Your name is Keiichi Hirayama. Your sister is named Airi Hirayama. The two of you are magi—humans with magic and a greater affinity for the Spirit World—and possess a bizzare tendency to cause chaos wherever you two go. Last year, through bullets, explosions and freak accidents, the two of you managed to help interrupt Japan's premier magus academy battle tournament--The Festival of Magic—thrice in a row. To say that the Ministry of Education is furious would be an understatement. As punishment, they have forced you and your sister to undergo mandatory community service. There are ten tasks to complete and they must be all done by the tournament start date, lest you both be blacklisted from every educational institution and workplace in the entire country. You think it's absolutely retarded, but it seems like there's no choice. You and your sister must step up with your sister and overcome these trials, otherwise your future career will become nothing more than dust in the wind. The eyes of Shibuya and the spirit world are upon you both, so good luck and don't screw this up!Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Academy%20Tournament%20Organization%20QuestAsk fm: http://ask.fm/TwilightThorn441Twitter: https://twitter.com/TwilightThornCharacter Details: http://pastebin.com/egYVHDHJ
>>Resume being Keiichi Hirayama, but with a sense of déjà vu this time.Being bonded with Akasha-Alea for three straight years has, unsurprisingly, exposed yourself to the intricacies of her personality. You know enough about her to read forum posts regarding ‘hypothetical’ firearm spirits and think to yourself, ‘Goddamn, how little you guys know.’They speak of a regal, domineering woman, who resides in a nexus of all battlefields and treats the spirits of rifles like her own children. The real Akasha-Alea has little interest in the spirit nobility, is as sociable as an underground hermit and has zero hesitation in sending her army of familiars on suicide missions. You’ll give them the domineering part, though. Attempting to refuse her when she gets serious is like attempting to move Mt. Fuji with your bare hands.She still hasn’t managed to make your mother back down, though.(Another theory the soldiers, warriors and anonymous forum posters have written is that the spirit of firearms is a massive cube constructed out of weapons, emitting enmity and killing intent with every passing second. They are, ironically, partially right. Akasha-Alea devoured said cube and made it part of her existence. Thus, the cube is technically the spirit of firearms, in the same sense that a single leaf is the of the greenery.)Akasha-Alea appreciates when her subordinates follows orders, enjoying reading in her small library and possesses a love for sweet foods that borders on matching her childish appearance. The pantry back home has been raided of its chocolates more times than she could count, under the façade of complete seriousness and a reasoning of ‘preventing too much calories from entering your diet’.As for what she hates…these include terrible jokes, foul alcohol, spirits that represent the concept of swords, humans that get the clip and magazine mixed up (she is far from alone in this) and the reversion of skill. Not a single day has gone by where she hasn’t done some form of self-training. As her mentee, she naturally expects you to follow the same principle. Add her irritation stemming from you losing a good chunk of your capability from last year due to the truck accident, and you’ve got a driven spirit who plucked you out of the human world on a Sunday afternoon to practice your Anti-Mana bullets and relearn the Bullet Time skill.You contemplated protesting. She gave you a single look and the words died in your throat.She kept you there for four hours with only several ten-minutes break in between. This is exactly what your father had warned you about.
Inhale and exhale. Close your eyes and concentrate. Send the mana flowing up to your eyeballs, ignoring the cursing of your magic circuits. Feel the burn, as if both were immersed in a pit of hot coals. Remove the color from the world, for it is unnecessary. A field of blacks, whites and shades of grey. Then, raise your weapon weighing a thousand tons. Squeeze the trigger. Watch the bullet fly out in slow motion. Then cancel the effect and see them soar through the air like small meteors. Watch them hit the target familiars, plow through the magical barriers covering them and drill holes in their torso. Watch the familiars stumble, collapse and vanish in a puff of black smoke. Feel the sensation of your knees buckle. Refuse to let your stance waver, lest your mentor hit you over the head with a wooden pole. Devour emergency mana-restoring pills and repeat until all energy has been exhausted. You direct your gaze upwards. The sky here is orange and dusty, reminiscent of an afternoon in the African wilderness. Footsteps approach. You twist your head to the side. Your mentor stands above your prone form, staring down at you with an expressionless look. “You still haven’t managed to restrict the flow of your mana.” She intones. “Your consumption is increasing linearly, rather than being constant.”“I couldn’t do that before the accident.” You choke out.“No, but you were close.” She counters, closing her eyes for an instant. “You managed to hit all the targets and stretch your usage of Bullet Time to your maximum length. It seems that you have managed to regain some degree of proficiency with the technique, so I shall grudgingly accept this as a pass.”“That's nice of you.” You grunt. “Are we done today?”Akasha-Alea narrows her gaze a fraction, gauging how much and for how long you have been awaiting for a confirmation. She lets out a small breath. “Yes, your training is done. However, there is something we need to discuss. Pick yourself up and walk with me.”In the early days of your training, Akasha-Alea would extend a hand and let you help yourself up with it. Now she doesn’t bother. And you agree with her, because you don’t need the help.You trudge behind her, your tracksuit pants coated in a thin film of dust. You have a set of similar pants in your closet specifically for training. Because Airi is finicky as hell about dirt in the house, a pair gets shaken down and dumped into the laundry every single day.Akasha-Alea leads you to a small pavilion at the edge of the training grounds, a tea table rests. You both take your seats. From here, you have a good view of the field, a stretch of barren earth pockmarked by shrunken trees, tufts of dry grass and training structures. Akasha-Alea may have won her land through her status and brutal crusades against her rival weapon spirits, but gardening was a concept that continued to elude her. Still, the view is picturesque in a rustic, desolate sort of way.
“Here.” A familiar in a maid outfit (you never understood why Akasha-Alea made her servant familiars dress this way) serves two mugs of steaming coffee. The contents are pitch-black and dense as tar. The scent is 90% bitter and 10% sugar. Yet, your heart jumps at the sight, because Akasha-Alea rarely brews this special coffee of hers and you haven’t found any other drink in existence that’s better for restoring mana.“What’s the occasion?” You ask.“My hope that we can have this discussion without you complaining several minutes in.” Akasha-Alea responds. “Fleeting, I know, but to hope is to consider the impossible as a possibility.”“Yeah, you’re exaggerating.” You say, knowing that it’s most likely in vain. You take a sip and immediately feel the vitality returning to your exhausted circuits. It tastes like liquified herb medicine but there’s something about it that’s just so good.“There are several anecdotes I could counter your argument with, but in this instance I shall graciously refrain. Let’s make this straightforward.” Akasha-Alea replies and leans slightly across her end of the table. You stop drinking. “Tell me boy, have you, at any point in your life, had any sort of aspirations or ambitions regarding your future?”“You’re concerned about that?” You ask, after some pause. This is a little surprising.“Of course I am.” Akasha-Alea says matter-of-factly, a hint of disdain flashing through her violet eyes. “I am your mentor. It is my duty to provide adequate guidance along the course of your life, thus preventing you from making a total fool of yourself in public. Don’t answer with your childhood, boy. I have heard about your past ambition to become a fireman and I can say without doubt I would not let you follow that profession.”“When did you hear about that?” You exclaim. “Also, why not?”“Eavesdropping on your parents for the first. For the second, because you would have to learn elemental magic, which is difficult considering your limited magic potential, and because it is not a profession that allows you to wield firearms on a regular basis.”“Do water guns count?”“They do not.”“…I dunno. They might call me in to fight another giant fire-breathing chicken.”“Which is a task for the assault magus.” Akasha-Alea replies, snappily. “Now that is a career choice I would approve of.”“Because it’s all about violence and assault magi carry guns?”“Precisely.”You hum and think. “I was thinking about something along those lines…” You mumble.“Go on…” Your mentor prompts. “Considering all the incidents I get caught up in and how much violence goes in the middle of them, I was thinking I’d like a job where I can fight and get paid for it.”“…and?”“That’s it.” You admit, feeling a little cowed. Akasha-Alea’s eyes narrow at this.“You don’t seem to have put a great deal of thought into this.”
You try to shield yourself from the snipe and fail. “Can you really blame me?” You argue, voice rising. “You brought it up out of nowhere. Plus, you spent two years training me and last year I got caught up in incident after incident. I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to think about my future.”“Fair point, to which I shall provide an appropriate counter. On the contrary, you had plenty of opportunities to think about your future. You just spent them gallivanting with your friends. There should a limit to much time you spend playing those infantile games with that psychic girl, or shopping with that blonde, large-bosomed singer.”“They dragged me there.” You grumble.“And you had every right to refuse.” Akasha-Alea snaps.You try to think of a situation where it would be possible to escape Michiko Tsukiwaki when her is set on shopping and you serving as her pack mule. A solution comes to find, but it consists of you snapping and hitting Michiko over the head with a pair of designer shoes. Cue the beaning via magic microphone stand, a retaliation via shotgun slugs, the following destruction of the nearby shopping mall and you being thrown in jail. That alone wouldn’t be too bad, except knowing your luck Michiko would be likely thrown in with you, which would give her the perfect opportunity to wrap her hands around your throat and scream angry blonde schoolgirl expletives towards you.Conclusion: it is impossible. “Are you listening to me, boy?” Akasha-Alea’s sharp tones cut through your daydream.You direct a look towards your mentor. “Hey, did you get up on the wrong side of bed, by any chance?”“Did you ask if you wanted to clean out the storerooms again?”“Uh, no.” You reply quickly. “I didn’t say that. I’m listening. Sorry.”She nods, satisfied. “Good. Back to the topic of your future career…”“Knowing you, a desk job is completely out of the question.”“Absolutely correct.” Akasha-Alea fixates you with a powerful glare. She must be really incensed about the notion. Maybe she had a bad experience filling out the paperwork for her mentors’ license. “I will not have my only student waste his life behind a desk. You know full well you are not suitable for those types of jobs in the first place.”“That’s flattering.” You mumble, as a vision of you sitting at a desk doing data entry goes up flames. It shall not be missed.“Let us consider your qualities and brainstorm. As you are well aware your grades at school at rather mediocre, especially compared to your sister…”
Why did she have to bring that up? What purpose does it serve? Is she doing it to sate her sadism? No, that would mean Akasha-Alea understood the concept of fun in the first place. Besides, you’ve been getting better. You scored an actual B on that last maths test…“Well, I knew you would end up like that from day one. Considering your skillset, I do not expect you to become an intellectual.”Then why the hell did she mention it in the first place? You sigh and try to focus. “If we’re talking about my skillset…” You muse. “I guess I’m good at shooting and aiming. I’ve got decent perception, I’m reasonably fit…”“You are stubborn, quick-thinking and perceptive. You are shown to have learned my teachings in a short amount of time. You engage in fights a lot and come out victorious. I have seen you think on your feet. Now boy, what sort of job description do these qualities fit?”You consider the question. “A driving instructor?”“If that was a joke, it was an irreparably poor one.” Akasha-Alea growls. “Answer the question again and take it seriously.”“It’s obvious. A warrior.”“In these modern times, a more appropriate term would be soldier.” “You want me to join the military?” You blink. “It is one of many career choices I would recommend. You have the talent for it. The discipline would do you some good. It would curb that snark of yours, for one.” She replies.“I can’t help but think we’ve gone in circles…”“You must be mistaken.” Akasha-Alea says. “Other career choices I would recommend include a mercenary, a policeman, a magus hunter or even a firing instructor. The last one might have to wait until you’ve gained some experience and grown up a bit.”“That’s a lot to think about…” You muse.“I wouldn’t mind you taking an illegal job, as long as I approved it.”“Say what?” You splutter. Illegal jobs? As in, breaking and entering or stealing stuff. Ignoring the fact that you’ve committed similar acts during the incidents, the mere notion is completely out of the question! If the magi hunters don’t kill you, your sister and mother will.She ignores it. “You should expect to start at the bottom rung of whatever totem pole you have clawed your way into. The rigmarole they’ll put you through will be challenging, but you have experience in being the underdog. I will be there to assist you, as well. I’m sure you’ll do fine.” Your mentor ponders for a moment. “Hmm, this should be the moment where I recommend you take a part time job, considering you haven’t worked a single day in your life. Though, you might be too busy for one.”“What’s going on with me now is basically a part time job.” You mutter. There’s something off about this conversation. Like, there’s something you should be bringing up but you can’t discern what it is. Oh well, you’ll think about it later.
