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Fantasy New Oasis: Four Heavenly Kings — The B-Sides

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CHARLIE HUGHES
SCENE:
Anger Management
TIME:
Daytime, Pre-Arc 1, August 1st 2019
LOCATION:
South District
PARTICIPANTS:
Charlie, Daigo
Anger Management
As much as Charlie would've loved to stare in awe at how the blonde child had turned into a resplendent flaxen ball of fury, his hands were already full with incoming threats. Firstly, an intrusive tongue had once again found its way wrapping itself around his arm, but also another fighter was amidst lunging themselves at him, crimson maul in hand. What previously would've been an incredibly overwhelming situation was now somehow more manageable in the samaritan's eyes. His senses were now sharper, and his newfound determination allowed him to assess the situation just as they were about to attack.

With his free arm, Charlie blocked the blood weapon's strike, the solidified block of plasma impacting into a brutal blow. Painful vibrations coursed through the boy's ulna, causing him to wince as his teeth gritted. But that wasn't about to make him fall, as he shoved the heavy weapon aside. Forcefuly, he thrust his tangled arm forward, landing a clean hit on the blood fighter's face, who had previously become confused as the seeming ineffectiveness of his attack. The momentum of the hit sent him flying against a nearby wall, strength leaving his body as his body impacted against the solid material behind him.

The red-hot chain came next. With no warnings, the searing links were now clashing against his shoulder, the bright tip tangling itself around the base of the boy's arm. He let out a gutural scream, as the intense heat dug into his skin. His Hypercharge allowed him SOME level of protection against high temperatures, but it was nowhere near as effective as it was to protect him from classic physical trauma. The pain he was feeling from the infernal bind had quickly dethroned the beating from a moment ago.

The cry of pain shifted into a howl as his hands extended to reach for both of his bindings, fingers going white with pressure as he put all of his guts into resisting the pain. Then, crossing his arms to the opposite ends, he pulled in both of the ranged attackers, promptly propelling them towards him. Once they came within his graps, he grabbed onto their shirt collars, and ignoring their struggles to break free, he hopped a few feet up in the air before slamming the pair onto the ground. The pavement trembled beneath them as the attackers landed face down, small cracks forming on the material from below their shapes.

Desperately, Charlie removed the chains from his shoulder, repeated groans of pain coming from him as he placed a hand on the place where his sleeve once was, now seared into nothingness. Battered, bloodied and pained, the boy turned his attention to the knife-wielding man, the former's eyes filled with determination and a clear message: If he were to attack, even if his blade found itself lodged into Charlie's flesh, he would meet the same fate as the others.


joshuadim joshuadim
 
Babarutthoth
SCENE:
Acid Reign
LOCATION:
West District
DATE:
Post-Arc 3, July 15th (Evening)
STARRING:
LazyDaze as Xixix, SpikeyMoth as Yarne, and Vorifengrous Vorifengrous as Babaruttoth.
Acid Reign

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

Babaruttoth’s heart leapt into his throat. The cold, chilling stress of uncertainty gripped his throat. Though he believed deep in his bones that things would ultimately work out for him, he did not relish the idea of an untimely death impeding his progress.

Oh well. Can’t avoid the inevitable, the chickens had come home to roost. He stood up from his chair and approached the door. He grabbed the door knob and briefly glanced back towards the gun on the tray table. It probably wouldn’t help. Before opening the door he glanced through the peephole. He didn’t recognize them. Luckily he knew of a relatively sure-fire way to figure out if they were there to kill him or not.

He spoke through the door with a sing-songy falsetto voice. “Who iisssssss itttt?”

 
DAIGO ASANUMA
CS Link
SCENE:
Anger Management
TIME:
Pre-Arc 1; August 1, 2019
LOCATION:
South District
PARTICIPANTS:
Charlie, Daigo
ANGER MANAGEMENT
Two fists collided, sending a gust of air bursting through the alleyway - signalling the power of both their wielders. Daigo could feel his knuckles ache from the blow, but the Ringleader seemed entirely unaffected as he pushed away his arm upwards before slamming a strike straight into the kid's chest. This sent Daigo flying back into the brick wall behind him, sending dust and rubble flying. Unlike the other blows he had taken from the goons in between, he *felt* this one - blood pooled in his mouth; however, he sprung back into action just as quickly as he practically flew out of the impact crater and straight towards the Ringleader.

A series of blows connected into the Ringleader's belly, sending ripples across his fat and flesh to absorb the impacts. These too sent gusts of air around them, but also ruined his pinstriped suit that he had looked so refined in. Indicative of the current nature of the battle, it was mask off for both of them as he raised both fists clenched together before bringing them down straight onto Daigo's back. This sent him straight to the ground, creating another crater from the impact below and kicked up pieces of asphalt and dust to surround the area.

Much to the Ringleader's surprise, though, Daigo got back up with blood streaming down his face and launched another flurry of punches. "Tsk, you just won't fucking quit won't you?" the Ringleader spat out in annoyance.

The only response he got was a fist striking his upper torso, sending another strong ripple across his body. This forced the Ringleader to grit his teeth as his position shifted slightly. A slight worry began to gnaw at his mind as he felt himself burning up more and more of his potential, and needing to readjust his strategy to fit. Trails of steam oozed out of his upper body as the Ringleader then let out a battle roar and kicked Daigo into his side, further breaking more bones and sending the kid into another wall nearby.

Charlie had just the one goon remaining, out of the entire crew that the Ringleader had under his employ; under any other circumstances, a gang like this would fall apart at the seams from the disarray, but there was something else driving the last man. It went beyond fear of the moment, but rather fear of reprisal as he spared a glance towards his boss - who was fighting Daigo - before returning his attention back to Charlie. It's not that he didn't want to flee, it's that he couldn't.

With a yell, he threw his blade at Charlie's face - to which he easily dodged. But in that moment of attention deficit, the goon closed the distance between the two of them and swung with an uppercut. Charlie was also able to leap back in time from this out of pure instinct, but would then feel something cut into his side in a deep gash. The dagger had practically flown on its own around him and homed into him like a missile would an aircraft. A splatter of blood painted the ground beneath him as the dagger wielding man jumped back and caught his blade again. With deathly serious eyes, he lunged at Charlie once more and threw his blade towards the young man's midsection!


Roda the Red Roda the Red
 
HITOSHI YAMAKAWA
CS Link
SCENE:
Two People Hungover is a Hangover But Three People Hangover Is A Crowd. The Point Is, Everything That Is Bad Is Better With More People To Suffer With You
TIME:
January 8, 2022 || Pre-Arc 3
LOCATION:
South District
PARTICIPANTS:
Hitoshi, Tak
Two People Hungover is a Hangover But Three People Hangover Is A Crowd. The Point Is, Everything That Is Bad Is Better With More People To Suffer With You
"GYAAAAAAAAAH!" Hitoshi managed to get out, his screaming interrupted every time he rotated positions with his conjoined companion while gaining momentum down the hill. "STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STO-" he continued to say until they were airborne all of a sudden. The law of gravity seemed like a distant memory as they sailed through the air, and - for a brief moment - Hitoshi had forgotten of his current predicament. It was dreamy, all things considered; how free it was to be a bird, as Hitoshi spotted a seagull flying nearby. It's feeble mind could not comprehend what exactly it was witnessing soar next to it in that moment, as it flapped its wings to fly away.

Then came the inevitable consequences of their existence: physics. A piece of stale bread lodged itself into Hitoshi's mouth as the duo landed into the bin, which he struggled to spit up until it practically flew like a large doughy bullet. The man that had pulled them out claimed that they all knew each other, but Hitoshi blinked twice in confusion.

A blatant lie, my liege. This man seeks to deceive you!

“You’re back again? Did you come to share some more drinks with this poor old man? You truly are saints!”

"Huh? Who are you?"

Then the man he was stuck to demanded answers which made Hitoshi annoyed. "C'mon, you seriously believe this guy? That he *knows* either of us?" he asked, "If we *knew* him, we'd *remember*."



...


thebigfella thebigfella
 
Last edited:
Elise Cutter
SCENE:
Calling Amestria
TIME:
Post-Arc 3, Timeskip 1 | July 4th, 2022
LOCATION:
Not-So-Abandoned Storefront, West District
PARTICIPANTS:
Passeri, Dagger
Calling Amestria
“For…me.” She echoed Passeri’s words. Confusion, surprise, bemusement, all of it was condensed into her usual dull tone. There was once someone who did the same for her. Of the women in the Olive Tree, she was the least desirable amongst them. Simone and Chloe were the usual recipients of gifts and adoration, while she got their leftovers- the things that neither of them could make any possible use of. It would seem, though, that she had caught the eye of an unknown admirer once.

It had been a terrible gift. From the looks of the knife, it was probably bought from an online store, with the worst possible balance constructed into a blade, and no attention was given into making the blade sturdy enough to handle either slashing or stabbing. While Chloe and Simone teased her for days about her hitherto unnamed admirer, she could only look at it in disgust. Only an amateur would deem this a proper weapon. An amateur gift from an amateur or a worthless gift bestowed upon her by way of some warped prank.

Her assessment of the knife was accurate. It barely survived a single training session. The mechanism broke and dislodged the knife from its handle the moment she retracted her stab. It was, in short, utter trash.

The same couldn’t be said for the swords she held in her hands now. From the weight alone, and based on the construction, the blades were very sturdy. She turned one over in her hand. She was unfamiliar with the construction of swords, but it seemed that it could survive a few swings. Her eye narrowed. There was just one thing that Passeri did not account for.

She was not made for weapons like these. Too heavy. Too unwieldy for her. She preferred the versatility and utility of a good knife. One could cut through foliage and obstructions with a proper knife, as well as attempt stabs or slashes with it. A sword was only good for a few things, and most of it was battle. She would have liked a simple machete. She was, in short, simply not skilled in using longer, wider blades like these.

Yet, she did not look upon it with disgust, just as she did with the knife that her admirer had given her. If anything, it was the opposite reaction. It wasn’t a random gift of affection to someone that one didn’t know. It was somewhat thought out, somewhat planned, and it did, indeed, come from an amateur. It was unforgivable, to Elise, that someone would be a fool in combat deployments, but it wasn’t so for someone like Passeri Park, who never had to hold a weapon in her life. One of the blessings offered to those with the Curse.

She wondered what words she could use in this situation. She had sent Talbain crying when she told him she hated the sweater he knit for her, and received an earful from Father, Simone, and Chloe, to say the least about her reaction towards the crap knife that she had received, much to her annoyance. It was someone’s labor of love. She couldn’t disrespect that.

