A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    [Caedum Temple]

    Kitsuki only lightly bumps into Rein's arm. She'd been moving forward pretty deliberately, so it wasn't hard to stop on a dime. She reaches out and grabs Obriane's arm. Unnecessary, but you can't be too safe. "What do you see?" She asks Rein. She didn't see any signs of danger. She looks up at the ceiling.

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    [Caedum Temple]

    "That's also possible." Obriane remarks to Rein's first question, then as he continues adding. "Multiple spirits can feed from the same person so that's not actually much of an issue for them. Otherwise they'd probably try to devour one another which does sometimes happen. I know some ghost-hunters even use a trained spirit to track down and devour ghost-"

    Then Kitty suddenly takes grabs her arm as Rein calls for them to stop.
    As Rein explains that they nearly had walked into a trap she looks around anxiously before her eyes settle on Kitty and she smiles. "...but I have Kitty instead. Much more reliable. At least when you want to be, am I right?" She chuckles as she gives her finacees wrist an affectionate squeeze.
    Then she will wait for Rein to take care of the trap.
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2021-03-06 at 11:17 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    [Battle Creek Falls]

    The head is very much a dead end; diverting all the flow to there would just build up pressure and probably be messy or dangerous.
    It's for the best he doesn't tell her.

    June protests, a little: "A hundred?" Not even starting somewhere small, like ten? That's, like...
    ...
    She does quick mental math. If it takes two minutes in horse stance followed up by concentrating like that, that's well over two hundred minutes. Nearly four hours! Luckily it's only in two minute intervals so she can take breaks in between to recenter herself and stretch between each, but...!
    It's a lot!
    Sure, if she does the horse stance perfectly, it probably doesn't take any muscles, but she can't do that forever. Not to mention, gathering the qi isn't just a walk in the park, either!
    Her legs are going to be aching well before getting even close! And whichever muscles(?) she uses to feel for this energy, too! Jedrek, who can do it for however-many-hours probably could do it easily, but isn't this way too much?
    Or...
    June bites her lip.
    Okay. Maybe. Maybe it becomes easier the more exhausted you get? And he's not actually expecting her to get to a hundred. Like, the more exhausted you get, the easier it is to notice what you're doing because you need to be more deliberate. And then, that way, you can feel it better. And he just picked a number that is definitely impossible for her so that there's something that she's always working towards.
    "O...o-okay."
    "I can do that."


    June takes a deep breath, stretches her shoulders and arms, and goes back into the horse stance. Not counting (she's letting someone else do that for her), just focusing on doing it, then stopping at pretty much nearly two minutes, and then trying to feel the qi between her hands again, and...
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    [Getting That Song Out of Your Head]

    Reinholdt puts his hand on Fettina's shoulder to steady her, watching her with concern. "W-well, feeling weird is probably normal?" Rein glanced back and forth to Carmen, looking for some affirmation that feeling weird is just a standard part of the process of memory removal. Only she'd know.

    "Do you need to sit down?" He suggests to Tina.

    [Battle Creek Falls]

    "A hundred," Jedrek repeats. He doesn't seem like the kind of person who accepts moderate results or basic training. But then, he only has his own experiences to draw from. One size doesn't always fit all!

    Things definitely don't get easier the more exhausted you get. At least normally. It could be different for June!

    Unfortunately, Jedrek's not counting the number of repetitions either, having thought she would count. It's going to be pretty awkward for him when she asks how many it has been.

    [Caedem Temple]

    "Smell. It's harder when I'm not a cat, but that acrid scent... faint. Plus, we're on a slope. Slightly down. Look." Reinholdt trails the light along the stones ahead. "Those are a bit smoother than the ones we've seen so far. That crack in the corner of the wall, looks like a rat could slip in? Well disguised drain."

    "That and the stone I nearly stepped on started to shift." Reinholdt pulls out an apparatus, affixing it to one eye like a monocle. He gets down on his hands and knees, head low as he stares at the disguised pressure plate. After a few moments in this position, he runs his light along a line up to the ceiling, back a bit, then down to an alcove in the wall with a skull. "Ah."

    Standing back up, he puts his glassware away and steps over to the skull, examining it. "Right. Kitty, you eat the spirits, yes? Oh! Is that where you got those two new tails from? I'm not very versed on the lore, but kitsunes get stronger and grow new tails by eating essence? At least, that's the basic idea I've heard." Rein puts his fingers in the skulls eyes and lifts up and back, tilting it. Once there, it starts making a ticking sound and lowering again, but he shoves a rock under the skull to prevent it from returning to its original state, shuddering and chittering mechanically as it fruitlessly tries. "We're good now," he says, fearlessly resuming the expedition.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Gods, Reinholdt was right, a hundred percent right.
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    Tale as old as thread
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    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    [Getting That Song Out of Your Head]

    "Oh! That's good that you can't remember them," Carmen says. So it worked! "I did add some energy drain and stuff to it," she explains, missing what kind of weird Fettina's actually feeling, "so it'd make sense that you need to lie down. Should feel better and back to normal by tomorrow."