“Do you have any thoughts to share, boy?”You slump back in your chair, suddenly feeling drained. “Hey, do I have to make a decision now?” You ask.“You don’t have to at this very moment, but I do expect you to put some thought in over the next few weeks. What you choose as your future career will dictate a good portion of your life. Read some pamphlets, visit some workplaces, talk to your friends and family. Your mother might be a good place to start. She was a former assault magus, no?” Akasha-Alea replies. “This counts as an assignment, by the way. You will take this seriously.”“I can’t help but think this is rather mundane for you…”“It is my responsibility.” Akasha-Alea says, firmly. “And I will carry it out, no matter how mundane it is.”She gazes deeply into you. The coffee grows lukewarm.“You school life has a little more than half a year left. Don’t waste it, boy.” >>Be Keiichi again, later.Shifting from the Spirit World to the human realm is like surfacing from beneath the water. It’s sudden, there’s a jolt that shivers down your back and you are struck by a sudden sensation of coldness…though there’s an obvious lack of water. You’ve more or less gotten used to it, which would sound unbelievable to your younger fourteen year old self, who nearly threw up after his first excursion back and forth between the dimensions.You blink, instinctively, and look around. You’re at home, the one in the city. That’s to be expected. You’re standing in the front entrance hallway, which you were in when Akasha-Alea picked you up. It’s seven at night and you can smell sizzling meat from the kitchen. That’s also to be expected. “Welcome back, onii-chan.” Airi calls from the kitchen. “How did your training go?”“Eh, same old. Akasha kicked my ass up and down the training field.” A statement that you have recognized many times over the past three years, beginning with the very first time you picked up a handgun, in which she whacked you in various parts of the body with a stick whenever you got your stance or aiming wrong. “She made her special coffee for me, so that’s a bonus.”“Oh, how nice of her.” Airi says, “I wish I could drink some. Maybe she can come over to eat one night…”You doubt it. Akasha-Alea always rejected your family’s offers to eat, citing her reasons as general busyness and overwork. You think it’s because she’s too prideful to stoop to a human’s level. Then again, she does take great pleasure in stealing your snacks and consuming them for your ‘benefit’.Speaking of human food, what the heck was up with that chocolate cake you bought? Remember, the one that you promised you would buy for her in exchange for the intel on the possession-happy spirits? It cost you almost all of the reward money from the task and you know what she did with it? She sold it to her acquaintances!
“I thought you liked chocolate cake.”“Yes, that is correct. I was…tempted to consume it. However, there was more value in using it as a bargaining tool instead of a dessert.”“…do spirits like chocolate cake, that much?”“It’s more to do with us spirits seeing human food as rare delicacies. It’s one of the reasons why spirits offer themselves as partners or mentors. Not all spirits can consume human food without indigestion, which is why I am thankful I am one of those spirits.”“I still think you should’ve eaten it…who did you sell it to, anyway?”“I put it on the market. It sold for a respectable amount of gold. A good decision, if I do say so.” Really though, that thing cost you a lot. It would’ve been nice if she ate at least a slice…You head into the kitchen, grab the cutlery and sit down at the dining table. Airi serves dinner soon after. Tofu and fish soup, fried beef and salad. You eat, starving from the training. Airi uses her soup to wash down her hemoglobin and iron pills. “She talked about my career…” “Your mentor?”“Yeah. Said it was time for me to start deciding things about my future.”“Makes sense.” Airi nods. “We’re in our final year of highschool. Soon they’ll be entrance exams, graduation and university. Shesmur’s been telling me the same, onii-chan.”You heave a sigh. “Growing up is a real pain…”“It’s inevitable.” Airi replies.“Yeah, I know.” You look at her scarf. “Did your partner say there was anything you couldn’t do? Akasha-Alea said she would kill me if I took a desk job.”Airi giggles. “I can’t imagine you wasting your life away behind a desk, onii-chan.”
“She said something along those lines as well…” You sigh, picking up a slice of beef with your chopsticks. “You won’t have much of a problem deciding your future, Airi. You’ve got good grades. All I can think of is a job that lets me fight and earn money, like the military.”“Hmmm, I don’t know about that. I’m kind of doubtful about my own career choices as well. Besides, you’ve got a good heart, onii-chan. I’m sure there’s a job you can work in that doesn’t involve fighting.”“I’m sure Akasha-Alea would have an aneurysm if I tried. She thinks I’m meant to be a warrior. To be fair, I can see where she comes from.”Airi hums and twists her lips. She’s uncomfortable about you being in danger. It’s unfortunate the two of you are attracted to trouble like metal powder to an electromagnet. “Well, we’ve still got time.” You say, “No need to rush at the moment.”“Yes, that’s right…” Airi murmurs and finishes off the rest of the soup.There’s a reason you said what you said, besides the obvious procrastination. For one, it’s past dusk. Secondly, the two of you are supposed to go out later that night.6th of February, a bitterly cold yet fulfilling day. Then, it all came down to a screeching halt when you and Airi were hit by a truck, then drenched in toxic mana waste. What followed next was agony that almost damaged you both beyond repair. There was pain, and two months of silence and idleness.They found out the man who drove the truck. One Seiichi Ina, working for a city-wide garbage collection service. Tonight he will face the court, and you and your sister will attend.Tonight, the Hirayama siblings will receive the answers they deserve.
“In an age where literal gods and devils are constantly overlooking us, true privacy and anonymity are mere pipe-dreams.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOU4YiuaxAM>>ACT 2.
>>1092349>“Blame the law, not me.”>>“Hey, you don’t look offensively pink for once.”
It rains, heavily. The town of Shibuya is drenched in rainwater. The rain scatters amidst the darkness, flashing momentarily from the streetlights and neon signs. There’s wind too, that fills the bones of the town’s residents with chills and flicks and whips the water upon them. Heading to the court just became several degrees more troublesome.You and sister open up umbrellas the moment you step outside. Your boots squelch the damp pavement. Cars rush past and threaten to drench you as their tires slide through puddles in the road.One cramped bus ride later and you’ve arrived at your destination. You lead the rush towards the warm, lit entrance. The double doors slide open and you carry your wet footsteps into the carpet.“Keiichi, Airi! Over here!” A cry from the waiting seats catches your attention. It’s your witnesses. Hideki and Michiko are sitting next to each other. The former has a casual, slightly damp checker-pattered shirt on, while the latter is dressed up in a formal blouse and matching skirt. It’s Michiko, so what do you expect?“Nasty weather, eh?” Hideki grins. “Nearly got drenched out there.”“Trust you guys to get such a ridiculous time…” Michiko heaves a sigh, although she’s smiling faintly too. “I mean, ten at night? Seriously?”>“Blame the law, not me.”>“I’m sorry I ruined your precious beauty sleep.”>“Hey, you don’t look offensively pink for once.”>“The feeling is mutual.”>“This is such a pain in the ass...”>Custom option.
>>1092403>>“Hey, you don’t look offensively pink for once.”
>>1092349>“Blame the law, not me.”
“Blame the law, not us.” You reply. With a brief glance, you look up and down Michiko’s outfit. Her attention is caught. She looks at you in brief confusion. “Hey, you don’t look offensively pink for once.” You observe. She’s wearing a white blouse with a black skirt. Her silver music note hairclips are present. It’s very formal. This is as far as your observation goes, because unlike your sister you don’t know shit about girls’ fashion. It’s enough of a disparity with what she usually wears to be surprising. “I know, right!” Hideki exclaims. “When I met with her, I thought she wasn’t Michiko for a moment. I was ready to call the police and tell them about an imposter!”“You boys…” Michiko growls, curling a fist. “Is me wearing different colors such a big deal?”You and Hideki exchange a look for long enough to make it deliberate. “Yes.” You both say in unison. “I wear my school uniform! That’s black and navy!” “Yeah, but it has pink highlights.” You point out. “To elaborate Michiko, I have never seen you walking around without at least something that isn’t varying degrees of pink. Whenever you buy clothes, they’re always pink. You like cotton candy a lot, too.”“What he’s saying is that pink is practically your power color and that a Michiko without a pink can’t be considered a Michiko at all.” Hideki adds, smirking.“It’s a good color!” The glare Michiko directs at you could give third-degree burns. “And what about you two? Hideki, that shirt isn’t ironed! Keiichi, you came here in a tracksuit!”“Don’t worry.” Hideki says, raising a hand. “We’re boys, so our dress code is less of a deal for us.”Michiko groans. “I can’t believe you two…”“Don’t worry, Micchan.” Airi says, placing a friendly hand on the blonde girl’s shoulder. “I think you look great.”“Well, at least someone here as some semblance of taste…” It’s a small consolation, but it’s a valid one. Also, it’s for females only.
You hear the automatic doors slide open. A man trudges in, his head lowered. Your eyes widen a fraction upon catching a glimpse of his face. You recognize him. His photo was sent to you by the police.That’s the alleged culprit, one Seiichi Ina, the driver of the truck that was containing the toxic waste. His outfit fits his blue-collar status: worn brown pants, a ruffled shirt with creases along the front and grey plimsolls, one of which is lacking the ‘sole’ part. His drooping tie matches the way he shuffles through the courtroom entrance, keeping his head down to avoid any stares or glares. You cannot sense any magic radiating off him. This is undoubtedly a man who wishes he was far away from here. As he looks around the room, his eyes lock onto you and your friends. Reactions are instant. Michiko sneers at him. Hideki’s usual smile vanishes. The man flinches, burdened beneath the gaze of two magi. The look he’s sprouting is the very opposite of confidence.>Greet him politely.>Stare back.>Avert your gaze.>Snarl at him.>Do nothing.>Custom option.
>>1092534>>Greet him politely.With barely restrained anger
>>1092534>>Greet him politely.
>>Keiichi: Greet him politely.You try to do so. “Good night, Mr. Ina.”The emphasis is on the world try.“Oh, um…good day to you, uh…you must be Keiichi Hirayama…” The man splutters. The man’s eyes dart back and forth in their sockets, like the scope wielded by a panicked sniper. “And that’s Airi Hirayama…I really must be going! See you in the trial!”Whatever you do, it makes him flinch and hurry to the front of the room, out of sight. You blink. He’s gone. What the heck did you do?“Onii-chan, you’re shaking.” Airi points out, tugging on your sleeve. She’s right. You take a few deep breaths. That was anger running across your body there. Can you really blame yourself, though? Flashes of memory illuminate your mind. Of that deep darkness, the hopeless you were consumed by as Akasha-Alea tried her best to comfort you, seeing your sister covered in bandages in the bed next to you, the restlessness of not being immobile for weeks and the fear that your circuits would be ruined forever…You feel Airi’s grip on your hand. She’s squeezing it. It feels warm. She’s always been susceptible to your pain, ever since you were born.“So, he’s the culprit…” Michiko whispers under her breath. Both of her hands have become fists. “He got both my friends nearly killed…”“Hmmm, we don’t know the truth for sure.” Hideki muses. “Still, it’s seems likely that’s it’s him…”One way or the other, you will know the truth today.An announcement signals the beginning of the trial. You and your friends get up and head over there.
