “For the first month or so after his father’s death Andy wouldn’t eat. Have you seen him eat at all?” Ignis explained.

“We’ve been too busy fighting for our lives.” Henry answered. The answer didn’t go over well, and Henry felt guilty at that. Ignis threw a look towards the wall, shook his head again and started back towards Noctis’ apartment.

“Hey, about-.” Henry started, only for Ignis to cut him off with, “Whatever question you have can be answered back at the apartment.”

Henry sighed, but decided to follow. He couldn’t ignore the feeling that he was being suffocated by this world.
 
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