    Now that that's dealt with, the half-succubus woman looks at her previously-burnt hand and flexes her fingers. She winces, but doesn't stop. If she flexes it enough, it should go numb, she thinks.


    [Battle Creek Falls]

    Eh...don't worry.
    June's got a mental practically-telepathic link to someone who is pretty bored right now. They'll eventually start counting just to estimate how much longer it will take, since they're also the one keeping time. It'll be one hundred, plus or minus five.

    June does it over and over.
    Sometimes it's actually pretty decent!
    Sometimes it's not; just barely passable.
    The more she does it, the better she gets at recognizing it, but that improvement has to compete with increasing exhaustion and distractibility. So, the longer it goes on, the wider the variation is. More control! Very much not in control! Large amounts! Small amounts! Rapidly changing amounts! Longer amount of time! Shorter amount of time! Needing a longer break between each! There's just a lot of variables than have wider and wider margins of error as time goes on.

    At around thirty, over an hour in, her distractibility peaks and she finds her mind constantly drifting towards Jedrek, since there's not that many other things to pay attention to inside this silenced-sphere. By about forty, she basically has all of him memorized and needs to find new ways to focus.

    Presumably, over time, Jedrek relaxes the effect of the silencing-sphere, because he wanted her to not depend on that crutch so much.
    That should help. Maybe.

    So long as nothing notable or disastrous happens, this should all continue until ninety-five...or maybe one-hundred-and-five repetitions. Probably longer than four hours, with her physically exhausted and mentally exhausted and thirsty and probably all sorts of other things but sorry too exhausted to finish this sentence or even figure out where commas or other punctuation should go
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  6. - Top - End - #246
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    [Caedem Temple]

    Kitsuki grimaces. "No." She answers fairly abruptly. "This is the Nexus, Rein. Not everything plays by the same rules." She adds, more lightly. "I prefer to fry them if they're really giving me trouble."

    But anyway, they were also progressing through here. "One death trap down and we're still in one piece. Keep up that pace, Rein."

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    [Caedem Temple]

    Best to change the subject here, or at least focus on another aspect of it. "Erm, I'm not quite sure how Kitty grow new tails honestly, all I know is that she has a lot of them." She glances at her fiance and smiles. "Getting a bit out of hand honestly if she's going to get a few more I'm not sure how she's going to handle doorways in the future." She remarks as she goes through the doorway after Rein.

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    [Battle Creek Falls]

    Jedrek was going to make her do a hundred reps and then start weakening the barrier for the next hundred. BUT, even he gets tired channeling qi like this. It's not exactly a basic move and requires a lot from him because he's send qi against the flow to disrupt its natural state. So the barrier gets weaker naturally over time anyways!

    He's not as tired as she is after a hundredish maybe reps, but he can recognize that it would be unhealthy for either of them to continue. They'll end up straining something important if they do and it takes forever to soothe out strained chakras.

    "I think... that's a good place to stop for today. You've made exceptional progress. You should rest now to let your body and spirit acclimate." He says doing a fairly decent job of hiding how tired he is, though if June's spent this time learning him, she can probably already tell. Just like any exercise, it's good to alternate days and not go all in at once. "We can meet back here in two to three days. Do you need some water?"

    [Caedem Temple]

    "I know that," Rein replies, surprised at how defensive Kitty sounded. "Exceptions to everything and all that. I just... misunderstood what Obriane was implying. Sorry." He rubs the back of his neck and gives Obriane an apologetic look. If not even her fiance knew how Kitsuki's tails worked, then Rein sure wasn't going to find out. At least not here, mostly sober. Apparently it was a touchy subject. Were Kitty's other obvious changes as well? Shoot. Now he can't even risk it. It's going to bug him the whole trip too, with how prevalent they were. He likes knowing things! Gah.

    "Well you'd be surprised how easy it is to handle tails once you're used to them. It took me way longer to figure out life without one," he says to Obriane as they come across a door. A quick check and an obvious poison needle trap disarmed later and he opens it up without incident. "Tails are remarkably hard to explain to people who haven't had one. They just... work. You really need special chairs and clothes though."

    Inside is a room that has seen its share of bloodshed. A sacrificial stone altar stands in the middle, its original coloring lost long ago to the rust brown stain. Along the base of the altar is a rolling line of death and murder. One person spearing the hearts of three others, only to be in turn decapitated by the next, who in turn is bludgeoned to death. This spirals to the last and first, a centerpiece. A man with a bird head pecking out the liver of the previous victim.