>>Trial: Start.The room is square in shape. The walls are white. The furniture is wooden. Raised podium at the front, seats at the back and two tables on both sides. Accusing and depending, two parties. It’s stuffy and smells of varnish. An emblem of the country hangs on a banner up front. Magic wards protect everyone inside.“All rise.” The judge calls. He’s well past the middle-aged period. His skin is wrinkled and worn and his hair is more grey than black.You, Airi and your friends stand up.“Ready for the people, your Honor.”This is the first time you’ve been in a trial.“Ready for the jury, your Honor.”It’s an interesting experience, at least that’s what Akasha-Alea says. She warns you to pay attention, as if it will be important for future on. How many times has she been present in the courts of the Spirit World, you wonder?“May the spirits of Justice and all that is Lawful guide us through this trial.”Considering her crusades against the sword spirits—her sworn rivals ever since humanity made the comparison between the two weapon types—probably a whole lot. You bet she’s won more times than she’s lost. She’s just that kind of implacable, ruthless woman. “Will the jury please rise? Do each of you swear upon your ancestors, the spirits of Justice and all that is Lawful that you will fairly try the case before this court, and that you will return a true verdict according to the evidence and the instructions of the court?”The judge’s words are coarse like sandpaper and soft as a feather, but they carry a power that directs all attention in the courtroom towards him. No magic is present. Protocol doesn’t fail to help, either.“Your Honor and ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the defendant has been charged of negligence at work, abuse of public services and accidentally endangering the lives of innocent citizens. His crimes involve disobeying his superiors at work, driving a vehicle containing dangerously toxic substances and causing a pair of young magi to fall victim to said toxic substances. The evidence present are surveillance recordings, fingerprints on the vehicle and the accounts of bystanders, taken on the 6th of February.”He fixes a gaze on Seiichi Ina, who is alone in the defendant’s area. Most likely, he couldn’t afford a lawyer. “Please stand. Do you promise that the testimony you give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”“I do.”“Please state your name.”“Seiichi Ina.”“Do you claim to work for Tokyo Waste Department?”“Yes.”“Do you drive a truck with license number AB 56-89?”“Yes.”“Did you drive it on the 6th of February while undergoing your job?”“Yes.”
“Yes.”“Where did you go?”“On my usual route from Shinjuku to Adachi.”“Did you pass through Shibuya?”“No, as that’s not in my route.”“That’s enough questions.”The next phase begins.“I call upon the witnesses, Michiko Tsukiwaki and Hideki Nishio.”Your friends stand up. Hideki looks a little abashed with being confronted with a room full of people, most of which are unfamiliar adults, but he regains his composure quickly.”“Were you two there are the scene of the accident?”“That’s right.” Michiko answers.“What are your accounts?”“We helped the victims, Keiichi and Airi, from the toxic waste. We helped them onto an ambulance. Then we saw Seiichi Ina step out of his truck. Shortly, the police arrived to arrest him.” Hideki says.“Then, you confirm that he was on the scene?”“That’s correct, your honor.”“That will be all. You may sit down.”Phase two is over. The jury exchanges mutters and gossip between each other. The judge clears his throat and all goes quiet.“Allow me to present a piece of evidence. This is footage taken from a security camera at the garbage collection agency at the morning before the accident.”A video plays on a projector. The contents are clear as day. It’s a conversation between Seiichi Ina and a co-worker. Where the hell are you going, the co-worker asks. On my job, you dumbass, Seiichi Ina replies. But you’re going to Shibuya, his co-worker protests. It’s clearly the wrong way, from his tone. But Seiichi Ina insists that he’s correct. The argument continues, going back and forth without any real resolution. “What have you got loaded in the back?”“Nothing.”“No, that’s not right. That’s toxic waste! Why d’you have that?”“There’s nothing in the back.”“I can smell the fumes from here!”“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Stop wasting my time.” Before his co-worker can stop him, Seiichi Ina starts the ignition in his truck and drives out of the garage, amidst his co-worker’s protests. The man stares blankly, before whipping out his phone and calling his superiors as fast as possible. “Seiichi Ina.” The judge rumbles. “Do you have any recollection of this incident?”
The man has gone white and pale, cold, clammy sweat pouring down the sides of his cheeks. Yet, his response is a quavering, “No.”“Are you certain?”“Yes. I have no memory of this. This is new to me.”“I will ask you again. Do you drive a truck with license number AB 56-89?”“That’s correct.”“Did you drive it on the 6th of February while undergoing your job?”“Yes.”“Where did you go?”“On my usual route from Shinjuku to Adachi.”“Did you pass through Shibuya?”“No, as that’s not in my route.”Words, repeated. The answers are all the same. The jury is utterly unconvinced. “That will be all for now.” The judge says. Seiichi Ina sits back down, trembling from head to toe.“Okay, that’s just disgraceful…” Michiko hisses. “The evidence was there and he still tries to deny it? What a disgusting man!”>Agree with her.>Disagree with her.>Sympathize with the man.>Reserve your judgement until everything is over.>Raise an objection.>Custom option.
>>1092808>Reserve your judgement until everything is over.
You decide not to comment. You know little about the legal process, but it might be best to reserve your judgement until later. You study Seiichi Ina closely. You watch his flickering eyes, his cowering body language, the hurried and panicked way he rushes his words despite the lack of anyone paying him attention. It's all genuine. It sounds crazy, especially with the evidence blaring straight at him, but the man seems to believe everything he’s saying. “I mean, that’s all new to me. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life…”You frown. That level of denial isn’t normal. Assuming the man is lying, what purpose would it serve? Even someone as him would know that lying to a judge is just going to piss the man off and risk the chance of an extended sentence. But if Seiichi Ina believes that's he's telling the truth, it clearly contradicts with what's being shown...Something doesn't seem right here...The trial continues. You and your sister have been assigned a defendant. He speaks on your behalf.“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. The judge has told you that we must prove these things. Furthermore, there is absolutely no doubt that the last two must be proven. First, the defendant, Seiichi Ina, was seen disobeying his superiors while on the job. Secondly, he abused public services by loading his truck with toxic waste and driving it down a route he was not assigned to. Thirdly, he hit Keiichi and Airi Hirayama with his truck, endangering both their lives and potential to perform magic. There is video and anecdotal evidence, both of which have been verified by the investigative force…”“I’m not guilty! I don’t remember any of this happening! It has to be a setup, there’s no other way I can think it!” The man shouts.“Based on this evidence, it is clear that the man is guilty.”Everything flows by in a rush of legal jargon and protests. Before long, it’s nearing the end of the trial. The jury have discussed everything. They are about to make their judgement.The decision is unanimous. Seiichi Ina is chosen as guilty. The expression the man has would be amusing had it been in any situation other than this one.>Object.>Do not object.>Custom option.
>>1092998>ObjectSounds like possession of some sort.Or he was piss drunk but managed to convince everyone he was sober.
>>1092998>Object.Guess we're playing the good guy
>>1092998>>Object.Could he have ben possessed?
>>1092998> ObjectMaybe we should call an expert on magical mental manipulation or possession in case there is some residue. Although it has been a while.I mean we want to get the real culprit, not the unknowing mook. Now is not the time to trace his movements back though.
>>1092998>Do not objectRegardless of what we say, he'll be going to jail for at least some time. No need to alert whoever it seems was actually behind it that we have an idea that there was some interference
>>1092998>Do not object.Probably way late to the party, but fuck this guy.
>>Keiichi: Object.“Hey, can I ask a question?” You call out, and all the eyes of the court turn to you. You flush a little, unsure, but steel your confidence and press on. You’ve never been a loud speaker and you’ve never really grown up with anybody like that, save for Michiko when’s singing particular songs. Still, you think there’s something that needs to be said. You open your mouth and stretch your voice as far as possible.“Has Seiichi Ina been checked for signs of magical interference?” You ask. “Like, possession or anything?”“He has. A soul autopsy was done shortly after his arrest. According to the soul diver, there were no signs of illusion nor possession.” The judge says. “Thus, it can be concluded that there was nothing influencing with him. Everything he has done was his responsibility.”You swallow. "Was the soul diver reliable?""Yes." The judge says sharply. "The soul diver has been employed for fifteen years and has not failed to make an accurate assessment. If you are done, Mr. Hirayama, please sit down."You do so among a throng of snickers from the jury. Your teeth clench.Your question has been answered, but it didn’t explain a single thing! Why is Seiichi Ina claiming a different truth, despite having no alibi and all the evidence pointing in the opposite direction? Everyone, from the jury to the judge and your friends thinks the man is trying to lie his way out of his predicament. And it’s true, that does sound like a convenient truth. The more you think about it, the easier it is to accept.Certain forbidden magic arts have the power to force humans or spirits to obey the caster’s will. If nothing like this is present, then it means that everything Seiichi Ina is done was his decision alone, and nothing else.But…Your heart is beating rapidly in your chest. A hot shiver races down your spine. This is a premonition. A warning from your gut that something terrible is about to happen, and soon.And yet, a mere gut feeling is not enough to object with. All you can do is sit back and watch the rest of the court decide Seiichi Ina’s fate.“Seiichi Ina is sentenced to six years in prison for his crimes. The jury is thanked and excused. Court is adjourned!”
And thus the trial is over. Everyone vacates from the room. The judge, defendants and other miscellaneous staff look pleased at a job well done. Numbly, you get out from your seats and join the others in the waiting room at the front of the building.“Ah, that was a huge waste of time.” Michiko complains. “Everyone knew what was going to happen from the start, right?”Hideki chuckles. “Red tape’s a bitch, huh?”“Tell me about it. Still, I’m glad that guy got what was coming to him.” Michiko glowers towards the court entrance. “Did you listen to him? Going on and on about how he was innocent even though he clearly wasn’t. It’s just pathetic. Doesn’t he know that owning up to your mistakes is the right thing to do?”“There are all sorts in the world. I guess he didn’t want to go prison. It’s human nature to deny things they don’t like.”“That’s true.” Airi mutters. “But, don’t you think it was strange?”“What, the way he kept denying things?” Michiko asks. “Airi, do you think he was innocent? There was the evidence and all.”“I know that, but…”“But what?”“He seemed to believe what he was saying.”“You’re too innocent, Airi.” Michiko sighs. “You can’t be fooled by people like that, otherwise they’ll take advantage of you. The guy was guilty. He caused an accident, nearly got the two of you killed and now he’s paying the price. End of story.” “I’m going home.” She declares, yawning. “Then I’m going to sleep. What about you two?”What about you? It’s an excellent question. What are you and your sister going to do now?>Something isn’t right. You need to ask Seiichi Ina more questions.>No, it’s nothing. Time to go home.>You’d like to ask the judge some questions.>Who was the police officer who arrested Seiichi Ina? Maybe he knows something.>Custom option.
>>1093285>Who was the police officer who arrested Seiichi Ina? Maybe he knows something.
>>1093285>>Who was the police officer who arrested Seiichi Ina? Maybe he knows something.
>>1093285>Who was the police officer who arrested Seiichi Ina? Maybe he knows something.It's not paranoia if we're always knee-deep in crazy shit.
You hate this sensation. Of being left in the dark, of not knowing the whole picture. It’s a trait of yours that has gotten you and your sister into a lot of trouble over the past year, sparking gunfight, magus battle and rescue attempts alike. None of this changes the fact that you despise it and that your curiosity demands you seek the answer.Who was the police officer that arrested Seiichi Ina? Maybe he knows something. “Excuse me, Keiichi?”Wait, did you say that out loud? How embarrassing. The cat’s out of the bag, then.“I want to talk to the officer that arrested Ina.” You answer. “Wait, why?” Michiko asks.“Because something doesn’t sit well with me and I want to find it out.”“You’re going to start another incident?” Michiko groans. “Keiichi, can’t you drop it for once and save us all the heart attacks?”>“I have to do this. Sorry.”>“I want to find out the truth.”>“Want to come along?”>“You’re right, this probably isn’t the best idea.”>Custom option.