For some reason, this was reinforced further when it came to Passeri. Looking at her expectant eyes now, she felt that, in her heart, that she had to choose the right words. The woman had clearly thought a lot about this gift, given by what she was prattling on about for the past minute or three. She tried her best, and, for Elise Cutter, the best was what anyone and everyone should give when it came to anything. All for a mangy dog like her.

She sheathed the swords, laying them down in their case so as to not get dirt and gravel upon it. They would have plenty of time to dirty their blades with blood later.

“They’re beautiful, ‘Seri.” The slight, wan smile crawled back onto her expression unconsciously. “Thank you.”

An unbidden breeze swept through the shop’s surroundings, bathing them with much-needed reprieve from the blazing sun. Elise picked up the case of swords, and held out her hand for Passeri to hook onto. “Seems like a good time as any to close up shop and get something to eat. What’s on your mind?”



The One Eyed Bandit The One Eyed Bandit
 
SCENE:
Since When Do They Teach Us To Look Up?
LOCATION:
Construction Site, North District
TIME:
17th June, 2022 | Post-Arc 3
PARTICIPANTS:
Celeste, Asti
Since When Do They Teach Us To Look Up?
A yell finally pulled them out of their ecstasy. The concern lacing her voice felt like ice cubes piling up on their neck even if the actual content of the scream was lost in their mind. Asti looked up from the woman's face, which was becoming increasingly distorted the less air circulated through her system, and saw Celestine rapidly approaching towards their position.

Wait, was she trying to steal their kill?

But then they followed the direction of her gaze, noticing the treacherous glint of metal reflecting the sunlight and the sound of air parting for something ridiculously heavy. Asti looked up. Just in time to see the underside of the pipes. Their appreciation of the impending destruction was short-lived, for they could already feel someone shoving them out of the way to apparent safety. The shadows did not appreciate the gesture. Even if they were not strong enough to hold the Serpent in place, they grew spikes in the last moment to do some damage as Asti was torn from their grasp.

They landed in the dust, rolling once, their skin torn in several places. The wounds tingled as blood began to flow, quickly clotting just moments after. Then the pipes landed and every other sound stopped to matter. Asti's ears were ringing and didn't stop as they pulled themself off the ground.

Celestine, pinned to the ground, immediately filled their vision and something akin to anger arose. Her question only increased it. "Are you some kind of idiot?" they spat. Disbelief mixed with confusion. They wanted to shake her head to see if everything was still in the right place or if something was clearly missing a screw.



angel doe angel doe
 
DAMIAN
CS Link
SCENE:
Swimming Amongst Water Lilies
LOCATION:
Fog Grove, North District
TIME:
July 13, 2022 || Post-Outbreak
PARTICIPANTS:
Damian, Aerith, Asti, Khydnah, Peyton
SWIMMINGAMONGST WATER LILIES

Ebon from head to toe, inside and out, Damian sauntered through mud and murk as he scanned for prey with pitch-black eyes that looked as though they could drain even the faintest traces of light from a void as dark as this one. Four massive limbs sprouted from underneath the coat that covered his already large frame, brushing against the wet grass and causing a faint rustle to accompany the squelch from his boots each time he took another step into the mire. If he stopped moving for a single moment, he'd probably vanish, blending in with the foul environment as one of the many trees with his eldritch appendages that mimicked gnarled branches. The only thing that helped keep him in view was the ghastly glow of his skin, pale as the moon that didn't dare show its face.

Ordinarily, Damian didn't have any interest in the swamp or doing any kind of work for the Serpents. However, recent events in Central had caused him to change his tune. The possibility of encountering more of the creatures that filled the city like a plague was something he couldn't pass up on.

His first encounter with the mutated citizens of New Oasis was very enlightening. He spent his time chasing after as many as he could, wanting to satisfy the fires of curiosity they stoked. In the few hours that had flown by, he prodded them from all angles, from the outside and within. They couldn't answer questions, so he had to dig deeper to satisfy his urge for discovery. Unfortunately, he didn't always get his answers. They'd break too soon, leaving him with nothing but scraps of tissue that could no longer provide him with what he wanted.

Even though he was technically one of them, there was no such thing as a sense of kinship or empathy. Tonight was a chance to see more of those interesting things and potentially open his mind to things he never knew existed. That's all the Chimeras meant to him, nothing more and nothing less.

Sadly, it seemed as though the time he spent here had been time wasted. Nothing even remotely eye-catching had crossed his path, leaving him bored and wanting. He considered leaving and trying his luck back in the heart of Central, but a sudden commotion prevented him from abandoning the patrol.

The Serpents began to slither to the edge of the water, and Damian was quick to follow, wondering if something interesting had been fished out. The answer came quickly, and so did his disappointment. Instead of something like the monstrosities he'd seen yesterday or back at the black site where Raphael had been held captive, there was just a woman. No flash, no flare. Not anything that set her apart from what could be found roaming on any common street.

He briefly considered that the woman may have just been another corpse until the others spoke to her, implying she was still alive. It didn't make much of a difference, really. Alive or dead, the only thing that mattered was if something about her sparked intrigue. His immediate answer was a "no", but then he considered something else. She seemed to be unmutated on the outside, but what about the inside?

As new thoughts wormed their way into his head, his sewn-on smile stretched a bit, and the ends of his sucker-covered limbs curled. He'd save those for later though. Maybe the woman would show value after she regained consciousness. Maybe a Potential or an interesting story related to how she ended up at the bottom of a bog.



 
Boltius "BLITZ" Beckman
SCENE:
Rain on the Mountaintop
TIME:
Post-Arc 3 — 2022, June 28th
LOCATION:
Borgo Orecchiette, Fusilli
PARTICIPANTS:
Passeri, Jackson, Jesper, Pascal, Milo, Gav, Boltius
RAIN ON THE MOUNTAINTOP
As Milo pondered, Boltius chewed. He let his eyes drift idly about his surroundings, taking in the different faces. None of them stood out to him as particularly familiar, but he was bad with faces in the first place.

“It's a lot of ground to cover,” said Milo, continuing. Boltius looked at him, then at his untouched plate but said nothing, listening.

“You don't need an alias. Although—” Milo paused and Bolt stopped eating. He stared across the table at the other with fierce interest, the pause stretching only longer as the clinking of plates and murmur of surrounding chatter filled the gap. His patience was always thin, the Ace’s, but with Milo it was thicker. Anyone else and he’d have slammed his fist on the table with eagerness and spat an aggressive, “Get to the point, dawg!”

Though, that isn’t to say his patience was much thicker.

Beneath the table, Boltius’ knee bounced vigorously as he awaited the rest of what Milo had to say. He wanted to eat, but for reasons inexplicable, he couldn’t take another bite until his curiosity was satisfied. As if to urge Milo along, Bolt nodded with interest. Then, finally, “No aliases. But you're not here in your capacity as Ace, but rather a private citizen enjoying an all-expenses paid vacation as my plus one.”

Curiosity satisfied, Boltius took a bite and relaxed back into his seat, observing the area with bored eyes once more—he was a bit disappointed it hadn’t been something cooler, but he couldn’t tell you what something cooler would have been. What did not here in his capacity as Ace even mean?

Choosing not to ask, Boltius shrugged. “Alright. Not here in my caspity as Ace, but rather a private citizen enjoyin’ an all-expensive vacation as your best man. Got it,” spoken with food in his cheek. He was dead serious, too. He draped one arm over the back of his chair and kicked it back on two legs, an easy balancing act as he met his friend’s eyes once more, paying him continued attention, for Milo was the leader of this little escapade and Boltius intended to take his friend seriously.

“But... It couldn't hurt to relax a little, too.”

“I can relax,” said Bolt.

“Let's see, how about this: after we eat, we get the lay of the land and we can figure out our plan of attack.”

“Attack?” Boltius threw himself forward, causing the two front legs of his chair to loudly clack as they returned to the floor. Seeing Milo’s plate in that moment, his mind took an immediate detour, distracting him briefly from the mention of this plan of attack. Boltius gestured to the full dish and, with a raspy whisper through gritted teeth, chastised his friend, “Bro, we ain’t gonna do shit if you don’t fckneatchrfcknfood.”
BOLTIUS NOTES​
— —POST RECAP: Boltius and Milo discuss.

— —WEARING: Some shit like this: (Click Here) His left arm from wrist to shoulder is in a cast and sling. He's wearing his usual bling: rings, chains, bracelets. You know how it goes.

— —TATTOO: (Click Here)

 
VULKEN BECKMAN
SCENE:
The Devil's Twilight
LOCATION:
Warehouse, South District
TIME:
Pre-Arc 1, June 10th, 2019
PARTICIPANTS:
Skadi, Red, Musai, Sable, Vulken
CURRENT STAGE:
0
The Devil's Twilight

As he made his way towards this mysterious rendezvous location– a secluded warehouse in the South District – Vulken took one last glance back at his motorcycle. It was still kind of early– for him, at least. This little sponsee of Helva’s was lucky he hadn’t been drinking the night before. or else he wouldn’t have been able to lend a helping hand.

Once he made his way into the building, his eyes landed on two figures not too far ahead of him. He barely recognized both, but once his memory caught up to him, looking at the taller one caused him to roll his eyes.

Oh, that’s just great.” He sighed, patting Musai on the shoulder. “If I need extra firepower, just know I’m takin’ whatever comes outta that gullet ‘a yours.

Next, he turned to face the shorter girl– the one Helva decided to sponsor. Now that it came to mind, he hadn’t heard from Helva for, what, a few days? It had probably been longer, but it wasn’t like he and the younger Phoenix were on a talk-every-day basis in the first place. But the sudden, ‘urgent’ call for help and the fact that his black-haired ‘little sis’ was nowhere to be seen caused his eyebrow to jump up in suspicion.

Hey,” He gently smiled, putting up a relaxed front and reaching to pat Skadi on her head, something he’d been scolded by YY for doing on multiple occasions (He just couldn’t help it. She was so cute!). “‘Yer Hellie’s girl, right? Whaddaya need help with? Everythin' good?

Peckinou Peckinou miki miki Kameron Esters- Kameron Esters- Shugo Shugo Coyote Hart Coyote Hart

 
Passeri Park
SCENE:
The Idol Fanclub Trials
TIME:
Pre-Arc 2
LOCATION:
Highreach, West District
PARTICIPANTS:
Passeri, Takakazu
The Idol Fanclub Trials
At times, Passeri Park loathed her Potential. As all other children had, she'd been taught that there was something sacred about love. That it could heal the soul. That it, above all other things, was what could make a person whole. She'd believed it for a time, long before her career had lent her a perch within the midnight sky. But she, before all other people, knew how obscene and twisted that scared thing could become. Ignorance was no option for her, and as her Potential so doggedly communicated to her that was spilled forth from that thing in the shape of her face was, in fact, love, she sorely wished that it was.