    Off in a corner is an alcove holding sacrificial implements, mostly fancy knives, none of which have been maintained particularly well. A drain sits below the altar for obvious purposes. Two doors line the far wall, in opposite corners. Reinholdt gives the area a quick search, but finds nothing inherently murderous and motions that it's ok for the two of them to enter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Gods, Reinholdt was right, a hundred percent right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supagoof View Post
    Tale as old as thread
    And you find yourself dead
    Reinholdt was the Beast
    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    [Milton Island Assault]

    Although he had no particular interest in sparing this demon, Damon is nonetheless surprised at how swiftly Ilpholin goes for the dagger-throw. Their potential captive did seem to be relatively talkative, and a little information might have been useful.

    He lets out a surprised hiss, but otherwise takes no action. He's hardly going to jump in the way to spare a demon's life.
    Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

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    [Caedem Temple]

    Kitsuki shrugs away Rein's concern and just moves on. No use dwelling. She waits patiently by the entrance tot he room while Rein scopes it out. When they can enter fully she whistles. "That's a sight. I'm not surprised this place has a spirit problem. Something like this is going to make a mark." Not that they've encountered any spirits properly yet.

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    [Caedum Temple]

    Obriane had been trying to fish a reaction from Kitty as she teased her about the tails, but the room they now entered proved a sufficient distraction from all that as Obriane herself can't help but to look around in wonder.
    This even beat that old manor they worked in a few weeks ago. But this was far more grim and brutal, just what kind of place had Rein lead them to? "Uh, so you said you had researched this place right, Rein? Since I suddenly feel like I should have as well." She remarks as she looks away from murderous murals around them. "Just what is the history of this place?"

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    [Battle Creek Falls]

    Another hundred would be a lot. And where would it stop? Once she does that, he'll tell her to do another hundred after that! And then another hundred! They'll just be doing hundreds all day.

    "Oh, good," June says. She is a little too tired to worry about seeing if he's tired or not.
    She stands upright and stretches her arms upwards, then rolls forward into a handstand...then one of her arms gives out and she rolls and flops onto her back, on the ground.
    "Yeah. I need water," she says. She looks at her shoulder and sniffs. "Maybe a shower, too. So I probably shouldn't practice on my own, at least for now, right? To avoid overwork or bad habits."

    She takes a really deep and slow breath.
    "Two or three days..."
    June tries to decide whether two or three days would be better. Considering her work hours...well, that day she's working starting in the afternoon. Waking up earlier shouldn't be a problem, but...if it takes as long as it took today, then either she won't get much sleep or they'll have to cut the time early. She'll get off pretty early in the morning, so in three days she could come here and then just go straight to bed after.
    She rolls back over to her knees, and slowly gets up. "Yeah, three days from now. Maybe a few hours before sunrise, if that's alright with you. Would make it easier for me."
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  13. - Top - End - #253
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    [Milton Island Assault]

    Ilpholin glances at the surprised Damon. His look was subtle, or perhaps Ilpholin felt the need to explain anyways. Not that there was much to say. "It didn't answer my question." That's all it had to do and she'd have left it alive for Ir-Vid-Sid to interrogate. But she wasn't going to let it give her the runaround and make her play twenty questions to get the information she needed. A demon playing word games is a demon too dangerous to leave alive, let alone listen to.

    Shame about the daggers though. Unless that circle disappeared on her own, she wasn't going in there to retrieve them. She'd have to get replacements later.

    She turned her focus onto the door behind them. "Let's get this open and keep moving," Ilpholin suggests.

    [Caedem Temple]

    "It's pretty gruesome," Reinholdt agrees, his attention focused on checking the next door on the right while Obriane and Kitty take a look around. "I think I already told you the basics. The Baehund built this temple at the order of Hjordis Vidar. The Baehund always considered their leaders divinely appointed, but Hjordis Vidar was something more than that. What was immense respect seemed to turn into downright worship, as if he were a god himself."

    "Unfortunately this meant that information about Vidar was... colored by their perceptions of him. A number of things stood out to me though," Rein gets the door open, revealing another room. This room was less artistically designed in its stonework, but no less brutal. Wrought iron cages large enough to hold all three of them were littered against the walls towards the back. In the middle, hooks hanged from the ceiling, far far too similar to that of meat factories. Towards the front, the dark sheen of a warped and rusted butcher knife gleamed ominously as light caught it. The blade stuck into the bones of a long rotted and rancid carcass in the middle of some kind of preparatory counter. A door on the near wall suggests this room connects closely to the other section to the left not checked, creating some sort of triangle shape.

    Reinholdt grimaces, but heads inside to make sure nothing mechanical or magical tries to kill them. "In particular, Hjordis usurped rule. Or rather he wasn't in line to rule and then he was because the old leader stepped down for him. You don't hear of that happening with divinely ordained leaders very often. So already there's something weird going on in the line of succession. One and exactly one source I found suggested he came from humble beginnings, which isn't exactly what you'd expect from a demi-god or whatever he's supposed to be. My BEST guess is that he was some apprentice who found a source of power he shouldn't have and leveraged it."