Taking a break for lunch now. Back in thirty mins.
>>1093383>>I want to find out the truth Can't just let the wrong dude sit in jail for 6 years... Without a lecture from Akasha later on.
>>1093383>>“I want to find out the truth.”
>>1093383>>“I want to find out the truth.”>besides if I leave it be it'll be me and sis in the ass in the most inopportune time later. No it's not being paranoid if they are actually out to get you michiko.
>>1093383>“Want to come along?”>"It'd be great to have some assistance on this."
“I want to find out the truth.” You say. “It’s a hunch, Michiko. This sort of stuff bit Airi and I in the ass when we didn’t act on it before. Besides, it’s just a few questions. If I don’t learn anything new…well, it’s over then. Nothing lost.”Michiko sighs again. “I can’t do anything to stop you, right?”“Yeah, pretty much.”“Alright, take care of yourself. Try not to get into a fight. Good grief…”“We’ll be going home.” Hideki calls. “See you guys tomorrow!”You and Airi wave your friends goodbye. They exit the building and leave from sight. When they do, your sister turns to you.“Onii-chan, do you know the policeman that arrested Seiichi Ina?”“No.” You confess. “If we ask around, we’ll know.”And that’s exactly what you do. You pester the judge, jury and staff alike. The answers you receive are swift and hurried. The men and women here are obviously tired from the night shift and want to get home as soon as possible. With your persistence and Airi’s sunny smile, resistance crumbles until you receive an answer from a clerk.“I think he was escorting Seiichi Ina home.” The woman says, blinking a pair of bloodshot eyes with bags beneath them. Her breath smells of cheap coffee. “Don’t want the convicted to run off and disappear into the night. Shit’s happened before…“Thank you.” Airi responds, curtly. “Do you know his address?”The clerk peers at you. “Aren’t you the kids who got caught in the accident? Why are you two snooping around when the case is already over?”“We just want to ask him some questions.” You explain.The clerk nods in understand. “Ah, revenge.” Scratch that, she’s not.“No, that’s…” Airi protests. She’s cut off a lazy wave of the clerk’s hand. “I get it, I get it. To tell the truth, I wished I coulda knocked that guy, too.” She says, grinning something cold. “You coulda used the online phonebook, but looking up the guy’s address is no skin off my back.” With a quick clatter of keys, she accesses Seiichi Ina’s address and gives it to you. Turns out the man leaves in a cheap apartment, surprisingly absolutely no-one. You and your sister vacate the premises. The clerk shouts words of encouragement, telling you to give the guy a good ‘kick in the nuts’. Airi is noticeably a little disturbed by this. Past mistakes are hard to forget, after all.The rain wasn’t exactly light before, but it’s become a true downpour. Drops of water slam into the concrete and send their brethren splashing up. Cheap umbrellas threaten to collapse and fold. The sturdy ones are blown back by the wind and twist into useless shapes. You and Airi make a beeline towards the bus station. You make it just in time, but it’s a pyrrhic victory at best for your clothes. “Deal with it. If you think this is bad, then you should train in the rainy season in my world.”
>>1093383>I have to do thisThe guy clearly did it but there is no motive for his actions. If someone else made him do it then it is likely they were targeting us. They might try again.
>>1093604Is homu homu always watching? How is Keiichi supposed to expel his poisons every now and then?
>>1093621By shooting things, how else?
>>1093621He does it anyway, and puts up with Akasha's constant critique. And mentally denying that he's gaining a fetish for her harsh voice.
Your mentor’s statements provide little comfort. Especially when they’re spoken upon getting off the bus and realizing there’s twenty minutes to the destination, with zero cover and ever-present pouring rain.By the time you reach the bottom of Seiichi Ina’s apartment block, you think to yourself that the policeman escorting him better have some damn good answers for you and your sister. The apartment block is like all apartment blocks. Grey, concrete and filled with human beings. This one appears to be a lower-class one. The gaps between the windows are smaller, there’s mold running down the side of the apartment hidden from sunlight and decay pervades the interior décor. No receptionist greets you as you enter. The lift shudders and grunts as it makes your ascent to Seiichi Ina’s floor. It’s a far cry from the apartment block you live in>>Keiichi and Airi: Reach the target’s door.Said target’s door is slightly ajar. Which means that it’s unlocked. The policeman is nowhere to be found. Perhaps he already left?This is…ominous.The time is nearing eleven at night. Most are asleep.>Gently push the door open.>Kick the door down.>Get Airi to blow the door apart.>Press the doorbell.>Shout for the occupant’s attention.>Call the police.>Custom option.
>>1093649>>Press the doorbell.
>>1093649>Gently push the door open.
>>1093649>Kick the door down.Then fire into the ceiling.
>>1093682Planefag Protagonist Syndrome is characterized by an ever-increasing sense of regret borne of not firing wildly into the ceiling.
You reach a hand for the doorbell. Suddenly, Airi’s hand shoots out and wraps itself around your wrist. You spin your head to the side and stare at your sister. “Don’t do it, onii-chan.”“Why the hell not?” You hiss back, confused.She doesn’t respond straight away. She stares at the gap in the doorway, focusing on the darkness within. Then she sniffs once, inhaling the moist air. She fingers the threads in her scarf. Her eyes goes wide. Her breath comes out in steady, controlled gasps.“I smell blood.” She replies and at once you understand that this is no time for sudden movements. Thoughts whir through your brain at mach speed, fueled by the new information. It’s raining now and the scent of moisture is omnipresent across the city. For the scent of blood to cut through and be present, even if Airi has an affinity for the liquid, then it means… Something lurches in your stomach. You force it to settle down. The door is open. The interior is a veil of black. Nobody else is around. You recognize these facts and act. With a slightly trembling hand, you grasp the doorknob and gently yank the door open.You and Airi step into apartment. Dim grey light from the outside floods into the hall. Your shadows create ghoulish shapes across the floor. It does nothing to calm the rising nerves. Every step feels like it weighs a hundred times more than it should.From the end of the hall, behind another ajar door, you hear a wet noise. Airi stiffens upon hearing it. It’s a sound she’s familiar with. The sound of something sharp being inserted into something soft. A rod into a sponge. A spoon in a cake bursting with sugary juices. A metal blade into raw, pink flesh. The noise repeats itself, with deliberate slowness. It echoes in your ears, drills itself into the recesses of your brain. Squish. Squelch. Crush. The scent of the blood grows stronger and stronger with every thrust.This time, it’s Airi’s turn to grab a door and open it. There’s two figures in a darkened kitchen. One is on the floor. The other is on top, hands gripped around a handle.Ah…There’s no mistaking it. That’s the outline of a knife. And that liquid the soles of your body are steeped in…it can’t be anything else but the first figure’s blood. You realize all of this with a gentle numbness. It's so gentle that your bodies are practically frozen to the spot.The figure brings the implement down and more blood squirts out in a shadowy fountain.>Turn the lights on.>Open fire.>Airi: Lunge forward and grab the figure.>Run away at once.>Back away slowly.>Custom option.
>>1093774>>Open fireThis thing should not exist.End it.
>>1093774> Turn on the lights
>>Keiichi: Open fire.This is your immediate response. Your handgun is in your hands and your finger is wrapped around the trigger. You squeeze and fire. This would be an excellent tactic had the first figure not looked up a single second earlier and noticed the outline of your gun in the darkness. It dives to the side just as the bullet exits from the chamber. A bang roars through the small room. The bullet hits a wall, leaving a crack. The figure rolls away from the figure on the ground, coating itself in the spilled blood. It flips up, landing in a crouch. You hear the squeak of trainers rubbing friction against an enamel floor.You whip your hand around to point the gun at the figure. Airi brandishes throwing knives in her palms. At once, you attack. The figure darts again, this time to the left. It’s too late. A bullet, fired in Bullet Time, clips it on the shoulder. A throwing knife nicks its arm. It flails and collapses with a loud thump.Then, as quickly as it fell, the figure gets up. It stares at the two of you, then it slams its palms together. There’s a flare of magic and a nearby sink explodes. "Look out--" A wave of water slams into you and your sister. That bastard...they used the water in the pipes as a source for their alteration magic! The water swims around your vision, causing the already dark scene to before a blurry impenetrable mess. It’s only training that saves you from dropping your gun on the floor. Something slams into you and knocks you over. You hit the ground, pain shooting up your back.When the wave dies down, the lights are on. Airi stands above you, drenched and panting. Her blade is in her right hand. You quickly pick yourself up and notice that the blood on the floor has been washed away. The identity of the second figure is also clear. It’s Seiichi Ina, just as you feared. His face is a mask of utter terror. His body is covered in numerous stab wounds, running down his torso and arms, albeit ones of varying shallowness. It’s clear that he’s lost a lot of blood.What do you do? Get this guy to a hospital? But there’s that mysterious figure that caused this disaster in the first place. Who knows what it’ll do if left unchecked. With every second it’s getting further away from you. Is it even possible to catch up to it?“It may not be too late.” Your mentor speaks up.“How is that possible?”“Its body is coated in blood and your sister’s spirit partner has no doubt captured its scent. If either of you can’t pursue it, then you both have learned nothing.”Even if she says that, who’s going to take care of Seiichi Ina? Your sister has blood transfusion techniques, but her tracking skills at better than yours…agh, this is a decision you have to make, fast!>Keiichi: Pursue.>Airi: Pursue.>Neither of you will pursue.>Both: Pursue.>Custom option.
>>1093929>>Keiichi: Pursue.We still need the dude alive.
>>1093929>>Airi: Pursue.Our sister is the one who can track it
>>1093929>>Keiichi: Pursue.For a moment I thought of leaving that guy to die.Whoops.
>>Keiichi: Pursue.“Airi, I’m going after the bastard!” You yell, turning on your heel and racing towards the front door.“Wait, onii-chan!” She cries, but it’s too late. By the time she’s finished her sentence, you’ve already disappeared from sight.There’s a trail of bloody footprints on the deck outside. They lead to the stairs. You cascade down them, taking each one two at a time. You nearly trip over a couple in your haste. Outside the apartment walls, rain pours and the wind howls.The street level is where things start to get tricky. Any footprints are washed by the rain. But there’s still the figure’s magical signature. It’s faint, but you manage to get a hold on it for just long enough to trace it. It’s lucky that the streets are near deserted at this time of night. Otherwise, this sort of task would be impossible.You chase the figure to the Shibuya railway lines. It’s a section under construction, surrounded by metal fences, one of which has a gaping hole torn in the center. All the building materials—bricks, metal rails, concrete—have been put beneath tarps. A few dim lights shine around the area, running under backup power.The figure stands in the middle of the concrete clearing. A person of around your height, draped in a yellow raincoat. The knife is was holding earlier is in its right hand. Two beady pinpricks of light—most likely a flawed night vision technique—stare out from beneath the hood. There is a bleak nothingness behind them. Nothing else is visible.The figure’s hands lay at its side. It refuses to move. No twitches, no fidgeting, no tiny movements in the arms of legs. It is completely and utterly still. It is unnatural.You stand a good dozen metres ahead of it, soaked by the freezing rain.What do you do?>Open fire.>Yell at it to put its hands up.>Run into cover.>Fire a gas grenade.>Call the police.>Run away.>Custom option.
>>1094064>>Yell at it to put its hands up.Failing that,>>Open fire.
>>1094064>>Yell at it to put its hands up.>Fire a gas grenade.