Today the tingle of her Potential brought with it a subtle nausea and concern. Where did the line between self-muralizing fan and malicious fanatic lie? She had no idea but, at least, Passeri knew that she definitely did not want to afford somebody anywhere close to that line the affirmation of victory.

"Mmm. Six million is a bit off, actually!" A chime from the peanut gallery. Passeri looked down on, locked eyes with, and smiled her most glittery smile at the human shrine that was Gill. "You got that number online, right? Did you know the figures that they post on the charts and music websites only account for full album sales? See, there's this thing that some people do where they just buy the singles... And then end up purchasing every song anyway! Nobody ever bothers plugging that data into the figures. Maybe it's just me having an ego, adding it to the tally, but, like, if you do Stargazer was just short of ten million!"

Passeri's prattling went on long past the second round's start. This was one of her killer moves. Even if there was little that she could physically do to interfere with the competition, she hardly needed to bind somebody like this up in chains to keep them from acting. If she wanted to help Scruffy, then this was the first step. Tie down that frantic, fanatic energy and give him a chance to make it to his buzzer first.

"Your name was Gill, right? Here's another question for you! Petal Gallery and Lucidity- How many sales like that do you think they had? One million? Two million? Three? If you get both right, I'll give you a prize! Is there any merch you missed out on? I should be able to fish one or two of them up, if I really try!"

It wasn't bluff. She could- and would- though she was really hoping that she wouldn't have to.

 
VULKEN BECKMAN
SCENE:
Coming In Hot
LOCATION:
YY and Vulken's high school, South District
TIME:
October 9th, 2009
PARTICIPANTS:
Yong-Yut, Lyric, Vulken
CURRENT STAGE:
0
Coming In Hot

Vulken’s eyebrows shot up when Lyric leaned into him. Heh. Was he finally about to score? After all this time? All it took was a fuckin’ suit? He needed to dress like this more often. A flirty smirk crept onto his face, curling his lips upward as his eyes did a quick scan of the gymnasium to see if any of his boys were looking. Of course, they were all too enthralled with their own girls to be paying him any mind. Whatever, assholes.

Sure, I had faith in ‘ya.” He replied, his arm remaining firmly wrapped around Lyric’s waist– he was even feeling bold enough to lift his other arm to fully hold her and look into her eyes. “But next time, just call me up and I’ll get ‘ya in without any hassle–

His plans were cut short when Lyric suddenly pulled herself out of his grip, sliding around him to prevent Yong-Yut from escaping onto the bleachers she had punched just minutes earlier. Damn it, you and ‘yer awkward shit…

With a defeated sigh, he calmly followed behind the two, climbing the bleachers after them with hands shoved into the pockets of his blazer.

He chuckled at the thought of Yong-Yut on the dance floor, going wild and letting all of that energy she was most definitely keeping bottled up out. “Yeah, right. That’s somethin’ I’d pay good money ‘ta see.” He sped up ever-so-slightly to pass his brown-haired friend and slip in front of her, cutting her off from getting any further up the bleachers. “‘Yer here ‘ta have fun tonight, man! No sneakin’ off allowed."

He nodded his head towards the dance floor, gesturing for Yong-Yut to turn back around. “We can dance together when the slow shit comes on, if ya want. I’ve been waitin’ for some jazz to come on since I stepped in this fuckin’ place.

@gxxberkit BriiAngelic BriiAngelic

[ Art by @gxxberkit ]
 
PEYTON XIONG
LOCATION:
Peyton's Old Apartment, East District
TIME:
Post-Arc 3 || Two Weeks Later
PARTICIPANTS:
Peyton, Jackson

CRASH AND BURN
"But your singing is so pretty! I know I'd immediately lose if we ever had to fight," Peyton said. Through the flattery though, Peyton wasn't quite sure if Jackson would have a thorough victory. But unlike Jackson, Peyton didn't dislike the idea of fighting his former friends, Jackson included. He tried to see it from Jackson's perspective, but he simply couldn't. There was nothing wrong with sparring with friends, so what was wrong with a bit of a friendly rivalry?

Jackson was right though, it was a mean move on Peyton's part for not contacting Jackson before it got to this. As to why exactly Peyton had avoided telling Jackson, Peyton wasn't quite sure. Did he have any excuse that didn't amount to just stupidity? Probably not. And was stupidity enough of an excuse? That was also a 'probably not.' But regardless, Peyton mumbled out, "Sorry for not telling you... I was dumb."

At that moment, Peyton was glad that although Jackson wasn't hugging him anymore-- it had been more like Jackson was trying to strangle him-- he didn't back away from the embrace. Peyton wanted nothing more than to hide his face within the cusp of Jackson's shoulder, and he did so, the fabric of Jackson's clothing brushing up against his cheeks.

"Well, yeah, you can't stop me," Peyton said, although the meaning of his words was quite different from what Jackson had meant, "I know I'm dumb for wanting to keep my friendship with you even though I betrayed you. But I'm not letting you go. You're my friend, and you're staying that way."

Peyton's mind raced for a way to figure out a way to prove his friendship with Jackson, his dusty synapses desperately trying to think of something. The best he could think of was in line with his usual repertoire of skills-- killing people. "How about I prove my loyalty to you and only you? Is there anybody you want dead in the Serpents? I can't hurt anyone important like Uncle Tri or mighty lord Bash, but I can get rid of someone you don't like?"


BriiAngelic BriiAngelic
 
AKAMOZU JUN
SCENE:
Clipped Wings Cannot Rebirth
LOCATION:
The Roost, South District
PARTICIPANTS:
Red ( miki miki ), Charlie ( Roda the Red Roda the Red ), Pei, ( thebigfella thebigfella ), Helva/Hiyma ( Peckinou Peckinou ), Eleanore ( mechanicalmania mechanicalmania )
Clipped Wings Cannot Rebirth

Recipient
them
Run, run, as quick as you can, The shadows dark, they swiftly span
them
A violent specter haunts the terrain, Art thou innocent, guilty, or one in the same?
them
Mourning winds creep through the boards, The restless flock gathers for one accord
them
Here lies the tales of lives once lived, Their stories told, their hearts now sieved.
them
Where I go, you will follow. Where am I?
me
Idk lol 😆
me
almost done cleaning up 4 job. Want 2 watch the new war of the zombie yakuza movie l8r?

With the press of a button, the illuminated screen went dark, becoming a glossy black mirror that reflected Jun's impassive frown right back at him.
The boy was no stranger to Pei's antics, and likely, there was some cryptic, mysterious riddle behind the series of messages that he was supposed to follow.
But, that was all way too complicated for Jun to comprehend, or care about, especially after another day of 'cleaning up' the southern district.
Really, after a hard day's work, he would have liked nothing more than to spend the night watching some nice foreign film about gory, undead gangster-on-living gangster hyperviolence.
And usually, Pei was someone he could count on to jump at the chance to indulge in a nice, good ole' movie binge, so his uncharacteristic radio silence came across as rather disappointing.
With a resigned sigh, Jun stowed his phone back into his pocket with one hand, his other preoccupied with hefting the bundle of heavy, black bags back securely onto his shoulder.
He was probably busy with some evil plan, or buying one of those figurines of anime girls that never seem to wear pants, or something like that.
Oh well, maybe he could try roping the granny into watching with him?
It was pretty funny watching her nearly fall out of her seat at every single jumpscare.

His eyes peered up, past the buildings that surrounded him as he walked past.
The red street lights had just began to flicker on, bathing the street in an otherworldly, warm, crimson glow that reflected the budding orange lights of the sunset sky.
Soon, it would be night time, and due to some suspicious activities as of late, he, as well as many other rookie phoenixes had been ordered to return to HQ by nightfall.
Of course, Jun didn't really care for such rulings; who were they to tell him that he couldn't enjoy a nice walk by the moonlight?
But he also didn't care much for getting another earful from one of his higher ups, and this bag on his shoulder was getting pretty heavy, and it's contents were starting to get a little bit...ripe for his liking. So, at least tonight, he would acquiesce, and head straight home after he was finished dumping this little package off.

And thankfully, he'd just arrived at his destination.
It was an altogether unassuming building, at first glance, except for one exception; it's walls were decorated heavily with graffiti depictions of birds coated in feathers of bright scarlet flame, endlessly dying and being reborn from their ashes in magnificent glory.
...Or at least, that how a lot of the other members described it.
To him, they were just some pretty pictures of flaming red birds.
There were many names for this building, but most among the gang simply called it "The Roost," a resting place for those lost, where their souls can rest and one day rekindle and yadda, yadda, yadda.
What really mattered, was that it was a nice, perfect place for Jun to drop off his junk, and there was a Wcdonalds perfectly situated along his route back to HQ, making for a nice, roundabout trip.

With little ceremony, Jun scampered up to the foreboding funerary home, taking a hold of the old, aged bronze doorknob and blithely swinging the door open.
However, instead of the dim, candlelit foyer he had been expecting, there instead stood a solid wall of black pitch; murky, and swirling about in the air like ink in water.
And beyond that dark veil, he could hear voices, familiar, shouting, arguing, screaming.
"Hm~," the boy hummed to himself, cocking his head slightly in curiosity as he stretched his calloused, bandaged hand out, and reached into the dark.
As he suspected, the murk seemed to turn solid at his touch, wrapping around his arm before he could reach out any further.
It was a phenomenon he was well familiar with, a product that could only Helvy, or one of her imaginary friends could create.
Through his fingertips, he could feel how it shifted and moved, both solid, yet intangible.
And beyond that, he could feel that which barred him; those small, invisible particles that swam through the air freely, only amassing together to form a solid wall when the sensed his touch.
Helva, or whoever, probably erected this wall for a reason, to keep others out, or maybe keep whoever else was inside there in.
Unfortunately, Jun had business on the other side of that wall, so she would just have to deal with his intrusion.

Pulling his hand out from the darkness, Jun's free hand reached for the sword hung from his hip, wasting no time in drawing it forth from it's scabbard, and sinking it deep into the dark recesses of the wall's core.
He'd encountered this unnatural darkness plenty of times before, and he knew exactly how best to apply his unique talents to seeing it undone.
All he had to do was channel that tremoring frequency resonating within his body, into his blade, into the swimming, murky dark.
Let it grow, rebound, intensify, amplify, until...
With a short, simple "Hup!" of exertion, the wall burst open from within, spreading out to wash into the foyer in a geyser-like wave, leaving behind a massive, gaping hole, that gave Jun a perfect view of the scene unfolding within.

Most would recognize the apparent tension that was hanging within the room, making the air thick and heavy with malaise.
But Jun, Jun was simply either unaware or simply uncaring for what seemed to be unfolding before him, adjusting the bags on his shoulder once more as he sauntered casually in, maneuvering his way past the wall of shadow, as the breach he'd created sealed shut behind him.