    Finding nothing immediately murderous, he returns to the altar room. "In particular, he is always depicted in the stories with two things. A black, fearsome axe and an avian mask. I think one or both of those is the source of his great success and I intend to find them and take them back to HALO for requisition and study." Reinholdt heads to the other door in this room to check it. By now, Kitty will have very likely sensed something otherworldly from behind that door. There is also a much harder to notice, more intelligent malevolence quietly emanating from the rusted butcher knife.

    [Battle Creek Falls]

    "I wouldn't practice outside of our scheduled sessions for the moment, no," Jedrek confirms, fetching June an unopened bottle of water and offering it to her. "If there's ever a schedule conflict where you can't make it in the suggested period, I'll assign you some exercises you can do by yourself. But otherwise, try and refrain. You could end up hurting yourself, or others, if you don't learn to control qi properly. Something you're at a higher risk for than others." Not only because she's talented at qi manipulation to begin with, but also because she has more distractions that could cause something to go wrong.

    "Don't worry. I expect you'll be more than capable of handling yourself within weeks." Most people take years and years! Jedrek sure did. Is this what jealousy feels like? Or is this pride?

    "A few hours before sunrise is fine. Will you be ok navigating the path here in the dark? Maybe we should pick a spot closer to the start of the trail?" It would mean no more ghost bystanders, which would be a shame. And it would be closer to civilization so more background noise.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Gods, Reinholdt was right, a hundred percent right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supagoof View Post
    Tale as old as thread
    And you find yourself dead
    Reinholdt was the Beast
    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    [Getting that Song Out of your Head]

    "Yeah, lie down. Maybe," she answers them both, feeling a little... oh my god, did she feel swoon-y? She puts a hand on her stomach, staring at nothing in particular. "I guess I might have to postpone giving you that ride, Carmen."
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    [Caedum Temple]

    "You don't think the next in line snatched those up? Seems like something you don't leave in a dust- Wait a second." Kitsuki pauses and breathes deeply through her nose. It takes her a moment to pick up on where the feeling is coming from. "Hold on, Rein. Don't open that door. Check it, but don't open it. I can feel something on the other side." Her nose wrinkles. She pulls her backpack off again and retrieves a few items. First three enclosed silken pouches. They look to be hand sewn, a rough job. She holds them out for the others to take one each. They seem to have something flat and hard inside them. "Protective amulets." She explains. Otherwise she pulls out a short wand with streamers of paper coming off the end.

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    [Fey and Falcon Escapades]

    Reinholdt stooped down and grabbed his shirt, pulling it over his head and ending his shirtlessness. "Yeah. Yeah, I think so," He says, pulling on his jacket. He still felt a little loopy if he was honest, but things were clearing up. "You?" He asks, making sure Kes had everything she started out with. He does a quick sweep of the ruined church to make sure they didn't miss any wayward clothing.

    "Umm..." Rein rubs the back of his neck a little, as if trying to decide on something more to say. He fails though and points at the only other door they haven't checked. "I guess we should go this way."


    [Fey and Falcon Escapades]

    "Yeah, yeah I got everything." Except perhaps her own dignity. She glanced over to where he pointed."I uh, yeah, I guess that's probably a good idea." For a moment the birdgirl fussed with herself, straightening out her now rather ruffled feathers, and began to make her way over to the door.

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    [Caedum Temple]

    Obriane too was about to ask Rein a few questions when Kitty spoke up. As she had suspected, already signs of a hostile presence.
    Taking one of the protective amulets she quietly reminds herself of using those earlier in the future. Like the helmets it was so easy to forget until you were standing right in front of the danger they were intended to protect you from. In the future they should probably put on the helmets and the amulets right away.

    "How strong is it, Kitty?" Obriane inquires. The way they usually worked was Kitty identifying the various spirits and Obriane drawing them out so they could be banished. But they knew from experience that they had to be careful when trying to draw spirits out however. Since if they used that tactic against a lesser spirit without fully exploring the area they were working in they could attract far more than they had intended to be dealing with. Thus surveying the area was quite important before dealing with the spirits one by one.

    [Milton Island Assault]

    At this point Cerabella has climbed down. The moment she can get off the ladder she spreads her wings far and wide as she seem to have been forced to keep them tightly pressed against one another while climbing down.

    Her gaze is immediately drawn to the circle which once housed the demon but doesn't linger on it for very long. "Get rid of that." She remarks, then adding something in the draachi's native tongue and the owl-soldiers starts to move around the room.

    They poke the dead gnolls with their spears as to make sure they're dead and spread out around the room as if to secure it while keeping as far away of those boxes with suspicious artifacts as possible. Then one of them will start erasing the circle that was drawn around the demon unless either Damon and Ilpholin stops them of course.