>>1094064>Yell at it to put its hands up.And then>Open fire.
>>1094064>Open fire without warningI think they need a few more breathing holes.
You whip out your handgun and point to the figure. It does not react.“Put the knife down!” You shout. “And put your hands up!”Your voice bounces around the deserted construction site. A few seconds pass. The figure slowly raises its left hand. You grip on your handgun tightens. Tension gathers in your stomach, threatening to rip it apart.The figure then slashes its left hand at the air. Something bursts through the darkness. You dodge in the nick of time, rolling to the side. Whatever was flying towards you hits a pile of bricks and crushes them into dust. Bullets made out of water, what else?Dammit, this thing isn’t going to listen to reason! In that case, you’ll…>Find a good vantage spot.>Call your friends for backup.>Charge at it.>Fire a gas grenade.>Run into the shadows.>Custom option.
>>1094165>Find a good vantage spot.>Call your friends for backup.
>>1094165>>Find a good vantage spot.
>>1094165>Charge at it.>Fire a gas grenade.
>>1094165>Find a good vantage spot.While>Fire a gas grenade.
>>1094165>Call your friends for backup.>Find a good vantage spot.OH BOY
>>1094165>>Find a good vantage spot.>Fire a gas grenade.
The raincoat figure is relentless. Globs of water congeal in its hands. It flings them with a speed of a high-velocity baseball, and with the force of one. Such techniques are not unusual among the high-level fights in academy battle arenas, but the prevalent darkness and the constant downpour in the construction site makes dodging them a bitch and a half. Then there’s the fact that getting hit by one is sure to fracture bones, maybe even break them…“Ah, fuck this!” You swap out your handgun for your grenade launcher. Non-lethal, armed with gas grenade. You take aim and fire. A grenade hits the figure square in the chest. Acrid, cloud-like smoke billows from the center and obscures the figure. You can see its silhouette shaking its head and jerking about. Good, so it has human movements and reactions. Probably not a rogue spirit, then.You take the advantage to race towards a stack of metal crates, footsteps splashing against the ground and duck behind it. >>Keiichi: Call for backup.You take out your mobile phone, flick on the screen and scan down the list of contacts. Who to call, who to call? Who’s even awake at this time of the night?>Michiko>Hideki>Florence>Makoto>Red Skull Rockers.>Custom option.
>>1094247>>FlorenceIt uses water, she can freeze it.
>>1094247>FlorenceHer ice maguc might be a good counter to the water magic (or it could just do nothing). Maybe calling the Red Skull Rockers would be nice if people feel that we could use a lot more manpower.
>>1094247>>Florence>MichikoFlorence can freeze it, and Michiko can use harmonic dissonance to fuck up the projectiles stability. Use Group call.
>>1094247>owing another debt to FlorenceFuck>Red Skull Rockers.
Okay, I think I have to call it quits for now. Thanks to everyone who joined in. I'm not going to announce the date of the continuation just yet before there's something I want to ask everyone.What time (UTC or PST) do you guys start viewing my quests and for how long do you stay? I'm asking this because I would like to tailor my starting times to ensure maximum participation. Please respond by replying to these comments or by notifying me on twitter please.
>>1094333I'm more or less free all day, PST time
>>1094333If I'm not binge-reading like a shitstain, the times right now are fine.
>>1094333I'm usually free form 10 am to 10pm PST
>>1094333I usually get off at 4-5 pm Est, which is 1-2 Pm Pst. free most days.
>>1094333Most of my weekdays are awful and varying. Friday and weekends open 1pm PST onward.
>>1094333My timezone is 7 hours ahead of UTC, so that's like 4 in the morning or so. And my participation isn't really important since my posts depends on whether or not my VPN can get through without a banned error since my ISP blocked this site
>>1094341>>1094344>>1094347>>1094349>>1094407>>1094416>>1094590Thanks for all the responses. I'll take them into consideration.Thread will continue on the 28th of January, 9:30 pm UTC start.
>>1094333My waking hours are usually 00:30-17:00 PST, though when I'm able to actively participate in the quest varries highly on a day-to-day basis.
>>Keiichi: Call Florence Rutherford.Considering the circumstances—a violent madman (or madwoman) out to blast your head apart with globs of water, a downpour freezing you from head to toe and the possibility of the phone’s backlight giving away your position—this is a terrible idea. And yet you’re doing it anyway. This is an accurate description of 99% of all incidents you’ve involved yourself in over the past year. The irony that you possess Florence Rutherford's personal phone number as opposed to the many Stonewolf High students and international businessmen (who would kill for such a privilege) is not lost on you. The story of how you received it as a long one and this is not the time and place to talk about it.Okay, that’s a little inaccurate. It was less of a receiving as opposed to the number being forced upon in conjunction with the girl’s charisma and cool beauty charm. Being the foolish boy you were back then, you were too polite to refuse. You didn’t even use at all last year. It’s always Florence who called you, usually with mischievous intent.That will change today.You sit with your back against the metal crates, hair drenched in rain, your rifle held across your body. The phone takes three agonizing rings before the line patches you through.“My my, this is truly unexpected, Keiichi. You calling me.” Florence’s honeyed, silk-like words vibrate through your ears. Her tone is amicable. You are not fooled, just like all those countless times before. It’s all a façade, one that is necessary in the world she originates from. Behind that smile lies a core more frigid than the rain battering down on you. “To what do I owe this occasion?”“Well, Florence…” You begin and stop dead in your tracks.
Actually, what do you owe Florence this occasion? What the heck are you supposed to tell her? That you’re requesting backup from her? From the one and only ice queen of Stonewolf High, heiress to one of modern society’s most powerful business conglomerates; who thrives on manipulation, treachery and ruthlessness instead of food, water and food; who refuses to lift a lace-covered finger unless it means you would owe her a loathsome debt in the future? You’re going to ask help from that Florence Rutherford?Say, did you think carefully about the consequences of this? “You’ve gone awfully quiet, Keiichi. Are you thinking of something to say? You must not have prepared yourself well, considering this lengthy silence. Wait, I think I understand.” Florence speaks up, jolting you back to reality. You hear the mocking smirk in her voice. It’s not an uncommon feeling. “It must be my beautiful voice. Were you stunned by it, Keiichi Hirayama? Were you so awestruck by magnificence of my verbal inflections that you deemed unfit to ever speak again, lest you feel a crushing sense of disappointment and despair within your very soul?”>“Florence, I need your help.” (Ask for help)>“Lovely weather we’re having tonight.” (Make conversation)>“Airi is better.” (Rebuttal)>“Has anyone tried to assassinate you before?” (Question)>“No, nothing is up. See you.” (Refuse help)>Hang up without speaking anything.>Custom option.
>>1099655>>“Has anyone tried to assassinate you before?” (Question)>Ohwhoops gotta go! Then hang up. This will pique her interest hopefully.
>>1099655>“Has anyone tried to assassinate you before?” (Question)
>>1099655>“Has anyone tried to assassinate you before?” (Question)Are we asking for sympathy?
>>1099655>>“Has anyone tried to assassinate you before?” (Question)
“Hey, Florence.”“He talks.” Florence smiles, “Do go on, my dear Keiichi?”You ignore the sickeningly-sweet barb. “Has anyone tried to assassinate you before?”“Yes. Multiple times throughout my childhood. I was chosen as the heiress to my family at birth, which was not to the liking of my other family members. Some decided the best way to acquire position was to get rid of me. They still try to this day.”Florence sighs fondly, as if reminiscing a fond memory. “There was one time a close cousin tried to poison me at a formal outing. He bribed a servant to pour the blood of a toxic spirit into my tea. How unsubtle. I noticed and swapped my drink with his at the last second. After that, the assassination attempts decreased in quantity.”“How old were you back then?” You ask.“Ten years old. Why?”“No reason.” So Florence has a hellion even as a kid? You’re not surprised. “You sound find with it.”“It comes with the position. Success and wealth breeds jealously, which drives men to perform the depraved. I’ve long since accepted that I’ll be targeted throughout my life. I do not take attempts on my life lying down, either. Though, Japan has been peaceful, so far.”Apart from all the times I’ve run into you, you privately think. “What would you do if you saw an assassin come at you?”“Hide behind my bodyguards, of course.” Florence responds.“Not everybody has bodyguards.” You scowl.“You do not? They are excellent meat shields, useful in a variety of attacks.” Florence gasps, in mock surprise. “How troubling. I’ll have to pass on a few online catalogues. Some stores have wonderful selections.”“So…?”“Fight or flee, depending on the situation. Assassins don’t appreciate it if their target runs into a large crowd.” Florence replies. “These are some curious questions, Keiichi. One can't help but wonder whether or not they have relation to what you are currently doing...”You glance over your shoulder. The tear gas is letting up. The twin pinpricks of light have vanished. Nothing else but darkness and water. >“Correct. Send help.”>“Wrong. I’m working on a project for school.”>“I wanted to hear your voice.”>“Figure it out yourself, woman.”>Custom option.
>>1099809>>“Figure it out yourself, woman.”
>>1099809>>“I wanted to hear your voice.”Try to tease
>>1099809>“I wanted to hear your voice.”>"And be reasonably assured of living long enough to hear it next year."
“I wanted to hear your voice.” You say, truthfully.“Oh my, that is rather bold.” Florence croons. “Has our absence made your heart grown fonder?” “No, it’s because I couldn’t stand the idea of something and I wanted to be assured of that. You helped, so thanks.”“And the mystery deepens…” Florence muses. “Figure it out yourself, woman.” You mutter and hang up. You slump your back against the metal crate and exhale deeply.Well.That happened. As usual, Florence made you question why you bothered acquainting yourself with her…again. Still, you wouldn’t say the conversation was a complete waste of time. The girl is an expert at irritating others, but in this case talking to someone familiar steadied the pounding in your heart. You’re feeling a little more determined and a great deal calmer than you were before. Dead or alive, you don’t want to give Florence the satisfaction of knowing you were beaten by some rotten bastard in a raincoat. So, what to do now? >>Keiichi: Analyze.Information is power. Based on the stabbing inside Ina’s apartment and your brief skirmish with the raincoat figure, what have you learned?Your opponent is a magus. That’s obvious, a conclusion on par with stating water is wet. Nevertheless, it’s an apt comparison, seeing as the magic art of this mysterious raincoat figure is based around water. Most likely a practitioner of the classical elements, one of the more common magic arts among magi society. You can’t detect any spiritual presence, so they’re most likely an adept.The main application of their art is unquestionably alteration —one of the nine disciplines of magic, defined as the ability to shape elements of the world around the caster. Your mother was well-versed in this discipline during her time as her assault magus. You’ve heard stories from her friends how she shifted the air into makeshift blades to slice toxic spirits in half. As for the bastard lurking in elsewhere in this darkened construction site, you’ve already seen examples of their power in action: the water bullets and the small wave that burst from the apartment sink. So far, so standard. It’s nothing you haven’t encountered in the battle arena.Still, they’ve got a field advantage. You are, of course, thinking about the rain. Apart from giving Airi a reason to do laundry tomorrow, the rain is a prime water source for the raincoat figure. They have no need to gather particles of moisture from the air, not when there’s an abundance of congealed water ready for the melding. You can’t discount the possibility of using the rain to track your location, though that might be unlikely considering how they stumbled around in the tear gas.