"Heey Leelee~!" Jun congenially smiled, his maddened eyes, glowering like a dying ember in a sea of pitch black ash, seemed to come alight as they fell first upon the blue-haired boy holding up the familiar red-hooded form of his sponsor.
"Whatcha doin? Bullyin' Little Red Granny?" he asked, dropping his cargo unceremoniously at his side, stretching out the knot that had formed in his shoulder from having to carry such a heavy load for so long.
He pursed his lips, turning to the senior member with his hands authoritatively on his hips as he added, "I know she can be a pain sometimes, but you shouldn't do that, y'know~? Getting her all worked up like that will make her take it out on me later!"
Turning to the red hooded girl held tightly in the boy's grasp, he happily chimes, "Oh yeah, Granny! I finished that 'cleaning' job~!"
Giving the overstuffed garbage bag a small kick of smug, self-satisfaction, he adds, "...Got most of what's left of them wrapped up in here, but I made sure to leave a real nice message behind~!"

 
Passeri Park
SCENE:
A Murder Under Starlight
TIME:
Pre-Arc 1, 2013
LOCATION:
West District
PARTICIPANTS:
Passeri, Corvo
A Murder Under Starlight
"Oh! Really?" Passeri seemed to almost immediately perk up at the mention of her work. Even after the incident, it was still nice to hear that somebody, somewhere out there in the world was a fan. "Most of our fans are actually on the older side, you know, so it's a surprise to hear he's so young! Normally it'd expect, like, a one or a two pinned onto the front of that number."

She wasn't even sure if she'd ever seen a child at one of their shows, though that may have been due to the fact that they were normally in the middle of night.

"Does he have a favourite song? I should have some, like, runoff merch back at my place if you'd like to pinch some for him! And I can throw in an autograph too, if you'd like! I remember back when I was in school I found this, like, old signed vinyl in a secondhand store, and it was all scratched up so I couldn't even listen to it-" Not to mention the fact that her grandmother hadn't owned a record player. Wasn't the people point of old people that they had relics like that sitting around? "-But... Still! I thought it was super cool. I hung it on my wall and everything! I guess it's what they call, um... Sentimental value? The fact that I had this thing that the artist signed themselves was, like... Wow! You know?"

What seemed like endless blabber stirred the night air as the pair of women roamed the cold, dead streets of the West. Even when she'd been brave enough to make the trek from the studio to her apartment alone, Passeri had always found the atmosphere terribly still. Absent, was the inescapable vibrancy of the day. The sun's gentle rays and warm afternoon breeze had long left the world, leaving only midnight's icy embrace in their place. To that end she thought it quite nice to have somebody to share that absence with. Another dot of warmth in the long, black chill.

"And hey! If I end up making it big, I'm sure it'd go for a bunch, too! It could be, like, a bonus! You know, like those call centers and corporations have for whenever their employees meet a quota or whatever." Not that she wanted anybody selling her autograph, but... Well, things had to work their way over to secondhand stores for people like her to happen upon somehow, right?

"Oh. We take a left here, by the way." They'd been walking for minutes now. The studio was far behind them, and with each step that they took the street lights seemed to grow more sparse. Even then, though, the road that Passeri nodded to stood out as particularly dark. Flanked by tall, lightless windows, the street seemed to swallow whatever scant traces of light which had been permitted to survive so deep into the night.

"You mentioned you were from Fusili too, right?" In truth, this wasn't the only route to her apartment. The road ahead of them went straight for quite a while, but it did eventually loop around to head towards her building, but it would've cost them time that she simply didn't have. With all of the talking she was doing, that probably the only thing that she kept her mouth shut about that night.

"I've always wanted to visit there, if you'd believe it! It looks so nice in all of the pictures..."

 
Welsha Reaper
SCENE:
What's the Tea
LOCATION:
Moonflower Cafe, West District
PARTICIPANTS:
Yona Kowloong CasualTea CasualTea , Welsha Reaper
What's the Tea

Welsha gave a nod "I'll say, not much point in learning a set of skills if your never going to put it to use, but a degree is a degree i suppose." there was a bit of genuine disappointment in Welshas voice as she said that, but eventually added "Well atleast my parents were willing to pay for my College Education so I didn't have to go into debt to get it." She has heard of other people going into debt to pay for all the tuition and supplies something that she was fortunate to not to worry about. Still though her parents did place quite a few requirements on what she had to do while she was in college or else they would of cut her funding.

But after a moment Yonas invite to take a stroll around town wasn't something she really expected, but she was more than happy to do it, after all she could use a interesting break for once. Plus the woman she was with seemed nice enough, so she figured why not, plus she offered to use her transport vehicle "Sure, I don't mind." once Yona asked if she frequented any spots Welsha tilted her head a bit before rubbing her head in embarrassment "Well I spend most of my time at work, and my home, so I only really go out to places if it's work related, food or I heard good things about it." Welsha then mused in her own thoughts for a moment before opting to ask "Well besides the library I suppose, though I'm not sure if you would have any interest in that old place, Do you have any particular interests?"
 
Passeri Park
SCENE:
Calling Amestria
TIME:
Post-Arc 3, Timeskip 1 | July 4th, 2022
LOCATION:
Not-So-Abandoned Storefront, West District
PARTICIPANTS:
Passeri, Dagger
Calling Amestria
"Hmm..." The breeze, cool as it was, seemed to whisk away whatever inkling worries were within Passeri's head with it. There was a certain, pure sort of delight in her eyes as she'd watched Elise fuss over her gift, soon joined by an impish glee, bidden by the taller woman's outstretched hand.

"How chivalrous~ Give a lady some swords, and look at what happens to her! How about we go with Sir Dagger from here on out?" Passeri's voice strained as she intertwined her fingers with Elise's and hauled herself to her feet. Still present, though, was the airiness. The carefree absence of contemplation, of calculation, of what the proper thing to do and say next was. A rare moment of genuine cheer, during which she spoke without doubt or restraint.

"Hey- When even was your birthday, anyway? I'm starting to think I should get you, like, a suit of armor or something next time. A gallant knight... Clad in shining steel, how does that sound? I could even get a tiara to match." Passeri's blithe commentary went on as it ever did as she led Elise to the door, oblivious to her tight, continued grip on the other woman's hand. "Just kidding~ Not that it wouldn't suit you, but like, can you even imagine wearing a set of that stuff? On a day like this I wouldn't be surprised if you ended up drowning in your own sweat."

She tugged her further. Out the door, over to the van to retrieve the keys, and then back to the now-furnished patio. For as long as she remained wrapped in the bliss that was ignorance, Passeri's hold remained tight. It was only once the door was locked and she slipped her keys back into her pocket that Passeri cast her gaze down, and realized what exactly that coarse, firm thing that she'd been fiddling with for the last minute was.

"Oh!" You could've been excused for thinking that she'd just stuck a fork into an electric socket, with how fast Passeri's hand lept into the air. "Sorry! I- Um- Got distracted! I guess all that heavy lifting has a way of getting to you, huh?"

The air turned awkward as Passeri's hand continued to linger in it. Or maybe that was just her. Even worse than that, though, she could also feel the red returning to her face.

"Um. We were talking about food, right? I did a scout around before I bought the place, and there's not too much around here..." Filled with sudden purpose, Passeri's hands quickly fumbled her phone into themselves. Dotted by a sparse few eateries, a map soon lit up the screen. "There's, um, a diner... A Xian takeout... A Burger Knight... And a gas station."

What? Her brow furrowed. Did roller hot dogs qualify a place as a restaurant these days?

"I'm ruling those last two out, okay? But seeing as I skipped lunch today... The other two should be fine! Great, actually! It's been forever since I've been anywhere that I don't have to wear a ballroom gown or cocktail dress." She, much more tentatively than she might've earlier, handed her phone over to Elise. "Either of them catch your eye? I'll- um- leave the choice up to you."

It should've been fun either way.

 
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August "TAZZ" August + Raphael "BLOODFIEND" Shaw
SCENE:
Soup
TIME:
Pre-Arc 3 — June 1st, 2022; Mid-day
LOCATION:
North District; Serpent HQ
PARTICIPANTS:
Raphael, August, Peyton
SOUP
raph.jpg
“I’m all ears, darling.~”

But August needed more than that. He had questions needing answered and doubts needing confirmation—not that he wholeheartedly trusted the potential claims and reassurances to come from the charming snake before him.

Lips parting, the discussion began.

“Ahn’t ya curious?” he asked. August let his eyes drift, taking in the room. One way in and out. His phone, charging at the foot of the bed, a small but generous favor from the faceless, nameless do-gooder who’d taken care of him. The screen was shattered but that didn’t matter; he didn’t take much time to look it over or inspect the full extent of the damage and, instead, got straight to business.

A link saved in his notes. He clicked it and handed the device to Raph. “Ya’ve ‘eard o’ this, yeh?” The article detailed the events of October 9th, 2021 in the West—a tornado enveloping the upper half of a high-rise apartment building where, allegedly, the renowned Tiger King of the Albino Tigers engaged in battle with unknown opposers. “Surely, yeh?”

Raph played coy. “‘Surely’,” He mimicked, playing along, waiting for an explanation.

“Yeh, so…” August paused, bit his lip, held his breath, then pointed to the phone now in Raph’s hands and told him, “Was mah dad that stahted it.”

Raph blinked. He didn’t know what to think right away, deciding instead to squint at the tiny, cracked screen a little more closely, as if some hidden meaning might reveal itself. “Oh,” he paused, then looked up from the phone. “... Why?”

August shrugged. “Thought it’d save me,” sarcasm heavy on the word ‘save’, for what he was capable. His voice had always lacked that certain lilt that gave many others a lively, musical manner of speech. August’s speech was typically toneless and riddled with notes of boredom, marked with yawns and mumbling.

He continued, “Found out ‘is son was a slave undah Mahkus Weiss. His collection worth billions of ‘mestrian yen commandee’d- o’ taken…” He wasn’t sure just how extensive the Serpents vocabulary was, so he toned down his word choice; though, he tried not to make it obvious. “It was taken… It was mine.”

A pause for thought, he tried to gather the story to cut down on excessive and unnecessary detail. Much of the how and why, honestly, was of little importance. It was the what and what next that he cared about. However, August had patience. He wouldn’t deny the Serpent an answer to a question if he so had one of trivial nature.

Raph ran his tongue across his teeth. He squinted, cocking his head to one side, a stray lock of hair falling across his face; his face was pinched as he puzzled something out. “So?” he asked at last, as if it were all so obvious. “Take it back.”