    As for Cerabella herself, she moves right up to the door. "I can't sense any active wards, we might be able to simply open it." She declares. "But the overwhelming demonic presence of the essence drowns out all lesser ones so it's hard to tell if there are more demons nearby. There is likely quite a few guarding it. In fact, I'm surprised there have been so little resistance so far. A trap perhaps...?" Her falcon eyes scan the room but she doesn't seem to notice anything of immediate concern.

  18. - Top - End - #258
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    [Getting that Song Out of your Head]

    "Alright, adult time. You! Let's get you on the couch," Reinholdt says, trying to turn Fettina and help her walk to the couch they were abusing earlier so he can lie her down on it. As he does, he turns his head to look back at Carmen.

    "And you! Follow me, so we can run some cold water over that hand." He admittedly had almost forgotten she had burned herself. Or rather, didn't think it was that bad until she started flexing it again. "Come on! I get beat up all the time. I have first aid kits everywhere."

    [Fey and Falcon Escapades]

    "Yep," Reinholdt says, walking along a little awkwardly now. Fortunately, it doesn't take them long to find a crumbled wall with light shining through. A clear exit. If there wasn't an exit and they were trapped in here, it'd be quite terrible that Kes didn't wish for a way out.

    Rein creeps up on the exit slowly though, letting his eyes adjust and peering around for that cat-eating ochu. Reinholdt suspects he knows what happened to all of that faerie-cat's people. "It's clear."

    The fresh air smells really good compared to the dust and must of that ancient church.

    [Caedem Temple]

    Reinholdt nods and heads over to the door. He doesn't seem to mind talking in the midst of danger though. But then, it's a tactic he employs frequently to make it seem like he hasn't caught on to someone or something. So he answers Kitty's question as he takes a long look over the door frame. "Well I don't think they thought Hjordis was going to stay dead, and needed his stuff ready when he woke up. Plus he probably ordered them to bury the stuff with him. AND taking the things would be tantamount to sacrilege. Whoever his successor was, they'd need to have an epic level bluff ready to pull that kind of thing off or they would be committing political suicide." Reinholdt glances around the room. "Maybe actual suicide too. This is just what they did to innocent victims. I'd hate to see how they punished their criminals..."

    He steps back, taking one of the offered protective amulets and flipping it around in his hand to look it over, feeling the weight of whatever was in the pouch. It was super tempting to just open it up and peer at what was inside, but he'd at least wait for them to deal with this first. "It's not trapped. That I could tell."

    Out of a ten, the entity behind the door was a three, maybe a four.
    Last edited by Reinholdt; 2021-03-12 at 10:53 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Gods, Reinholdt was right, a hundred percent right.
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    Tale as old as thread
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    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  19. - Top - End - #259
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    [Battle Creek Falls]

    Definitely jealousy. She's actually pretty attuned to envy, so it'd make sense that she can draw it out of other people pretty readily. If you want to feel pride about her, you'd have to go find a different one.

    She takes the water and drinks a bunch of it all at once. She should have brought a bunch of water herself. "I...well, to be honest, I'm pretty lucky that I'll be really busy." Got work, and she's got other powers - some recently gained - that she needs to practice, and she's also really curious about whether or not she can do nature magic..."If I just had nothing to do, I'd probably be really tempted to try doing it whenever. So luckily I've got a lot to do."

    June breathes slowly. Her mother told her breathing slowly is a good way to calm down after exhaustion and a hard workout, so.
    It's good that she should make that much progress in weeks. Being able to work without occasional escapes into the kitchen or storeroom would be fantastic.

    "I can make it here in the dark," June says, shaking her head. Same way she can see ghosts, she can just see...stuff. Don't really need light, but then it feels really weird because then she has to justify to herself how she can see it.
    She thinks about it...well, what if it gets dangerous around here at night? Not on the trail itself, but, like, maybe the town at the bottom of this trail? No, it should be fine. It's not a huge city, anyway, so it should be fine at night. Well...she does both live and work in the seedier part of Inside, so. . ."Well, I have a knife. I'll be fine." The martial art she had learned used knives sometimes, too, but...you'd put the knives between your toes.

    She drinks the rest of the water.
    Speaking of work, knives, tips, martial arts, nature, and everything else here coming together, "Oh, haha, I just was randomly reminded of something. The martial art I had learned...it had this thing where, like, someone would toss money between two people. We'd have to take the money away with our mouth while stopping the other from getting it themself. Probably would need a lot of experience with qi before being able to safely do something similar, but now I'm imagining all the complex ways you could do it with qi." Actually, she's not even sure what the limits of qi are, so it could possibly be even more complex than she can even imagine.


    [Getting that Song Out of your Head]

    "I'm...fine with postponing. Take your time." And, while Tina's taking her time resting, Carmen can go use cool water on the hand.

    She follows him. "It's...not a big deal," she says, still flexing her hand. "Just a burn. Should be better in a few days."