As for their other skills, they’ve clearly got some sort of basic night-vision applied. The better ones don’t reveal their eyes for the battlefield to see. The raincoat hood is obscuring the rest of their face. They’re armed with a knife, could have other applications of their magic art hiding up their plastic sleeves and have yet to use their Ultimate Skill. It’s dark, you’re wet and you’re alone. A westerly gale is blowing and it’s going to mess with your shots. You’ve been in better situations, that’s for sure. At least there’s a light source, even if it’s rather dim.You do a brief check of your equipment. All your guns are here: handgun, shotgun, rifle and grenade launcher. All are waterproof. No gas mask, unfortunately. You’re stocked with enough ammo for all your weapons.Ammo.That’s something else you have to consider, you realize.According to the law, you are only permitted to use non-lethal ammunition in combat situation—mainly academy battle arenas. Plastic bullets, rubber slugs and the like. Akasha-Alea wasn’t satisfied with this and made you keep a stock of metal ammunition, purely for emergencies. She defined them as times when your life is in serious danger.You have yet to take a human life. You are unsure of the consequences of doing so. It’s not something you think about.This is an unsanctioned battle. There are no proctors to haul you out once things turn south. Your opponent came inches from ridding Seiichi Ina’s life from this mortal coil. Now, they’re after you. It this one of these emergencies Akasha-Alea told you about?What will you do?>Stick to non-lethal ammunition.>Use lethal ammunition.>Custom option.
>>1099924>Stick to non-lethal ammunition
>>1099924>Stick to non-lethal ammunition.
>>1099924>>Stick to non-lethal ammunition.
>>1099924>Use lethal ammunition.
>>Keiichi: Stick to non-lethal ammunition.Yeah, the lethal ammo isn’t an option. If the police find out you’ve been using it, they’ll take away your firearms and probably give you jail time. Plus, there’s a psychological factor. You’re not sure if you can take a human life. There’s a reason why thinking it twists your stomach inside, and why your mother adamantly refused your mentor’s demands to take you away and transform you into a child soldier…Maybe in the future, you’ll have no choice but to put a bullet in an assailant’s brain. Now? You think you can subdue this bastard without fatally injuring them.You hear footsteps. Heavy, rhythmic and thumping ones that splash against the wet concrete. They’re walking in your direction. Left or right, you’re not certain. The area around you is mostly a flat surface, with construction materials and debris scattered across. Out in the corner of your eye you catch a small, square shaped building. Thick, black wires extend from its roof to the lights in the girders above.That might come in handy…What’s your next plan of action?>Rush towards the raincoat figure.>Make a distraction and lie in ambush.>Find another hiding spot and wait.>Turn on the construction lights.>Flee the area.>Custom option.
>>1100124>>Make a distraction and lie in ambush.
>>1100124>Make a distraction and lie in ambush.
>>1100124>Make a distraction and lie in ambush
>>1100124>Turn on the construction lights.Surprise!
The figure is getting close. They’ll be here any minute now. Not if you can help it. A wad of concrete, a remnant of a digging operation, lies on the ground next to you. You pick it up, palm rubbing against the rocky edges. You toss it up gently once and let it collapse down, the weight sinking down your hand.Then you peer out from the pile of crates and toss the concrete, so that it lands right in the middle of a sinkhole.There’s a loud splash.The figure notices this. They jerk their head towards the source of the noise. They then see the concrete roll in the puddle to a halt. They put two and two together. The figure rushes towards your hiding spot, knife brandished ready for the attack.But you’re not there anymore. You were on the opposite side of the crate pile when the concrete wad landed. And now the back of the raincoat figure is staring straight at the muzzle of your shotgun.You aim down the sights, wrap your finger tight around the trigger and squeeze.>Roll 1d30 to fire.>Best out of three.
Rolled 15 (1d30)>>1100315
Rolled 6 (1d30)>>1100315
Rolled 16 (1d30)>>1100315
Almost perfectly mediocre.
The moment you squeeze the trigger is the moment the figure spins around to face you. Buckshot blasts out of the end of the shotgun. The darkness and the dampness have taken their toll. You aim is off, a product of a lack of vision and trembling fingers. Half the pellets disappear into the darkness. A quarter is dodged as the raincoat figure deftly sidesteps. The rest slam into the side of the figure’s torso, causing them to spasm.Recovery is swift. As soon as you eject the casing and load the second shell, the figure is already halfway through casting their spell. You try to back away, but it’s too late. Rain clumps together and explodes outwards; a wave of cold and water is charging your way. It attacks your feet, knocking you off balance and sending you into its embrace.The figure swipes at the air and back again, sending pellets of thick, mana-infused water soaring towards you. Through your imbalance, you do your utmost to evade. Concrete cracks and fragments burst upwards. Metal boxes are dented, revealing their contents. Your shoulder is hit and the nerves scream in pain. You roll to your feet and fire again. And again. The raincoat figure slashes at the air like a frenzied beast, water bullets forming and scattering in the directions of her swipes. You counter with more buckshot. Some of the plastic collides with the water and forces them to disperse. Others miss. A few hit and they barely slow the raincoat figure down. You contemplate switching to your pistol.The figure slams their palms together. A blade of water is sent slicing your way. It nicks you on the side, ripping your tracksuit and draws blood. You have no time to think about this, for you see another duo of blades and are forced to retreat. One of the blades hits a supply crate behind you. The object is cut in half like a watermelon.Not the most fun thought.>Run up to the figure and engage close combat.>Activate Bullet Time and open fire.>Fire a gas grenade.>Retreat and hide.>Rush for the construction lights.>Custom option.
>>1100533>>Activate Bullet Time and open fire.
>>1100533>Rush for the construction lights.
>>1100533>Activate Bullet Time and open fire.
Bullet Time is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it gives you the perfect opportunity to line up accurate shots. On the other, it taxes heavily on your limited mana pool. The amount of mana for each second is greater than the last. You’ve run into situations where you failed to do anything of worth, yet had no choice but to release the technique to prevent severe mana exhaustion. Not that normal mana exhaustion is pleasant to feel…But this opponent is tough, so you have to kick things up to the next level!You equip your rifle, aim and then focus. Mana floods down your circuits, stimulating them, sparking off sections of your soul. The already dark world turns darker as all color vanishes in an instant. The roar of the drain becomes mere static in the background of your consciousness. You fire.Bullets burst free from the end of the barrel and rocket towards your target, their trajectory visible by the ripples in the air. The target does not stand still, oh no. They try to evade. But you are a student of the spirit of firearms. In this slowed down vision, aiming and scoring those hits is nothing more than what is expected of you.Four seconds pass and you release the technique. Ten shots were fired. Six hit their mark. The raincoat figure is clutching its stomach, the bullets falling and hitting the concrete. They whip their head up and stare. It’s not of anger. Just blankness. A pure, white void, where all emotion has been scrubbed away. Why is that?The figure leans down. They haul their arms backward. One leg in front, one leg behind, both bend. You see water swirl up in front of them in the shape of a small round shield. You blink.The figure is gone from their former location, now charging across the open field towards you. Their aim: your chest. You let loose with the rifle. Five shots go out. Three hit the figure across the shoulders, torso and legs. They utterly fail to slow the figure down. There’s a gigantic heave, all the air released from your gut and your surroundings spin backwards. Your body tumbles across the hard concrete, scraping skin and exposing bright red flesh. It hurts, the kind of gruesome, sand-paper like pain you experienced when you fell on the country roads as a child. Your rifle is flung from your grip and disappears into the rain.And now the figure has leapt on you, knife in their right hand. Faint light shines off the metal. The figure stares at you for a moment, before it reaches back and swings the blade down towards your ribcage. >Roll 1d30 to prevent a stabbing.>Best out of three.
Rolled 5 (1d30)>>1100900Rolling
Rolled 22 (1d30)>>1100900Time to play the don't stab your hand with the knife game, but someone else is holding the knife and they are trying to stab our face.
Rolled 20 (1d30)>>1100900Dodge
Legs: pinned. Head: too far away for a headbutt. Both your arms are free, but does it matter when metal will cut into flesh, rupture your internal organs and send blood cascading upwards like an eruption from the earth itself?Actually, it does.There is something you can do. Something of a last resort. But if you screw it up, it could very well be the end of you.The blade comes down like an executioner’s axe. You lash out with your right hand.Everything stops. No pain in your chest. No red in your vision. Your hand feels skin and pressure, the weight of a struggling foe. Success. You summon your handgun in your left hand, aim it towards the head of the raincoat figure and fire. The shot connects and the raincoat figure is sent reeling backwards. You send strength towards your legs. In a single move, you fling your opponent off you and letting them crumple in the dirt.>Get your rifle back!>Continue your assault.>Put some distance between them and you.>Take the opportunity to flee.>Flash light in their face.>Custom option.
>>1101028>Continue your assault.
>>1101028>>Get your rifle back!
>>1101028>Gas grenade it
>>1101028>>Flash light in their face.
>>Keiichi: Continue your assault.Magi are known to have stronger bodies than the average human, but a round to the head, even if it’s plastic, it going to mess anyone up, endurance be damned. Your opponent is dazed on the ground. You are not one to let opportunities go by.Downed opponent. Pistol in your hand. It happens in a flash of heat and pain.And yet, it’s still not enough. The figure totters to its feet, soaking up the impacts. Then, its limbs snap straight, a jerky, rigid movement. It slams its palms together and a blast of water pushes you back. On the plus side, you’ve retreated right next to your discarded rifle. You waste no time in picking it up.“Unbelievable…” You grumble, reloading the weapon. “They’re still up?”You are about to open fire again when you notice something strange. The downpour is lighter. The air seems heavier. Your limbs are trembling, not from the cold—all that rushing around has fueled your body with precious heat—but from something much more ethereal. It’s mana, you realize. A great surge of the energy is flowing through the air. It’s sucking up the rain with it.You see the raincoat figure extend its right arm to the sky. A torrent of water is pressing against it, spilling around the hand in four directions. The sigh is reminiscent of a blocker beneath a stream of water from a tap. The hair on the back of your next stands on end. You’re suddenly aware of your ragged, tired breaths. The figure clasps its bloodstained palms and the mass of water twists.The figure squeezes its bloodstained palms and the mass of water twists. It stretches and extends, creating a gigantic, coiled snake-like body. The rest of the body features soon follow, popping. Antlers of a deer, whiskers of a rat, face of a crocodile and claws of a tiger. It doesn’t take much to recognize a Eastern dragon when you see one. The construct of nature towers above you, blazing a gaze through your soul with the eyes of a demon. Raw mana, laced with murderous intent, oozes off it like an overflowing waterfall.You gulp and take three steps back. There’s no doubt about this. This water dragon is the raincoat figure’s Ultimate Skill. All is frozen for a moment. You take in the visage of the dragon. The raincoat figure stares coolly back. Then they scream, a piercing howl that echoes through the rain, and the dragon surges towards you. Oh, shit. >Counter with your own Ultimate Skill.>Run for your life.>Dodge through the dragon’s attacks.>Shoot at the raincoat figure.>Custom option.
>>1101287>Counter with your own Ultimate Skill.I have absolutely no idea what this will do, but everyone knows that fights are won by escalating and destroying the immediate area.
>>1101287>Counter with your own Ultimate Skill.
>>1101287>>Dodge through the dragon’s attacks.>>Shoot at the raincoat figure.
Lunch time. Break for thirty minutes...
>>1101287>Dodge through the dragon’s attacks.Does anybody regret not asking Florence for help?>Shoot at the raincoat figure.
>>1101419Yes but we'll never mention it to her. Just act all tsundere about it while she stands there with a knowing smirk.