August’s eyes squinted at that, though only slightly, and for a moment he searched for a sign on Raphael’s face that would tell him he was joking. So, take it back~

But August could see he was serious. The faintest show of amusement crossed his countenance. He looked to the side and scoffed a laugh, chewed the nail of his thumb, then stood and stepped closer to the Serpent. “‘S not so easy, mate. Weiss’s no muppet, yeh?” August pinched the phone in Raphael’s hand but didn’t take it. “He’s a man with a plan, in which case ya’ve gotta ‘pproach with a plan… An’ these days ah’ve not ‘ad much time fuh plannin’.”

Finally, he slipped the phone from Raph’s grasp, gently, and stuck it in the pocket of his bloodstained jeans. “Actually, more importantly… Was ‘opin’ you could ‘elp me out with somethin’ first...” Tilting his head, looking down at the Serpent, August snapped his fingers, at the same time transitioning the gesture into a single-handed finger-gun with the Serpent downsight. Pursing his lips, August asked him, “D’you return favuhs much?”

Raph wrinkled his nose up at the taller boy, eyes nearly crossing when they tried to focus on the pointed finger. He normally would never have entertained the thought. Him? Owing another person anything? That honor had historically been reserved for a select few. And yet… His expression morphed into a wry, asymmetric smile. “Maybe,” he began, recalling the sensation of the phone as it slipped gently through his fingers. “Try me.”

Silence followed.

August hadn’t glanced at Raphael’s lips until now, and suddenly the desire to look again when eyes averted was more stark in his mind than had been the words he was preparing to speak.

His gesture faltered, finger retracting into a fist, which he cushioned within his other hand and held close to his body. Instinctively, teal eyes found the door, inspected the handle—so, there was a lock. Wait, what? August's ears went red under the feathery white of his hair, heat rising in his chest.

How the other had such a hold of that nature over him was a curiosity that August couldn’t satisfy, nor was now the time for it.

He cleared his throat, looking anywhere but at Raph. “So…” Hands in his pockets, as the sudden awareness of himself and what to do with them gave an urge to fidget, he tried to steer his mind back on track. “Uhhhm- Tch… Basically…”

For two seconds, the panic set in. What was the last thing he had said? Something about Markus being a muppet? No… that wasn’t right.

August shook his head, appearing bewildered.

Then he smiled. He smiled and drew a hand, holding it up at the Serpent, genuinely entertained by the ridiculousness of his behavior. “Wait- ‘Old on,” he implored, placing the hand over his mouth to hide the grin, closing his eyes.

Quickly serious again, he remembered. “Ah, roight, roight. Basically, no one knows ah’m a stray from the Tigahs.” He could meet Raph’s eyes again. “‘Scept you…”

“... Ah…” Raph’s eyes widened with understanding. The wheels in his mind were turning, as pieces fell into place. The Serpent took a short stroll around the tiny bedroom, fingers delicately tracing the cool, metal door handle. Beyond lay a den of vipers. What would they do, if they discovered a lost tiger cub had wandered into their lair?

Raph’s heart sunk at the thought, even as his lip quirked an instinctive smile. Normally the idea would’ve thrilled him: to present this supple morsel and watch as many hungry mouths tore it apart. But now… That could not happen. He would not allow it to happen.

Playing a slender finger against his chin, Raph turned and made a great show of mulling it over before at last he said, “All right. I’ll keep your little secret. ~” He approached, hands clasped over the small of his back as he circled the other boy like a predator, searching for something in gaze. When he found it, their faces impossibly close, he said, in a voice barely a whisper. “It’s the least I could do. For the man who saved my life.” Twice, Raph thought. But who’s counting?

1 (1).jpg
August was. Though, he supposed he didn’t need to be, as convincing the Serpent to protect his little secret required almost no convincing, at all. In fact, it seemed to August that Raphael had convinced himself.

With their faces so close, August held his breath. The hand at his side twitched; it should have been in his pocket. The conversation hadn’t gone exactly how he’d planned, but that was partly- no, more than partly- expected when he reminded himself who he was dealing with. His mind had a way of wandering with Raphael—if that was correctly his name; he would need to confirm later.

His mind adrift, August’s eyes drew three points on Raphael’s face, gaze fixing on each of the Serpent’s eyes before it settled, again, on the Serpent’s lips. There was more he wanted to discuss… His plans… Thoughts that needed voicing… But… The warmth of Raphael’s breath sent August spiraling back to their unlikely encounter almost one year ago, before he knew the intoxication and addiction of carnal gratification. And lost in that memory for the briefest of passes, August felt the unexpected softness of flesh in his hand. Just under the shirt, he cupped Raphael’s side, a cold touch.

Raph’s breath caught, his mind short-circuiting. His body froze, back half-arched in an instinctual attempt to react to the sudden press of fingers against bare skin. His eyes trailed downwards toward the source of the sudden sensation. How had it gotten there? How long had it been there? His downturned eyes landed on the length of a tanned forearm pushing up the fabric of his shirt. One mystery solved, he thought to himself as his eyes trailed up the arm, finding the shoulder, then the neck. Part of him was relieved. Talking, being civilized, returning favors, caring about others... These were not things that came naturally to him. But this? Or, rather, what he intuited this was the preamble to… This was something he knew, the kind of attention he had come to expect… Thanks to an overabundance of practice. Raph knew all the right moves to make. He knew to step forward, closing the space between their bodies. He also knew to drape an arm over his shoulder, pulling the other man closer still. What’s more, he knew exactly what to say next, his lips parted, eyes half-lidded in anticipation…

“I-... Sorry?”

Raph’s eyes widened, searching August’s expression for any inkling of an explanation, as if he were the one saying strange things. As if his mouth had taken on a mind of its own, Raph opened it again.

“About your father. He died… Didn’t he?”

Sensing that their closeness was now somehow inappropriate—and sensing that the moment was well and truly ruined—Raph did them both a favor and awkwardly recreated space between them.

August’s eyebrows pinched ever so slightly at the question—a tinge of hurt in his expression at the brutally painful reminder—and he retracted his hand as Raphael withdrew from closeness. The reality and realization of what he’d been about to do slammed him hard in the chest, forcing him to take a breath. A deep one, overcompensating for the respiratory pause he’d just put his lungs through.

Heart pounding, hands behind his head, August let his cheeks fill with air and turned away from the Serpent, blowing hard. “Uh.” He was speechless, shaking his head, eyes wide with disbelief at both his body’s intentions and the Serpent’s response to his advance. Though, he couldn’t decide which was more shocking.

“You must’ve been close,” Raph added, clasping his hands behind him as he leaned back against the cold tile wall. Since he’d already sorely ruined the mood, he decided to jump in with both feet. “When I heard my deadbeat father finally drank himself to death, I practically jumped for joy. ~” Raph laughed at the lie. The truth was that the news of his father’s death all those years ago hadn’t fazed him at all back then.

August looked to the ceiling, pondering, eyes flitting side-to-side as if searching for the words there.

When he found one, he found another, then the rest came in stride to form a single fluid thought. And he told the Serpent, “‘S just a title, innit?... ‘S not wot makes’em worth a damn.” An attempt at consolation, to say that the remarkable people in one’s life aren’t always the ones boasting trophy titles; though, he was unsure if consolation is what the Serpent needed or wanted.

Returning to the bed, August took a seat, legs parted, propping his heels on the part of the metal frame that stuck out beneath the mattress. Arms locked straight, he rested them on his knees and allowed his hands to dangle in front of him, then he pressed his mouth into his shoulder for a brief moment of meditation, to prepare himself for the rest of the conversation.

When the meditation was concluded, he opened his mouth. “Mah pops was no saint, eithah. Taught me thievin’ was tha winnin’ game.” August didn’t hate his father for painting the picture of villainy to be something grand to August in childhood. No, he hated his father for dying a fool’s death. “Mate tries ta save his son from nothin’ an’, instead, puts’im worse off than he was. ‘S a bit funny, yeh?” He almost chuckled. “Even funniah, made it just in time ta catch’im bleedin’ out on the pent’ouse floor.” There was an unpronounced rage in his voice, but perhaps one well-familiar with anger could notice it.

“Told ‘im not ta get involved. Made it two years without’im findin’ out I’d been a debt-monkey and lost ‘is life’s work.” August held up two fingers at the number’s mentioning for emphasis. “Mate finds out, an’ wot’s he do? Fockin’ suicide.”

“I see…”

Raph joined him on the bed, sitting by the foot of it. Drawing his knees to his chest he hugged them with his arms as he gazed sidelong at the pitifully springy mattress’ other occupant.

“In that case, I retract my sympathy,” Raph joked to head off any further spiraling. He knew that trap well enough to recognize that once it starts, it scarcely lets up.

“So, your real play… It’s revenge, isn’t it?” His gaze was unblinking.

August met Raph’s eyes beside him and that was his answer. Something stark and vibrant burned within those otherwise drowsy teals, like the passion an experienced artist can sense in the brush strokes of another artist’s work, only of a darker nature.

He made a promise to Markus that night as Eldwin dragged him from his father’s corpse. Don’t die. I’ll fucking kill you. So, the way he saw it, as long as Markus was still standing, he was awaiting the fulfillment of that promise.

Turning his gaze to the floor between his legs then, August said, “‘Aven’t gotta plan. Feet been movin’ on their own.”

“And there’s the rub.” Raph smirked and looked away. While not one for elaborate plans himself, he could appreciate the schemers for their machinations. Raph thought he understood now, how they had ended up here… More-or-less. Now, as far as Raph was concerned, there was only one thing to figure out.

“So… What shall we do next?”

August returned his gaze forward. “‘S a good question, mate.” He chewed his cheek, took a breath, then asked the Serpent, “You evah play Jengo?”

Raph shook his head, leaning back on the bed, he propped himself up on the heels of his palms.

“Afraid I missed game night that week. ~” He purred.

August smirked at the quip. “‘S a game with a towah o’ blocks,” he started. “Each playah takes turns pullin’ out a block, an’ tha goal’s ta do it without topplin’ tha towah. When ya’ve pulled ya block, ya place it on top… but… thing is, everyone plays knowin’ tha towah’s gonna fall. It’s tha pullin’ o’ blocks ‘at makes it fun and wonderin’ which one’ll break it.”

August let his feet slip from the bed frame; they hit the floor flat. He, too, leaned back on his palms, matching Raphael’s image. “...Would be noice ta pull some blocks an’ watch’im shake,” he referred to Markus.

Raph considered this.

“Hm…” He knit his brow in consternation, before he glanced over at August with a wicked and wild glint in his eye and asked, “Why don’t we just knock out the whole bloody tower?

August looked upon the Serpent sideways at that, another passing spell of: Is he serious? as he searched for signs upon the other’s face before drawing the same conclusion. He was.