    But, she would insist not using cold water but rather just...cool or lukewarm water or something.
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  20. - Top - End - #260
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    [Getting that Song Out of your Head]

    Fettina lets herself be led and flops down to rest. She can probably be passed over for a post or two. She's mostly just trying to get all these sudden, swirly feelings under control as they flutter between her head and stomach.
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  21. - Top - End - #261
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    [Battle Creek Falls]

    It is jealousy then, that beings to plague Jedrek's mind. Hopefully this won't be a major problem in the future, but it's hard to say. Jedrek's never really felt jealousy before today. Not like this. "Fighting the temptation is a training in and of itself." Which is all well and good until you give into the temptation and half your training is ruined.

    Jedrek nods and bows a little. "Very well. Before dawn it is."

    Jedrek's not entirely sure what the limits are either. He has devoted most of his time testing his own limits without considering the limits of qi itself. It is a worthwhile thing to consider. "And what would you say you learned from the mouth money exercises?" It seemed an unusual exercise, but unusual exercises are not without merit.

    [Getting that Song Out of your Head]

    "It's not a big deal with treatment," Reinholdt insists, getting Carmen to a sink and letting the cool water run.

    He pulls out a first aid kit from under the sink. "Let's get some salve on there and bandage it up." The bandages mostly to hold the salve in place.

    "Then I guess we have some time. Don't want to disturb Tina. Umm... you hungry?" Probably not. Fresh clones usually didn't get hungry for a day or two.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Gods, Reinholdt was right, a hundred percent right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supagoof View Post
    Tale as old as thread
    And you find yourself dead
    Reinholdt was the Beast
    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  22. - Top - End - #262
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    [Battle Creek Falls]

    Well...maybe it still could also be pride, since just because she's very much aligned to it doesn't mean it's the exclusive feeling she inspires.

    "Um..." What did she learn, anyway? It's entertaining and gets everyone else really invested in it, which is half of the reason to do something, but that doesn't seem to be as important for qi. "I would say...probably the biggest thing I learned was that it helps you keep balance between offense and defense, because if you can't flow between them, then you'll get tricked and lose. I think it also works as a practical example of needing to focus on multiple objectives, and if you blind yourself to either what your opponent's doing or to the goal, then you've already lost."

    Plus, y'know, it's entertaining and is a different rhythm from normal training.


    [Getting that Song out of Your Head]

    Even though she thinks it is unnecessary, Carmen still goes along with it. As long as he's insisting and they're already here, it won't hurt to cool it off and get first aid. At this point, continuing to protest would just just be contrarian.

    "Um." It's true, they should let Tina rest. Carmen considers whether or not she is hungry, and decides that she is not at all hungry.

    "Yeah, sure. I'm a little hungry," the half-succubus woman says, to be polite. It's very rude to turn down food when someone offers it.
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  23. - Top - End - #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcaller View Post
    [Caedum Temple]

    Obriane too was about to ask Rein a few questions when Kitty spoke up. As she had suspected, already signs of a hostile presence.
    Taking one of the protective amulets she quietly reminds herself of using those earlier in the future. Like the helmets it was so easy to forget until you were standing right in front of the danger they were intended to protect you from. In the future they should probably put on the helmets and the amulets right away.

    "How strong is it, Kitty?" Obriane inquires. The way they usually worked was Kitty identifying the various spirits and Obriane drawing them out so they could be banished. But they knew from experience that they had to be careful when trying to draw spirits out however. Since if they used that tactic against a lesser spirit without fully exploring the area they were working in they could attract far more than they had intended to be dealing with. Thus surveying the area was quite important before dealing with the spirits one by one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reinholdt View Post
    [Caedem Temple]

    Reinholdt nods and heads over to the door. He doesn't seem to mind talking in the midst of danger though. But then, it's a tactic he employs frequently to make it seem like he hasn't caught on to someone or something. So he answers Kitty's question as he takes a long look over the door frame. "Well I don't think they thought Hjordis was going to stay dead, and needed his stuff ready when he woke up. Plus he probably ordered them to bury the stuff with him. AND taking the things would be tantamount to sacrilege. Whoever his successor was, they'd need to have an epic level bluff ready to pull that kind of thing off or they would be committing political suicide." Reinholdt glances around the room. "Maybe actual suicide too. This is just what they did to innocent victims. I'd hate to see how they punished their criminals..."

    He steps back, taking one of the offered protective amulets and flipping it around in his hand to look it over, feeling the weight of whatever was in the pouch. It was super tempting to just open it up and peer at what was inside, but he'd at least wait for them to deal with this first. "It's not trapped. That I could tell."

    Out of a ten, the entity behind the door was a three, maybe a four.
    [Caedum Temple]

    Kitsuki nods to Rein. "Nothing too scary. No minor spirit either, though. You get ready here, Obriane. I'll scope out the rest of the room." With her wand in hand she walks the perimeter of the room. She stops next to the knife and gives it a closer inspection. "I think there's another one here." The smell is always more muddy with multiple spirits, though.