>>Keiichi: Use your Ultimate Skill.“Fuck this!” You roar, not because this oversized lizard is about to wipe you out, but because you’re running high on adrenaline and there’s no other choice but to activate your Ultimate Skill. With your current mana reserves, it will drain every last drop out of your circuits. You’ll suffer the effects of mana exhaustion for yet another bloody time and Akasha-Alea will be all like ‘I told you so, you foolish boy’ and launch into another lecture about why you should commit to your mana pool expansion exercises. Those piss you off in ways you can’t even begin to describe.…ah, the dragon is about to bite your head off. Better get to it, now!You hoist your rifle up. You direct the last vestiges of your magic into the body of the firearm. You squeeze the trigger. Rain falls in your vision. You fire. And fire. The rifle emits a deafening roar. Heat shoots up your arms, threatening to cook them into lumps of meta. You know this and then you fire some more. The goddess of firearms is embracing you, her slender arms wrapped around your neck, her tongue whispering sweet words of power into your ear. Her power flows through your blood vessels, forms in your eyes, bolsters your arms, rejuvenates your tired muscles. All five senses taste ash, acid, metal and black powder—the modern incarnation of humanity’s violence. No matter how much the gun shakes and jumps, your stances keep steady and never buckles, not even by an inch.That is Akasha-Alea’s Infinity: your Ultimate Skill, defined as the power to fire endlessly without thought for ammunition consumption, recoil or reload. For at eight seconds, at least.But the bullets fired in those eight seconds are enough to shred the water dragon into chunks of liquid. There's enough holes in the beast to resemble a cheese grater. The mana dissipates. It collapses with a humongous splash. The raincoat figure can only stare as its trump card is reduced into bits, disappearing into the ground. Then they fly back into a wall as you empty your magazine into them.The raincoat figure slides down against the wall and lies still.Victory is yours. You bask in the glory. Then the rifle clatters to the ground as the adrenaline releases itself from your body and all effects of exhaustion batter into you at once. Your vision is fading. This is not good.>Go to a hospital.>Inspect your fallen opponent.>Call your sister.>Call Florence.>Call the police.>Go back home.>Custom option.
>>1101770>Call Florence.Get her to come here, while waitng for her>Inspect your fallen opponent.
>>1101770>Call the police.Should probably get raincoat-person locked up
>>1101770>>Call the police.then>>Call Florence.then>>Call your sister.
>>1101770>Inspect your fallen opponent.>Call your sister.
>>1101770>>Call your sister.then>Call the police.>>1101790>>1101792>>1101810We might only get one call, better someone here or the police than someone unassociated with all this.
>>1101790>>1101810>>1101871Why are you calling her when she has nothing to do with this?
>>1101770>Call your sisterwhile>Inspect your fallen opponent
“A decent effort. Night-vision is susceptible to light. You could have blinded her with your phone’s torch and rendered her unconscious shortly after.“I’m about to collapse flat on my face and you’re criticizing my performance?”“Yes, because I am your mentor.” Akasha-Alea responds with her characteristic seriousness. “You better inspect your opponent while you still have the time.” Her voice vanishes. Typical. She’s not in the habit of talking much during your fights either. Wants to make you learn things for yourself, apparently.Your head is pounding. Black spots pop and poke at the edges of your sight. Every step is a pull through a sea of mud. Picking up the rifle is like shaving days off your lifespan. Nevertheless, you do it, because to fail is to incite the irritation of the high spirit of firearms.>>Keiichi: Inspect your opponent.“Time to find out who you are, you bastard…” You’ve trudged over to the unconscious figure and are now crouched down next to it. You grab the hood of the raincoat and feel exhaustion take another stab at you. God, some mana pills would be great right about now. Shaking your head, you give the hood a good yank. It comes off easily and you get a clear view of the face of your mysterious assailant. You stare. Your eyes widen. You gasp.You didn’t know what you were expecting, but it wasn’t this.“A…girl?” You stammer, slowly.A high-schooler, to be precise. One your age. She looks upper-class, is your first impression. A fine braid runs across the crown of a head of refined sky-blue shaded hair. It’s plaited at the back, tied up by a silver silk ribbon. Raindrops gently pitter and patter on soft, cream-colored skin, nary a blemish to be seen. Her features are arranged in an expression of peaceful sleep, a sharp contrast to the relentless figure that attacked you. Her breath rises and falls, gently. A wound on the side of your head is present, likely from the plastic bullet that you fired there. You do not speak, because your brain is still in the process of being stunned by this new information. Numbly, your hands reach for the buttons of the raincoat and undo them. There areclothes underneath. A white shirt, a navy blue shirt and a lace ribbon. Also, the emblem of a mighty wolf balanced around a school crest. You recognize it immediately. “This…this…” You swallow, unable to believe your eyes. “This is a Stonewolf High uniform!”
>>1102100Ten bucks Florence hired this girl to kill the man.
>>1102100Yet another new addition to the harem>inb4 imouto and idol start accusing K1 of trying to molest an unconcious girl.
>>1102100>Night-vision is susceptible to light.I had a feeling.
>>1102197Idol isn't even in the area and imouto is trying to keep a dude from bleeding out.
Questions slam into your mind with the weight of a dozen sledgehammers. Why is a Stonewolf girl here? Why did she dress up in a raincoat and attack you? Why did she try to stab Seiichi Ina in the first place? Have you fought her before? What’s Florence’s relation to all of this? Damn it, so many unknowns, and not enough facts! A chill crawls through you. You suddenly feel cold. All the warmth has disappeared from your skin and the freezing rain is what remains. Your teeth is a chattering mass of enamel and raw pain. You glance down and see how swollen your clothes are. No wonder why; they’ve been soaked in the rain for almost an hour. You need to get out of here, fast.>>Keiichi: Call Airi.You fumble for your phone, nearly dropping it in a small ditch of water, and select the first option that appears on speed dial. Unlike the call with Florence, it gets picked up straight away.“Onii-chan?” You’ve never been more relieved to your sister’s voice. “Airi.” You croak. "Hey."“Where are you?”“Shibuya railway. Construction sites.” You grunt, taking a step for the exit. “Fought the guy I chased after. It was a Stonewolf High student…”“A…what?” Airi cries. “Stonewolf High? What’s going on, onii-chan?”“I got into a fight. I won, but I’m super tired from it.” You reply. “I’m going to try and head home now. How are things on your end?”As soon as you say that, your legs decide they can stand no more and give way. You sink to a kneel. Then you collapse like a worm, your cheek pressed against the muddy concrete.“What was that? Onii-chan?” Airi shrieks, tinny and shrill from the distance between your ears and the phone. “What happened?”Darkness encroaches. You try to respond. “Onii-chan!”You fail.All goes black.
When you regain consciousness, all you can think is ‘Oh no, not again’. White ceiling. Fluorescent lights. The scent of bleach and cheap flowers. Magic circuits reacting to healing spirits floating through the corridors. Welcome to the hospital, Keiichi Hirayama. What is this, your thirteenth visit since you came to Shibuya? Either way, enjoy your stay.You sit up in your bed, snow white sheets falling off your body. You notice that your tracksuit and the rest of your clothes have disappeared. In its place is a rough hospital gown. They must have “You finally woke up.”“What happened?” You ask your mentor. “You fell unconscious.” She responds. “You and that girl lay in the rain for a few hours. An ambulance was then called on the scene to pick you up.” “How long have I been here?”“Two days. They diagnosed you with mana exhaustion and hypothermia. The healer spirits had a field day with you.” You blink, blearily. “What about the raincoat girl I fought? Where is she?”“Before you ask about that, shouldn’t you say something to your sister?”“Airi?”“Yes, the Airi Hirayama that is in the visitor’s seat, who is looking at you.” You direct your gaze to your right and see that Akasha-Alea is right. Your sister is there. She’s dressed in her school uniform, schoolbag beneath her seat. As her life-long brother, you are well-versed in understanding the mannerisms of Airi Hirayama. From her facial expression alone, part of her wants to you wrap you in a hug and never let go, another part wants to strangle you until you whimper apologies and the last part is shocked still.Oh.How do you respond?>“I’m sorry, Airi.”>“Where’s the raincoat girl?”>“Made you wait, huh?”>“Did you get my homework?”>Go back to sleep.>Custom option.
>>1102424>>“I’m sorry, Airi.”
>>1102424>“I’m sorry, Airi.">“Where’s the raincoat girl?”
>>1102424>“I’m sorry, Airi.”>“Made you wait, huh?”>I hate the Rain. Water dragons too.
>>1102424>“Kept you waiting, huh?”>“I’m sorry, Airi.”
>>1102424“I’m sorry, Airi."
>>1102424>>“I’m sorry, Airi.”>“Made you wait, huh?”Actually made it for once.Also there was a mistake, or maybe it was on purpose, up there where you called the enemy a "her" so no surprise there. Student and stonewolf were still surprises though.
>>1102424>“I’m sorry, Airi.”>“Where’s the raincoat girl?”
Under these circumstances, there’s only one reasonable thing to do: apologize. Thus, you do so. “I’m sorry, Airi.” You hang your head at her. God, you’ve fucked up this time. Airi has never enjoyed it when you’re hurt. There was a time where you got into a fight because you were angry at your classmates making fun of your sister. You were covered in scrapes and bruises. When the eight-year old Airi saw this, she burst into tears and begged you never to get hurt on her behalf again. You felt like scum back then and that’s how you feel right now.Airi gives you a long look. She sniffles. “Do you know how worried I was?” She asks.“A hell lot, I would imagine.”“Hypothermia. Mana exhaustion. A wound on your chest and a tiny amount of blood on the attacker’s knife. The possibility of being unconscious for a week on end. Onii-chan, try to imagine how I felt when I heard those!” Airi cries, stomping forward until she’s at your bedside. “Imagine what mom and dad felt when I told them this!”You wince. Yeah, that does not sound good. Like, at all. “It’s not a big deal.” You try and comfort your sister. “I’m all better now. And I didn’t get crippled or anything.”“I know you didn’t, but you could have at least called the police or something!” Airi continues. “You could have ran as well! Why did you decide confronting the attacker was a good idea?”“You know my mentor wouldn’t have forgiven me if I did.” You reply. “And besides, you would’ve done the same, too.”She stops, then sighs in exasperation. “Battle maniacs, the lot of us are. I know you’re right, but I don’t like it.” She says, miserably. “You still could’ve been more careful.”“I’ll try to be in the future. Again, I’m sorry for worrying you.” She gives you a long look, then reaches forward and wraps you in an embrace. You feel the pulse of her magic, the familiar scent of her skin and the warmth of her existence. There’s little else in the world that’s as comforting as this.
“I forgive you, onii-chan.” Airi whispers. “Just…try, alright? Please. For me.”You can’t say no, not to your beloved little sister.The two of you leave the embrace. Now it’s time to get down to business. “Airi, what happened on your end?”She hesitates, then launches into an explanation. Through the use of her blood arts, Airi managed to barely stabilize Seiichi Ina’s condition long enough for the paramedics to arrive. They carted him into an ambulance. That was when she received your call. After it got abruptly called off, she called the hospital again to send another ambulance to the railway construction site. There, they found you and the raincoat girl lying on the ground and immediately loaded you both on a stretcher. Then they hauled you both in to back of the vehicle and left the site.Seiichi Ina lost a lot of blood. His wounds needed stitches. The possibility of trauma from the stabbings wasn’t discounted. Any questions you want to ask him will have to wait until he gets out of his coma. Yeah, you couldn’t believe it when you heard it, either. A fucking coma? God damn it! Does the universe derive a sick pleasure from keeping you and your family in the dark?As for the raincoat girl, she was taken into the hospital on account of blunt force trauma, mana exhaustion and hypothermia. A similar case compared to yours. Thanks to Airi’s testimony via mind probe, providing evidence that the girl was the one who stabbed Seiichi Ina, the girl was assigned the role of the assailant, thereby preventing you from being arrested when you woke up. The girl can’t be arrested, though. She’s also in a coma. This can’t be a coincidence. The palm that hit your face upon hearing this piece of news wasn’t a coincidence, either.