“Mate,” he scoffed amusedly but gently that it might have gone unnoticed, “we’re talkin’ ‘bout tha same person, yeh?... Mahkus Weiss. King o’ tha Tigahs.” The question was mostly rhetorical but served, just in case, to remind Raphael of just how big of a tower they were talking about. “You’re a bit imaginative, ahn’t ya?” It was endearing, honestly—that feral mien that the other wore so nicely coupled with devilish ambition.

“And ‘ow exactly do ya suppose we do that, hm?” August had paid close attention to Raphael’s word choice throughout their conversation and, so far, only the Serpent had been speaking from the mindset that they were in this together.

“It’s simple.” Without breaking eye contact, Raph sat up and lifted his hand, balled up into a fist, for August to see.

“First, you find the bastard. Then, you kill the bastard.” Raph held up one finger then the other as he laid out his fool-proof, two-step plan. There was the silhouette of satire in the curl of his lip and the dimple of his cheek, but his eyes were deadly serious. “I’ve done it dozens of times.”

Looking at the hand in front of his face, August was reminded of those nicks and scars he’d inquired about that night that glove Raph’s pale, slender fingers still, and he allowed himself to enjoy the memory without getting lost in it.

“You say dozens?” Voice lined with playful disbelief, August matched Raph’s body-language again, one finger extending after the other to give the shape of a V to the Serpent’s scheme: “Find tha basta’d… An’ kill tha basta’d. Hm, I dunno. Sounds complicated.” He hooked their fingers together without hesitation, doing so only on a half-brained whim as some of his usual, oddball nature started to return. “Guessin’ ah’ll hafta keep you along then, yeh? Could use someone with experience.” August clicked his teeth, winked, and discarded Raph’s hand.

Raph only smiled and lightly shook his head.

“Now, if ya don’t mind, enloighten me, mate. How exactly does one end up in a place loike ‘at?” He spoke of the blacksite where the band of Serpents had ventured to rescue the Bloodfiend; where they’d found him bound and suspended by chains in cold darkness. “Wasn’t tha place nor state I thought ta find ya in when I went lookin’... And ya friend- Pink one with tha horns. Real fire, that one.” Kisara was her name—August remembered

“Ah, yes. That. Raph recalled with a practiced nonchalance. As though he were recalling a particularly embarrassing fashion faux pas that occurred at a dinner party three nights past…

And not the deep, dark pit of nothingness that had been his life for… How many months? He couldn’t say for sure. His mind, mercifully, seemed to be shielding him from the worst of it, for now… What was the last thing he remembered..?

“Oh, you know…” Raph went on, resting his leg over the top of August’s thigh as he sidled closer and leaned in until he could feel the other’s breath on his face. The moment stretched, its breath caught in anticipation. When finally Raph spoke, his words were the barest whisper as his words brushed past the air by August’s ear. “I don’t really feel like talking anymore.”

Caught off-guard, August tensed but only slightly. He shot a side-eyed glance at the Serpent’s leg over his own before quickly meeting his crimson gaze as the span of mattress between them grew smaller. What was this all of the sudden?... A tinge of suspicion arose within August—suspicion with which he regarded this unexpected shift in conduct. However, looking at him… August couldn’t help wondering, distracted by the thought: since when had those eyes been so red?

Raph’s lips were at his ear then, the warm utterance of words sending chills down his arms, breath escaping him in a long, exasperated exhale.

Heart frenzied, he was sure Raph could feel it, the pounding. Coupled with his throbbing headache, it made for a dizzying, intoxicating sensation. And August leaned his head against Raphael’s beside him, their temples connecting, white hair mixing with black as he twisted his body to better face the other’s.

Despite himself—the knowing exactly what Raphael’s actions served to accomplish—August couldn’t stop falling. And oh, how the moment moved slowly; painfully so as he inwardly fought to reel himself in. Betraying that fight, his arm had wrapped itself around Raphael’s draped leg, further lessening the space between them. His other hand served to support him, pressing into the mattress.

“Didja think ah wouldn’t notice?” he managed softly, still struggling to pull away, hoping that his own voice would aid him in the requisition of reason. “You’re crafty.” He had concluded that Raphael’s actions were a wile to avoid answering the question, in which case he didn’t want to indulge—not when it came from a moment of weakness or, perhaps, even desperation masked behind suave seduction.

“Alroight,” August’s hand came up to tenderly cup Raphael’s jaw, turning it until their foreheads were pressed together, the tips of their noses grazing. He told him then, “Ya don’t gotta talk, but different tactics from ‘ere on… Jus’ say ya don’t want to… Yeh?”

“Tsk. Now look who’s ruining the mood,” Raph chided softly as he nuzzled his cheek against August’s palm, savoring the feel of it for one final moment before he pulled away. Disentangling himself, he crossed his arms and legs, turned up his nose, and generally made himself look as displeased as possible.

The pantomime lasted all of five seconds before he turned and socked the other boy playfully, if not exactly gently, in the upper arm. “You’re sweet,” he said, suppressing a goofy, slightly smitten smile that would’ve clashed with his blasé demeanor. “That’s not always a compliment.” Something about this little dance of theirs felt familiar in a comfortable sort of way... Like an old cardigan gone soft in the wash.

August rubbed the spot where Raph hit him and the words critical strike humorously crossed his mind, but he didn’t speak them. As for being sweet, he wasn’t so sure if those were the right words to describe him… but he chose not to debate it.

“I believe it,” he responded, returning to how he’d previously been positioned on the bed, forward-facing with his heels propped upon the underbite of the bed frame. Many things crossed his mind as he sat there—Markus, his father, his plans, the blacksite and Raphael, Isobel, Mach Sling and Geronimos, the last eight months—and no matter how much he tried to organize them, he couldn’t, but the one thing that continued to take prominence out of those many things was the desire, or greed, to reacquire his collections.

Should he succeed, it would be both satisfying and beneficial, also serving to shake the tower he planned to topple.

“Anyhow… So, wot d’ya say?” August looked to Raph for an answer. “Care ta join me in a game o’ Jengo?” He hoped the Serpent would understand what he meant. “First block’s a heist.”

“Hm…” Raph decided, for once, to spare the theatrics. He looked August in the eye and said without fanfare, “Darling, how could I say no?”

A satisfied smirk spread across August's face. He parted his lips to speak and...

Just then, sounds from the hall floated in through the cracks in the closed door, alerting the room’s occupants to the approach of another.

(Interacting w/ Raphael)
(Mentioned Kisara)
Elenion Aura Elenion Aura Coyote Hart Coyote Hart

August "TAZZ" August
SCENE:
Soup
TIME:
Pre-Arc 3 — June 1st, 2022; Mid-day
LOCATION:
North District; Serpent HQ
PARTICIPANTS:
Raphael, August, Peyton
SOUP
There came a knock upon the door and August shot Raphael a testing glance, almost as if to gauge the Serpent’s reaction for a sign of deceit or betrayal but, otherwise, he did not flinch, and before either of the two could respond to the newcomer, the door was opening.

Before he saw the face, he heard the voice, “Hi August! I'm coming in!” And August’s brows pinched with uncertainty in the few seconds that it took for their guest to reveal themself. Someone who knew his name? In the Serpents?... Something was off.

However, when he saw him, he remembered… Peyton.

“Ah. ‘S you,” August said casually, measuring the other’s expression of surprise and noting the cause—Raphael. So, they had history, he gathered. Though, he supposed it made sense.

“Raph! You're here too!... And you brought soup! No fair, you beat me to it!”

Reminded of his hunger, August’s eyes found the bowl of soup that Raphael had brought him—there on the end table, no longer steaming. Along the edge of the bowl’s rim, a fly enjoyed its share, picking from the dried drip-stains where broth had sloshed out.

The displeasure was clear to see upon August’s face. While it hadn’t been a luxurious meal, it was one his stomach would have appreciated the full consumption of.

Approaching the end table with a bag, the sight of which caused August to perk up, spine straightening as if it would give him a better look, Peyton joined two containers atop the tray with the old one, scaring away the fly. Two plus two equaled four to August in that moment; Peyton’s words paired with the new aroma wafting about the room had given him enough information to deduce the contents of the containers.

Promptly, when Peyton sat beside him, saying, “If you still have the stomach for more, feel free to dig in!” August did just that. He leaned forward, reaching across Peyton, and took a bowl.

Without concern for utensils, August placed the bowl to his lips and sipped the warm broth.

“Also, what were you and Raph doing? You guys weren't snogging, were you?”

The broth sprayed. August choked, setting the soup aside as he quickly stood and walked away from the bed, keeping his back towards the others. His shoulders convulsed as he tried to stifle the coughs, burying his mouth into the crease of his arm. “Fockin’-” He coughed some more. “Hell.”

Beet red, his cheeks flushed, flustered. Thankfully, though, the near-death experience could serve as a mask to conceal the reason why.
AUGUST NOTES​
— —POST RECAP: August almost dies.

— —WEARING: (See post image) White turtleneck; Teal jacket; White pants (smeared with blood); Black shoes; Earrings

(Interacting w/ Raphael, Peyton)
(Mentioned no one)
Elenion Aura Elenion Aura Coyote Hart Coyote Hart
 
Boltius "BLITZ" Beckman
SCENE:
Bedlam Blitz!
TIME:
Post-Arc 3 — July 10th, 2021; Early morning
LOCATION:
Whiteleaf, South District; Behind an ATV Store...
PARTICIPANTS:
Boltius, Hector, Milo, Yukari, Raquel, Leaf, Zach
BEDLAM BLITZ!
As stated once or twice before, Boltius was never one for stealth and subtlety. He was a flaming reverie, loud and passionate, who liked to punch and burn his way to any solution. As such, he wasn’t enjoying their current approach to obtaining answers and clarity. Beating around the bush wasn’t the way to get shit done, he thought. They should have been straight up with the old man from the get-go—let him know who they were rather than play themselves off as some band of dipshits operating under this fucker called Armond.

Who even punishes their child with a name like that?

To Leaf: “I’d never play you, mister,” the old man desperately asserted, and Boltius believed him.

Don’t worry, old man. We’re the real Scarlet Phoenixes and we’re here to help. We’ll get you out of this mess.

That’s what he wanted to say. The man and his business could become a profitable asset to the gang if they played their cards right and won him over, not that winning people over was ever their forte as a whole, but it was possible to charm the citizens through promising acts. The way Bolt saw it, this man was a civilian of the South, which meant they had a duty to protect him. However, the same sentiments were not held so strongly for residents of the opposing districts—as such, Boltius was no noble knight, just a killer who played favorites.