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    [Caedum Temple]

    "More than one, huh?" Obriane remarks as she starts readying her bow.
    The kind of arrows she used here had a particularly dull edge as people didn't like arrows stuck in their walls while they were just as effective as spirits. Of course, most people didn't like arrows fired in their homes at all which was why they usually moved away lamps and other easily damaged furniture before they started the exorcism. This was also the reason she hadn't tried to learn to shoot a gun as even rubber bullets could cause some serious harm, not to mention alarm.

    But in this case they didn't need to care about that, everything in here had probably lasted for hundreds of years so some dull arrows wouldn't cause them any more harm than decades of decay had already brought.

    "Be careful then, more than one spirit might mean we're dealing with an khan." Khan was Obriane's own term for a stronger (and smarter) spirit which kept peace between the lesser spirits in an area. Spirits were prone to eating one another if they started starving but with a greater spirit keeping them in check meant that they acted as a pack with a leader pulling all the strings.

  25. - Top - End - #265
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    [Battle Creek Falls]

    Well certainly. Emotions are generally complicated.

    "Those are good lessons to learn..." Jedrek admits. Still, he finds the entertainment value to detract from the potential value of those lessons rather than add to them! When it comes to being serious, he takes it very seriously. Unfortunately, he believes in always being serious.

    Breaking up the tedium is not something June will be able to expect from him.

    [Getting That Song Out of Your Head]

    "Oh. Okay." Reinholdt was just offering to be polite, but didn't expect her to be hungry. Had something gone wrong in the cloning process?

    He'll fix her a light sandwich.

    It is, fairly delicious. Rein has clearly had sandwich practice out in the field.

    There's some awkward silence time, before Rein decides to try and roughly break the ice. "Soooo... were you born a succubus or transformed into one via a curse and/or excessive lustful deeds?" People turning into demons for their bad behavior is not as common in the Nexus as other worlds Rein's been to, but is still pretty noteworthy when it does happen.

    [Caedem Temple]

    "What's a Khan in spirit world terms?" Reinholdt asks, flicking out a knife. Sure, he has some bullets that can be used on spirits, but they can also ricochet in these relatively tight quarters. He's hoping he doesn't have to get involved either way, moving behind Obriane.

    While the spirit behind the door remains undisturbed, or at least complacent, the spirit in the knife quite realizes it has been found out despite trying to hide. So much for getting the drop on these fresh morsels. The large weapon begins to shudder violently before yanking up and stabbing out towards Kitty's flesh, the spirit manifesting around the knife as a semi-translucent corpulent butcher, heavy set in both form and malice. It licks its lips in a slovenly fashion, muttering to itself about the value of fresh meat. "Boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew..."
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Gods, Reinholdt was right, a hundred percent right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supagoof View Post
    Tale as old as thread
    And you find yourself dead
    Reinholdt was the Beast
    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    [Battle Creek Falls]

    If people are always serious, how are you supposed to trick them? They'd always be too focused and serious! You need to strike a proper balance between being serious and not-serious so that you can both trick and be tricked!
    But the way to make it less entertaining is to just not have an audience. That's generally how you make things not-entertaining, when it comes down to it.

    "...The waterfall isn't that far from here, isn't it?" June asks. She looks back at the trail and towards the mountains, gauging/remembering how far it is. "I'd like to stop there for a minute before going back."
    She pauses and thinks, then asks, "Is there anything else I should be doing? Or things I should be paying attention to?" Not training is one thing she needs to do, for one, but she would like to be as prepared as possible for next time.



    [Getting That Song out of Your Head]

    Carmen takes the sandwich and eats it slowly.
    She really isn't hungry at all, but if she eats less than half that would be incredibly rude. Eating slowly seems to help, so maybe she can eat all of it eventually.

    Awkward silences are especially awkward when you're the only one eating.

    "I've been one for as long as I remember," says the woman who is very capable at manipulating memories. Not saying she actually changed her own memories, but just saying that it's definitely possible. She takes another small bite, chews, swallows. "Half-succubus," she adds as a clarification. If you asked her which half, she'd say the left half with as deadpan a face as she could muster. "...Though, I guess there's not really a difference, except when dealing with magic that only affects half-bloods."
    Last edited by 5a Violista; 2021-03-18 at 12:51 AM.
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  27. - Top - End - #267
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    [Caedem Temple]

    Kitsuki yelps and twists out of the way, staggering away from the spirit. She drops her wand and swings her hand in a wide arc. A thin spray of white flame is flung toward the spirit. Far from a focus blast, the spiritual fire should at least give the ghost pause.