“What day is it?”“The 3rd of May.” Airi replies. “You’ve missed two days of school.” “I bet Michiko and the others have heard all about me…” You grumble. “The rumour mill is going to have a field day with this…”The consequences of fighting a Stonewolf High girl dressed in a raincoat on a stormy night were unknown to you before the trial, but as now you are aware. Aren’t you a lucky boy? They include mandatory medication, an extended stay in the hospital (Nina’s uncle probably stretched out your visit to try and find out what the hell was wrong with you), daily visits from your little sister and the blonde diva of True Hearts Academy burning a hole in your head with her furious gaze.You look at the distinctly unamused Michiko, then at Nina Takai fiddling with a game console and finally at a smiling Hideki Nishio.>“What do you want me to say?”>“If only there was someone to help me back then…”>“I’m not sorry.”>“Okay, I’m sorry. Don’t hit me with your stand.”>“You’re offensively pink again.”>Custom option.
>>1102834>>“I’m not sorry.”>>...>>“Okay, I’m sorry. Don’t hit me with your stand.”
>>1102834>>“You’re offensively pink again.”>>“Okay, I’m sorry. Don’t hit me with your stand.”
>>1102834>“You’re offensively pink again.”
>>1102834>"I'm not sorry.">"I'm sorry. Please don't hit me."
>>1102834>>“You’re offensively pink again.”>“Okay, I’m sorry. Don’t hit me with your stand.”
>>1102834>>“What do you want me to say?”>>“I’m not sorry.”>>“Okay, I’m sorry. Don’t hit me with your stand.”
>>1102834>>“I’m not sorry.”>>“You’re offensively pink again.”
You tilt your head. Michiko’s frown deepens. “You’re offensively pink again.” You note, staring at the ribbon on her school blazer.She twitches, not in the good way. “I take the time to visit you in the hospital and the first thing you do is insult my sense of dress?” she snarls.“I was making a general observation.” You answer.“You used the word ‘offensively’. That’s an insult.” She responds, hotly. “God, Keiichi, what is with you? I turn my back on you for one night and you go and nearly kill yourself by fighting a magus in the rain. Are you secretly a masochist or what?” “That’s a theory going around campus.” Nina drones, not looking up from her game console. A crease furrows its way across her brow as the screen flashes. “It does explain why he gets into so many fights. I haven’t ever seen him moan in ecstasy whenever you hit him…”Michiko’s cheeks turn red and she stares daggers at the psychic girl. Nina fails to care, merely shrugging. Hideki chuckles.“It’s Keiichi, Michiko. I dunno what else you expected.” He mentions and retrieves some papers from his schoolbag. “I, for one, prepared in advance. Here buddy, have two days’ worth of notes.”“Oooh, thanks.” You gratefully accept. Then you grimace at the contents. “An English test at the end of the week? Really?”“Yeah, it sucks. Better get studying, then!”“Maybe I can drag my hospital stay to the end of the week…”“I have chocolates.” Nina says, raising a plastic-wrapped bar. “Also, more DVDs for you to watch. Ouroboros Infinity OVA 4. It’s when the main protagonist is kidnapped by the clock girl and nearly gets penetrated, but ultimately…nah, I shouldn’t spoil.”“Am I the only one who’s taking this with any degree of seriousness?” Michiko growls, stamping her foot against the hospital floor.“Look Michiko, I’m not sorry. I accepted the risks and now I’m dealing with the consequences. It’s standard stuff. You should deal with it too.” You say. Michiko, for some reason, now looks as if she wants to explode. Her eyes are a maelstrom of womanly wrath. “Keiichi Hirayama…” She thunders, summoning magic in her palm.Wait, that’s wrong. That’s not how you talk to girls. If you don’t fix this, Airi will complain about your lack of tact. “Actually, I am sorry. Please don’t hit me with your microphone stand. I’m a patient here.”“I swear to god, Hirayama, the next time you pull another stunt…” “You’ll act all flustered and angry in front of him, but you’ll secretly be glad to have the chance to visit. You’ll even bring gifts and give them to him while pretending to be really exasperated at his antics. If he's not aone, you'll hide in the corridor and wait until everybody else is gone.” Nina interjects. “It’s okay, Michiko. You don’t have to hide your generosity. We all understand.”“Shut up, Takai!” Michiko yells, turning red.
>>1103084Why is Nina so best.
>>1103148Because she knows she's in one of those Chinese cartoons
>>1103203This is just like one of muh Japanese animus!>Ouroboros Infinity OVA 4.Mushroom still best girl, good thing she has no route with protag
>>1103264Still mad about you fags not becoming immortal so we could be with waifu forever
>>1103293>not growing old together and end up passing away peacefully within a month of each other
>>1103310>except the waifu was fucking immortal so she just watched you grow old and die
>>1103293>>1103320Dude we did choose immortality. It was literally the only vote in thorn did for it.
The hospital stay passes like all hospital stays do. You wake up, wince at the idleness lingering around your muscles and take a walk in the hospital gardens. You swallow medicine, choke down tasteless cafeteria food and wonder if pizza could be delivered to your room. There’s an abundance of time and you spend it by polishing off unfinished homework, listening to Akasha-Alea’s critique (“You need to expand your mana capacity, boy.”) and shaking your head at the things ignorant forum posters say on the Internet.You also think. You think about that rainy night, the trial of Seiichi Ina, his stabbing and the mysterious Stonewolf girl. You receive a name. Yui Modegi. Third-year Stonewolf High student. When you tell Michiko about this, she jumps up in recognition.“I recognize that girl!” She exclaims. “I fought her last year!”“You did?” You ask. “I don’t remember that.”“You must’ve been away or something. She talked big, but couldn’t walk the talk.” Michko mutters. “I don’t remember her using a water dragon, though…”Why did this Yui Modegi attack Seiichi Ina? A desire for revenge? Pure psychopathy? Was she a secret admirer of yours and despised the man for nearly destroying your chances of performing magic? Nina is the first to vocalize this theory and the look Michiko gives her in response can be translated into, ‘Not in a million fucking years’.Mind control, perhaps? It’s not impossible, but those kinds of magic arts are notoriously difficult to master and are forbidden in all first-world countries. Even if Yui Modegi was mind controlled, what purpose would killing Seiichi Ina serve?
It was no coincidence that a water mage was acting on a rainy night. Common sense of battle: if you can use your environment to your advantage, hurry up and do so. A wild thought strikes you. Had Modegi, or whoever was behind her, planned this encounter in advance? Were you her target all alone? Was the stabbing of Seiichi Ina a mere stepping stone in the task of eliminating you? It would explain why she lured you to an empty field, where her main element was paramount. The apartment may have been a trap too, the door deliberately left ajar to draw you in.But if the apartment was a trap, why didn’t Modegi just fight you in the apartment? The owner, Seiichi Ina, was already incapacitated and it was a closed space with sources of water nearby. She could have knocked you over with the water and driven the blade into your vital spots. Smaller traps could have been set up inside beforehand. Maybe she didn’t want the neighbors to hear? Then again, silencing spells do exist, some subtle enough not to be picked up by the common human. Even if the apartment was meant to ensnare you, why did the she act alone? Surely Modegi knew you hardly go anywhere without Airi by your side? One against two is a heavy disadvantage. Did she think herself as powerful enough to take on both Hirayama siblings by themselves? Or did she simply not account for her presence? Even the most basic of information gathering would reveal the bond between you and your sister.Not everyone is a genius, is what your mentor said. She may have been referring to you at the time, but no matter. Perhaps Modegi or her puppeteer didn’t anticipate Airi and had no choice but to flee. But that only brings up more questions. Why did she run all the way to the construction site? Tokyo’s public transport runs deep into the night. She could have jumped on a train, hopped in a cab or a bus and you wouldn’t have had a snowball’s chance in hell of catching up to her. Why stop and face you one on one without any backup of their own? Great, more mysteries that make your head hurt. Just what you need in your already chaotic life. To make matters worse, Florence visits on the last day of your stay.>“Oh god, why are you here?”>“I don’t have time for your teasing. Get to the point.”>“You know what they say about hindsight…”>“Did you sent Modegi after me?”>“Were you sufficiently entertained?”>Custom option.
>>1103388>>“I don’t have time for your teasing. Get to the point.”>“Were you sufficiently entertained?”
>>1103388>>“Were you sufficiently entertained?”
>>1103364>Even if Yui Modegi was mind controlled, what purpose would killing Seiichi Ina serve?Gee sure is suspicious that she gets mind controlled after we get onto some trail with the guy possibly being possessed. No relation what so ever I'm sure.>>1103388>>“Were you sufficiently entertained?”
>>1103388>“I don’t have time for your teasing. Get to the point.”
“Were you sufficiently entertained.” A pause. “No, don’t answer that. I don’t have time for your bullshit, Rutherford. Get to the point.”“What callous language. And I came bearing a get-well-soon gift. How uncouth of you, Keiichi. I think I might shed a tear in sorrow.” She responds, faking a sob.“This is a gift coupon for an expensive perfume shop!” You exclaim, waving the gold-plated sticker around.“They sell male products.” Florence replies, and smirks. “As for your previous question…I’m afraid I wasn’t. One cannot be entertained by a battle they do not see. Although, it was satisfying to piece the puzzles surrounding your hospitalization.”“Yeah, yeah, laugh it up.” You grumble. “So, someone attempted to take your life. Now you know what it feels like.” Florence smiles. “How wonderful! Our bond is growing stronger by the second.”“Believe me, it was completely unintentional. Also, it was one of Stonewolf’s students that tried to kill me. Do you know anything about that?”“Yui Modegi, was it? I’m afraid we haven’t been in contact much. She’s in a different class and takes different electives. We have not faced on the battlefield. Perhaps she saw that my magic art was superior to hers and decided to abstain.”You narrow your eyes at her. “Is that the truth, Rutherford?”“What would I have to gain by lying?” She asks. “You can ask around Stonewolf if you don’t believe me.”“Tch…” “Please don’t make that kind of gloomy face. It suits you better when you smile.”“As if I would ever do it around you, Rutherford!”“Is that a challenge? I wonder, if I let you win in our chess games, would you make the slightest of a grin?”“No, that’s not happening. Not ever.”"Nothing gained, nothing ventured. In fact, let's play right now. I'll remove the rooks, bishops and knights, leaving only the two royals and the pawns left. That should be a good enough handicap, I feel.""Put those damn rooks back on the table!"And yet, even as you continue to hurl the usual banter towards the rich heiress, there’s a part of you that feels relieved she wasn’t the attack. Not that you would ever admit to it.
That'll be all for today. Thanks to everyone who participated. Writing was fun, as usual.I"m busy next week, so the next thread will be on the 10th of February, 9:30 pm UTC start.Archived Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/1092277Twitter: https://twitter.com/TwilightThornAsk fm (that nobody uses): http://ask.fm/TwilightThorn441>>1103264Shit, I knew I forgot something...
>>1103690I was having trouble thinking about best girl but it became clear to me. Florence is best girl for Keiichi and Nina can be my best girl, perfect.>>1103746Thanks for running Thorn, see ya next time.
thanks for running
So what were ya'll shitposting about? About the immortality-waifu thing.
>>1103758See you next time.
>>1103758Thanks for running Thorn!>>1103809Ouroborus Infinity a reference to Thorn's first quest, which ended abruptly with a plot dump of all the ideas he had for where it was going to go. In the end he got to choose whether to be immortal with our mushroom loving demon waifu or stay human. We chose immortality,
>>1103758>next thread will be on the 10th of FebruaryYou're great at choosing dates where I'm garanteed to lie drunk in a ditch somewhere. Regardless it's still fun to read the finished thread.
Keiichi bang his sister yet?
>>1105677Refer to that one hyocorou doujin except it's every night