That isn’t to say he got off on inflicting harm to the innocents of other districts either. Boltius had a conscience—probably more than most gave him credit for or knew—however, he was extremely selective. Scarcely would he raise a fist to an NP, even going as far as to ensure their safety should they get dragged into gang affairs, and the same went for ordinaries possessing potential who held no gang affiliation. But flip that switch and call yourself a Tiger, Dragon, or Serpent, and you’re fair game no matter how weak.

“The displays work, though, right?” Boltius asked the old man. “They got gas?”

The man hesitated, seeming to process the question as if it didn’t make sense for Bolt to ask it, but ultimately answered with a nervous nod. “They work… No gas in’em but got some canisters in storage.”

The Ace seemed like he would speak again, but the thunderous roll of an approaching motorcycle, instead, took the place of his voice and it wasn’t long before Raquel was strutting onto the scene—and with what? A word to Bolt that he was asking the wrong questions. Offended despite his eyes going straight to the sway of her hips, he balled a fist. Why did she have to look like his ex?

“Me?!”

Raquel spoke to the old man, who recoiled at her touch. Boltius crossed his arms and waited, letting her play her hand while being completely unaware of the storm brewing within Milo until it was too late. At first confused—he didn’t understand what Milo was doing—but quickly understanding, Boltius prepared himself to stop anyone else from interfering. And he stayed quiet. Raquel was a Veteran and Milo a Rookie. Milo approached Raquel first, so it would be Raquel’s decision what to do with that approach.
BOLTIUS NOTES​
— —POST RECAP: Boltius prepares to let Raquel and Milo beef it out.

— —TEMPERATURE: Neutral

— —TATTOO: (Click Here)

— —WEARING: (Click Here)

(Interacting w/ Milo, Hector, Leaf, Yukari, Zach, Raquel)
(Mentioned no one)

Elenion Aura Elenion Aura @FangS31 @Misuteeku @QuirkyAngel @Astrylan @Haze-
 
CAMILA GASPARI
CS Link
SCENE:
Not Thinking Twice
TIME:
Post-Arc 3, July 6 2022
LOCATION:
Nighttime, Streets of Central District
PARTICIPANTS:
Camila, Inigo
Not Thinking Twice
Just a decaf, that was all he had to order? Inigo sure was one tough nut to cruck, stubborn as a mule, insisting on keeping Camila's offer down to a minimum. Not that it was a bad thing, necessarily, considering how much of her waking hours were spent among greedy, opportunisty Albino Tigers, but hey, the pot calling the kettle black. Having noted their orders down, the waitress made her leave from the table, leaving the silver-haired pair back to their business

The veteran gently placed her index fingertip below her lips, looking around the ceiling as she pondered about the man's renewed request, a playful smile creeping out of her previously neutral expression. "Well, I don't know" She crossed her arms, letting them rest on top of the table as she slightly leaned forward. "I guess I kinda like 'Mystery Lady', has a nice ring to it, don't you think?" Her emerald eyes subtlely took a quick moment to scan the man's frame once more, liking what she saw. "I do appreciate the gesture, though, not many go out of their way to help others in this city, it's very foolish noble of you" An intrusive word had wormed its way into her mind just now, best to pay it no attention.

"Look, I promise I'll tell you my name...But!" She paused, brushing some of her locks behind her ear. "I'd like to hear you talk about yourself, who's the man behind the brave vigilante? No way a girl wouldn't be interested in her knight in shiny armor" She leaned her back against her seat, putting herself in a comfortable position to listen. "We can do a little quid pro quo afterwards if you want"


simj26 simj26
 
CHARLIE HUGHES
SCENE:
Anger Management
TIME:
Daytime, Pre-Arc 1, August 1st 2019
LOCATION:
South District
PARTICIPANTS:
Charlie, Daigo
Anger Management
Fists and kicks kept striking at each other with terrifying clashes, imitating the sounds of drums of war that echoed through this secluded section of the city, mere meters of where he stood, Charlie could notice from the corner of his eyes as the two fearsome combatants bloodied each other with reckless abandon.

However, the powerful sting from the gash coating his side in a deep crimson hastily returned his attention to his own threat, the knife-wielding fighter, who leapt forward once more, not unlike a desperate and cornered dog, furiously baring its fangs as a last resort.

While lacking in experience, instinct alone let Charlie's hand to wrap its slender fingers around the man's wrist, stopping him in his tracks, for a mere moment, the two exchanged glances, in both it reflected the desire for survival. The knife was stuck in place, the difference in strength between the two being like night and day, but one would be foolish to think that alone was enough to attain victory.

With deceptive agility, the man raised his leg, landing a clean roundhouse kick against the bystander's face, causing the latter to stumble to the side, releasing his grip. Having managed some distance between them, the criminal's knife lifted off his hand, propelling on its own towards the boy. Making a quick recovery of his footing, cheek rosey from the blow, Charlie raised his forearms together to block, the acute blade sinking into his sleeves, but barely managing to tear into his hardy limbs before bouncing off to the side.

Lowering his arms, Charlie's vision was now met with a lunging attacker, a rough hand clasping at the boy's neck, pushing him into the ground. The man on top raised his free hand, bitterly balling it into a fist before striking down at his foe's face once again. Within their position, Charlie was subjected to two more heavy blows before he could raise his guard, the left side of his face starting to swell from the assault.

A strong kick from the boy at the man's chest was enough to push him away, the latter unceremoniously landing on his back as he gasped in pain, the air having escaped his lungs. Getting back on his feet, Charlie considered his next move. The man was nimble and treacherous, able to strike without a moment of hesiation, a testament to his experience within the trade, although calling it that might be overly dignified.

Dagger back in hand, the criminal grip tightly on the carbon fiber handle. No matter what, he was going to open that boy's stomach, and rip his guts out, his own neck was on the line, mercy had been left at the doorstep. Or so he thought, before his sight was met rapidly approaching Charlie, amidst a frantic sprint towards him. Taking a fighting stance, he prepared to avoid the boy's next attack. What would it be, a kick? A punch? His movements were clumsy, it wouldn't take much effort to avoi-

"GUH!"

His high guard did little to protect him against the full-frontal tackle, the boy grabbing tightly at the man's sides, wrapping his arms around his waist. The man was swept off his fit, the heavy youth carrying the two, brushing off the struggling. "FUCKING GET OFF ME" The man swung his arms wildly, striking at Charlie's shoulders and back repeatedly, he even managed to land a single knife stab which while not deep, had it not been for the adrenaline rush, would've stopped the boy's charge.

The man's back was met with the wall of a building, crashing against the hard bricks and cement with the force of a small truck. Dust and debris flew about as cracks traced through the wall like a spiderweb. Feeling the man's struggling having ceased almost completely after the impact, Charlie let out a shout as he threw the criminal to the opposite way, his body traveling through the air and landing against the other wall. He spat blood as his debilitated body impacted against the hard material, before falling face down on the floor.

The boy heaved frantically as the dust in the air settled in its entirety, his tired body felt like it was made out of lead due to the exhaustion, he was just a normal bystander, not a fighter. Hazel eyes focused on the attacker, his body lying motionless on the floor, what might have been several seconds passed, and not a sign of conciousness from him.

"Ahh...That was scary..." He whined, brushing the cold sweat off his forehead with his sleeve. The immediate danger was over, and he was allowed a moment to simply breathe.

Peace was stopped by the continuing sound of conflict, however. Turning his attention to deeper in the the alley, the other two continued with their brutal encounter. His efforts were outstandingly valiant, but out of the two, the child was the one really looking worse for wear. He looked around, searching for anything that could help out against the hulking ringleader, every second was vital for the kid's safety


joshuadim joshuadim
 
KATYA EVENSEN
SCENE:
What the Cat Dragged In
LOCATION:
Eric's Apartment, Central District
PARTICIPANTS:
Eric, Katya, Siru
WHAT THE CAT DRAGGED IN

“Oh, do not worry! I would never!” Katya giggled, placing a gentle hand on his arm for a brief moment. “Or would I?” She flashed a playful grin before returning inside. After waiting for Siru to also step back in, she slid the backdoor closed, locking it.

“Ah, and here is the queen herself — Miss Maya.” Katya contained her excitement as she approached the perfectly formed loaf on the arm rest. She reached her hand out, requesting permission from Maya herself to pet her. After a brief sniff, there was a slight dip in the feline’s head, giving Katya the greenlight to scratch behind her ears. “Pretty girl.” She cooed.

She retracted her hand after a while and glanced at Eric for a split second. His body language was a dead giveaway that he was hungry — or he needed to use the bathroom but was too embarrassed to — she could never really discern his facial expressions. Katya smiled at him before turning to Siru, “I hope you are hungry, I made all your favorite foods! I think…” In all honesty, she had just remembered the selection of foods he had introduced her to in the East District and assumed they were his favorite foods. At the very least, she hoped she cooked it to his expectations.

Katya flicked her tail, gesturing to the two men towards the kitchen. The dining table was small but neatly decorated with a blue floral tablecloth. One chair occupied each side, four in total, with all of them having matching floral cushions. The centerpiece of the table was a vase filled with flowers familiar to Siru — blue Iris that Katya had purchased from the store not too long ago. “Sit, sit — or I suppose wash your hands first? Popcorn is clean but does shed…” She motioned towards the kitchen sink.



Roda the Red Roda the Red
 
THE RINGLEADER
CS Link
SCENE:
Anger Management
TIME:
Pre-Arc 1; August 1, 2019
LOCATION:
South District
PARTICIPANTS:
Charlie, Daigo
ANGER MANAGEMENT
The wall where Daigo had been kicked into had collapsed onto itself, leaving a pile of bricks as well as terrified people from the inside of the building fleeing to the opposite ends of the building and to safety beyond. It was then that he turned his attention to Charlie with a sneer adorning his visage. "Time to deal with you now." he said as he approached Charlie with a surprising speed to close the distance between the two of them. This led to a knee crashing straight into Charlie's chest, sending him back onto the ground. There, he barely managed to roll away in time as the Ringleader leapt into the air before crashing down to where the blue-haired samaritan had landed prior. In his wake was left cracked and webbed asphalt, with a crater that would have devastated its victim had it connected.

An opening presented itself for Charlie as he took advantage of it just as quickly, throwing a punch as hard as he could straight into the mans side. It connected, as the street gangster was still reorienting himself after the ground slam, sending more ripples across the mans body. "Heh, not bad. I actually *felt* that." the Ringleader said before grabbing Charlie's wrist. The pressure squeeze was immense, enough to send a wave of pain through the young man's body as he was lifted upwards so that the two met eye to eye. "But these are my streets. And I won't stand for TRASH."