  28. - Top - End - #268
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    [Caedem Temple]

    "It's a spirit pack leader directing all the-" Obriane starts explaining when she's suddenly interrupted by the spirit.

    She turns and her eyes widens.

    That was a minor spirit?!
    But despite not expecting such a harmful manifestation her determination doesn't waver and she releases her arrow, aiming to hit the spirit right between its eyes. It will likely go right through the spirit if it hits as it had mass and spirits usually didn't, but it would still do as much damage as an actual arrow.
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2021-03-19 at 04:07 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #269
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    [Battle Creek Falls]

    It is a conundrum, if one were looking to trick Jedrek.

    Surely June wouldn't do such a thing to her teacher though.

    "No. It's just up the trail about five minutes." Well five minutes at his pace, with his long legs. Maybe longer for someone not quite as tall. "Understandable." He used the waterfall to wash off too. He'll probably forgo that this time so as not to try and use it at the same time as June and just wait until he's back at VIGIL to get a shower.

    "Just try to focus and sense the energy around you. See if it seems different. Sharper, clearer perhaps at first, until you learn how to divert it. But otherwise rest. Learning how to stop is just as valuable as learning when to go."

    [Getting That Song Out of Your Head]

    Reinholdt doesn't particularly consider that she might have used her own magic on herself. He'd imagine that she'd be immune to herself. Or that doing so would cause severe personality splits and disorders. But that's only a presumption and it's probably false.

    "Right. Well... that means you're half something else right? Half-human or Half-elf or something? Why not introduce yourself that way? Surely that part of you is no lesser than your succubus half." Half-races always seem to lean towards one side being dominant and always introducing themselves that way, but he's not quite so sure.

    [Caedem Temple]

    Obriane's correct, this is not a minor spirit, being a little less than twice as powerful as the spirit Kitsuki initially sensed.

    The spirit draws up its free arm in surprise at Kitty's flame, stepping back, causing Obriane's arrow to slightly miss its mark, going through the Butcher's arm instead of its head. This doesn't particularly stop it from howling in pain and rage, the cages and dangling chains rattling ominously, their clinks a solemn warning. "You heathen wench! I'll skewer you and broil you alive!!"

    The closest chain shoots forth, trying to wrap around and bind Obriane, its rusted hook gleaming and promising grave injury. "SLOP! GET IN HERE!" The Butcher bellows, causing the room to shake a little, dust falling from the ceiling.

    Summoned, the other spirit phases through the door, a momentary reticence on its face until it spots the living. "Uhh... we got one behind us too," Rein warns before it opens its mouth and screams. It's a rather painful scream and it shatters Rein's light, plunging the area he was illuminating into darkness.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Gods, Reinholdt was right, a hundred percent right.
    Spoiler
    Show
    -Nyahahaha~
    Quote Originally Posted by Supagoof View Post
    Tale as old as thread
    And you find yourself dead
    Reinholdt was the Beast
    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  30. - Top - End - #270
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    [Battle Creek Falls]

    Being able to deceive your teacher is a sign that you're making progress and can move on to the next stage of training. Probably. That's probably what it means.

    "Five minutes isn't that far," June comments. She appreciates having it for herself this time.

    So,
    Yes.
    June nods.
    She can do that.
    Unless there's any particular reason to stick around, she says 'bye' and goes (not running) up the trail to wash and cool off.


    [Getting That Song out of Your Head]

    Carmen isn't considering that she might have used it on herself, either, but she does know that the person who taught her memory manipulation also taught others, including someone who helped plan the trip that led to her capture.

    "Yeah, I am, but..." but she has learned that it sounds pretty weird. "Actually, when we first met I did introduce myseľ"

    Realizing something, she stops herself from finishing that sentence and tries to comr up with the most diplomatic way to say it. "Well...um. I guess when I changed those memories of yours, I might've changed that part too." She has a slightly guilty look on her face, like she just got caught eating a cookie after being told to wait until after dinner.

    She gives him enough time to work through that confession, but not too much time because that would backfire and make it seem like a bigger deal than it actually was. It wasn't a big deal, right?
    "I guess I wasn't completely factual back then, either, so doesn't really matter." But that's just because it's kind of funny, she thinks: She takes a deep breath, then pretty proudly announces, "But the other half is..." Carmen sets down the half-eaten sandwich so she can do a drum roll. "Paladin! Born from a succubus and a paladin!"

    She then swishes her hair with her hand. "But, y'know. Woman. So half-succubus, not half-paladin. Just doesn't sound as natural, the other way around." She picks back up the sandwich, determined to finish it.
    "Plus. Obviously. In these types of situations, you get raised by the person who gave birth to you, not the person who you've never met and doesn't even know you exist." The only question is what kind of situation 'these types of situations' are, but, honestly, it shouldn't be hard to guess for anyone who has a cursory knowledge of what a succubus is.
    Last edited by 5a Violista; 2021-03-19 at 03:26 PM.

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