With a fearsome roar, he swung Charlie above his head before slamming him into the ground below like a wet towel. Charlie's entire body would bounce up from the impact, only allowing a split moment of reprieve before it was repeated again on the opposite side of the Ringleader with another ground slam. The force of the two strikes would have killed any normal person, splattering their innards across the ground, but seeing as how the lad was still in one piece, the Ringleader then simple tossed Charlie aside for him to roll into a nearby wall.

"Alright, I think we're about done here." the Ringleader said, cracking his knuckles to prepare for a finishing blow. By now, his physique had gotten slimmer than it had been before - having easily shaved off at least a dozen kilograms - and trails of steam intensified from his body. But then the tumbling of bricks nearby caught his attention - and concern - as he stilled. His gaze turned slowly towards where he had launched Daigo earlier and his eyes widened.


DAIGO ASANUMA
CS Link
SCENE:
Anger Management
TIME:
Pre-Arc 1; August 1, 2019
LOCATION:
South District
PARTICIPANTS:
Charlie, Daigo
ANGER MANAGEMENT



Atop a pile of bricks stood Daigo, bloodied all over and with broken fingers bent in all manner of ways on his left hand. Still he stood, even though it should have been impossible given the beating he had taken prior. A maddened grin took hold of his face as his good eye - the other being swollen and beaten - gazed at the Ringleader with a crazy fury. "I didn't hear no bell, jackass!" the youthful fury sounded as his aura grew only more intense. "Through all this crap I've tried to hold back... but NOW... I can really cut loose. I never liked your face... SO I'M GONNA REDECORATE IT!" Daigo announced with a battle howl, raising his hands upwards before bringing them back down to his sides upwards. The aura around him flared in intensity, summoning two manifested fists around his own as additions to his natural arsenal.

The Ringleader took a few steps to stand the centre of the courtyard, to face Daigo directly with gritted teeth. "You're fucking insane. I'll grind your bones to dust."

"BIG WORDS FOR A MAN WHO DOESN'T HAVE SHIT TO BACK HIM UP ANYMORE!" Daigo then shouted, rushing at the man with reckless abandon!


Roda the Red Roda the Red
 
RYUTARO HASHIMOTO
CS Link
SCENE:
Alliance of Apex Convenience
LOCATION:
Brother's Krimm Restaurant, West District
PARTICIPANTS:
Ryutaro, Lorette
Alliance of Apex Convenience

Post Outbreak - 20 July 2022



Esperance Road, taking its namesake from the famed Rue d'Esperance, was tucked away in a small commercial enclave amidst a larger upper-class residential region of the West District; home to a variety of higher end shops as well as eateries, the sidewalks were packed with the normality of consumerism. Couples walked with bags in hand, while others window shopped to observe commodities well beyond their means of worth - eyes stinging with envy towards those around them that could afford such frivolous things in the first place. Life seemed devoid of the struggles of the outside here, with its regularly cleaned streets and polished glass storefronts.

Though, once stepped outwards the inherent chaos of the city became much more self evident to any individual that wasn't completely numb to it by this point. But it was also a matter that rested upon the head of the Tiger Queen, as he sat within one of the more renowned establishments in this area. The Brother's Krimm had only opened in the past two years and already been awarded awards for the outstanding quality of its food. A testament to not only the chef, but also the ever evolving menu at play that Ryu looked at with curiosity. Some of the combinations here seemed... unorthodox, to say the least. But he trusted the judgment of the critics who swore by the quality here, and so - as he waited for the arrival of his guest - pondered over what course he would be taking.

The restaurant itself, unlike many that were above ground and in plain view, was nestled in the basement of a building. Constructed with rough stone for its walls and lined with not only extravagant pillars of carved wood, but also a large wine cellar that was visible to all. The Queen's table was also nestled in a small alcove at the rear of the restaurant, as a table often reserved for VIPs or guests of importance, and provided not only a degree of separation to the rest of the establishment but also exclusivity. Two wine glasses were already set on the table, empty and ready to be filled with the drink of choice, in awaiting its second guest to arrive.

Ryu himself, while reading the menu, was eager to get down to the actual business of the matter at hand. And to secure another ally for the coming tempest that was approaching this part of New Oasis. Every day it grew closer, like a looming wildfire on the horizon glowing gold and orange, as he felt himself become more preoccupied with the planning. The line in the sand, while visible, was still being drawn at every corner. The Queen didn't know whether or not Markus was making an effort, or simply doing nothing out of arrogance, but he couldn't afford to miss any opportunity to gain more cards in his hand.

Lorette was one such ace he wanted up his sleeve for when the time came.


Ramjammer Ramjammer
 
Welsha Reaper
SCENE:
What's the Tea
LOCATION:
Moonflower Cafe, West District
PARTICIPANTS:
Yona Kowloong CasualTea CasualTea , Welsha Reaper
What's the Tea

Welsha gave a nod "I'll say, not much point in learning a set of skills if your never going to put it to use, but a degree is a degree i suppose." there was a bit of genuine disappointment in Welshas voice as she said that, but eventually added "Well atleast my parents were willing to pay for my College Education so I didn't have to go into debt to get it." She has heard of other people going into debt to pay for all the tuition and supplies something that she was fortunate to not to worry about. Still though her parents did place quite a few requirements on what she had to do while she was in college or else they would of cut her funding.

But after a moment Yonas invite to take a stroll around town wasn't something she really expected, but she was more than happy to do it, after all she could use a interesting break for once. Plus the woman she was with seemed nice enough, so she figured why not, plus she offered to use her transport vehicle "Sure, I don't mind." once Yona asked if she frequented any spots Welsha tilted her head a bit before rubbing her head in embarrassment "Well I spend most of my time at work, and my home, so I only really go out to places if it's work related, food or I heard good things about it." Welsha then mused in her own thoughts for a moment before opting to ask "Well besides the library I suppose, though I'm not sure if you would have any interest in that old place, Do you have any particular interests?"
Yona Kowloong
TIME:
Pre-Outbreak: June 21, 2022
SCENE:
LOCATION:
Moonflower Cafe, West District
PARTICIPANTS:
Yona Kowloong, Welsha Reaper Peckinou Peckinou
What's the Tea
Honestly, Yona didn't know of any popular places or land marks the West District had to offer. She sort of shrugged before she motioned Welsha to follow her. "Eh, we'll think about it in the car. Perhaps I can find a place with my phone." She said before walking towards the exit with Welsha following behind her. She lead the way to her car which was parked out front. It wasn't a very impressive car, anyone could own it. Yona was more concerned with whoever was watching her though, which prompted her to look around for a bit as she walked. She did it with a slight smile though just to make it seem like something soured her mood to Welsha. She didn't see anything but she could still get the feeling she was being watched.

She unlocked the doors to her car and waited for Welsha to settle in. The car had a fresh car smell with very minimal dirtiness or messiness to it. It was well maintained and well kept. The only thing that stuck out was the phone holder on the dashboard. Yona clicked her phone into place on it and spoke to it, activating its AI Assistant. "Alexa, zhǎodào wǒ fùjìn de yīxiē rèmén dìdiǎn." She spoke in Xian, her accent and pronunciation being very natural. Like a Xia-born local. This... alarmed Yona as she did it automatically since she never had visitors in her car before and she never had to hide her identity. The fact she spoke in perfect Xian and her tone she used when speaking Liberen were different, she was hoping Welsha didn't notice it. She couldn't believe she slipped up this badly.

However, even if Welsha noticed, she had an excuse for it. There was no way she would look anything like a Liberen local with her genetics and appearance aligning more with those from Xia. Besides that, Yona's phone generated some results and she spoke once more to blanket over Welsha's potential concern about her accent. "Ah, there's a flower shop nearby. Perhaps we can check it out." She said as she started the car and began to drive into the road. It seemed a little far so they had some time to chat in the car while Yona drove. Though, now the feeling of being watched turned into a feeling that they were being followed.

 
CHARLIE HUGHES
SCENE:
Anger Management
TIME:
Daytime, Pre-Arc 1, August 1st 2019
LOCATION:
South District
PARTICIPANTS:
Charlie, Daigo
Anger Management
Charlie's vision turned red, not out of a newfound wrath that clouded his sanity, but the literal blood that poured down from all the injuries above his eyes, as his body helplessly crashed against the floor, unable to escape from the man's herculean might.

Tossed aside like a ragdoll, the boy's body felt heavy and sluggish like a hunk of lead. His muscles tensed as he fought to push himself back up, but the pain and fatigue where overwhelming, the damage had taken too much of a toll on him.

Somehow, the ground began to feel more comfortable, a certain peace enveloped him as his movement ceased, the boy's limbs relaxing and going limp, as consciousness slowly slipped away, his eyes slowly closing, crimson sight turning into comforting dark.

It was okay, what was the harm in taking a short rest? He was no fighter, after all, he'd only get in the way.

"I'll grind your bones to dust"

The ringleader's voice rang through Charlie's ears, strain visible in his expression, as his mind began to activate once more.

"HAH! LIKE I NEED THOSE NOBODIES!"

Daigo's assault was fast and savage, golden light striking true against at the ringleader's stomach, flaxen veils hitting with great power, whereas his flesh currently would've otherwise faltered. By now, the hulking man's defenses had waned, little padding left to ripple and distribute the force, you could read in his face the pain he went through as Daigo's fists connected repeatedly in a merciless barrage.

Steam released vigorously from the man's body, his potential's lending him the strength to go on the offensive once more. Taking Daigo's hits, the man winded his arms back as he stood steadfast, bulging muscles tensing, unsightly veins popping and surfacing across his limbs, deceptively hidden by the sleeves of his lavish attire. In unison, both both of his balled fists thrust forward, striking at a Daigo who was too concerned with his raging attack.

The teen was thrown back, unceremoniousy hitting the ground, the momentum pushing him away further. The ringleader used his sleeve to wipe his glistening forehead, disturbed by the attack. "Don't worry, little bastard, I'm sure nobody's gonna miss you anyways" He stomped on the ground, the earth beneath trembling against his great frame. He stomped again, menacingly carrying himself forward and towards the blonde you, aiming to end this nuisance once and for all.

As he took his third step, the familiar sound of warping metal resonated from one of the corners of the courtyard, just enough to receive a casual glance from the ringleader. Out of all the things he imagined to lock eyes with, a large, green metal box was certainly one of them. The container traveled through the air rapidly, hitting the man's side with no reaction to spare. He was pushed out of the way, the heavy momentum able to launch him away and into a nearby wall, not much unlike a certain tackle from several minutes ago.

Charlie stood in place, arms hanging forward as he breathed heavily, his stance had no grace or elegance, he looked messy, battered and bloodied. A pitiful sight, a pathetic display of a hero's comeback.

"We...We're..."

But even in tatters breathless words

"WE'RE NOT DONE HERE!"

He stood regardless.


joshuadim joshuadim
 

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