He Who Walks In Nightmare


Ariel's allies enter a dream in the process of being made nightmare. This one has a defender of its own, and that defender's corruption requires a personal touch. Enter the Prince of Nightmares.

Date: 2017-03-26
Pose Count: 35
Dream Defender Ariel 2017-03-26 19:41:44 74158
    We start in an unfamiliar dream... This is, because Ariel has tapped most of the contacts she knows and has noted a possible need to reach out to anyone else THEY know due to a possible need for extra help. Arriving was as simple as falling asleep; Ariel handled the rest when it came to gathering the dreaming magical heroes.
    What appears to be a field of green gras and flowers spreads out as far as the eye can see, in every direction and towards all horizons. For all intents and purposes, it seems like a rathe pleasant dream, as a synchronized flight of jets overhead streak through the sky, trailing a rainbow of colors after them. So why here?
    "I felt a disturbance from somewhere around here- I iddn't want to check it out alone. I know everything looks alright, but it felt really bad..." She murmurs.
    Well, worse comes to worst, if she's wrong everyone can have a dream picnic.
Lacrima 2017-03-26 19:57:18 74160
Lacrima falls asleep. It's really easy for her to fall asleep. She just gets into her coffin and she shuts off and suddenly she is asleep. Other people probably wish they had it as easy. She wakes up in an unfamiliar dream of green grass and flowers and jets streaking through trailing rainbow colors.

She has a neutral expression about this as she looks around and then. Ariel. She walks through the grass and listens as she looks around. "It's a big grassy field. It will be really easy to determine what's here or we'll be searching a featureless field aimlessly. Hopefully the first one." she says.

Dream picnic. She wonders what her food would materialize as during a dream picnic. She resolves to not think about that too hard here. She merely just head tilts at Ariel.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-03-26 19:59:45 74161
Ariel asked for extra help, and Akashimaru has done her best to deliver. By this point she's almost getting accustomed to detouring into other people's dreams in order to allow them to cross over with her - as much as anyone can grow accustomed to the landscapes that Kunzite's dreams tend to create. At least Hokuto's dream was an easy ride by comparison.

Now the red-clad samurai stands at the shoulder of her big dark horse, her tessen folded in her hand. "If you felt something wrong," she tells Ariel, "then it's something we should certainly check out. It's not something we should take chances with." Resting her other hand against the horse's neck, she looks around at the field with keen dark eyes. "Do you feel anything now?"
Sachiko Hayakawa 2017-03-26 20:05:31 74163
"But why should they come here?" asks a small voice, not audible to the dreamers, yet not so far away.

"Because, that is the nature of dreamers," replies an older voice, quietly into the nothing. "They hope for things that cannot be; wish for things that should not be. Against all odds, they pray for the impossible, because sometimes the impossible can happen."

"Well I think it's stupid," replies the younger voice. "Why can't they just accept that none of it matters? Why don't they realise that there is no greater meaning?"

"Because that would be giving in to fear," replies the older voice, "and dreamers, by their very nature, resist fear."

"Then we shall have to show them differently."
Hokuto Minase 2017-03-26 20:07:12 74164
Hokuto finishes placing the last touches on a series of a dozen ofuda, setting each at the compass points about her bed. The ink-painted paper slips hang in mid-air where she places them, already gleaming blue with the power invoked in each. One set to ease her into sleep and hold her there until she is done, another to protect her body from any intrusions, and a third to alert her of any danger or intrusion in her room. Minutes after, she's abed and asleep, hands clasped over her covers like an enchanted princess.

In the dream, she's dressed in her ornamented miko's garb, much as she would when expecting a fight in the waking world. It's a simple counterpoint to Akashimaru's samurai armor, the bow over her shoulder fitting her to her older colleague's martial appearance. She reaches up briefly to pat the horse's flank, hand drifting near Akashimaru's, then falling to her side.

"I suppose one of these days I'll get used to this," she murmurs, remembering some of the dream-realms she's visited with Seishi. "Well, I suppose we should be prepared." She slides the peachwood bow from her shoulder, the familiar motions of setting the string and giving it a test pull comforting, if not precisely necessary.
Dream Defender Ariel 2017-03-26 20:27:07 74165
    It's bright and sunny, all seems right and well with this dream, so what gives? Even Ariel is starting to look a bit baffled when Lacrima points out the obvious. It's either going to be easy to find, or good luck searching this wide expanse of grass. Lips purse as the unicorn child flicks her tail nervously; afraid she might have accidentally called a false alarm. At least no one is losing sleep over this. Because everyone is asleep right now. Even Lucky is looking like he's ready to give the canine equivalent of a shrug; the massive star hound plopping back on his haunches to scratch behind an ear.
    It's a nice show overhead though, more planes from all eras, even a few sci-fi looking ones zooming around and leaving trails of colorful smoke in their wake.
    Until one crashes explosively. This is because the ground shakes, a powerful tremor making it hard to stand before a full on earthquake rips the ground open; something rising up. A stone spire reaching for the sky that another plane slams into. It's joined by several more, and then slate gray walls as the looming figure of an old, gothic, castle pulls itself up and blots out the sun, causing all but one of the planes to veer off wildly.
    "... Ah..."
    That should answer questions, then. "I get the feeling that's not supposed to be there." Ariel states the plain and obvious to Akashimaru.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-03-26 20:37:54 74167
Kunzite's a little slower to come into focus than the rest of them -- it may be similar to the way that he retained his own dream's form the once, when Akashimaru arrived with a white-haired eight-year-old. Self-image a little more fixed, in some ways a little less adaptable.

Earthquakes, on the other hand, prompt attention. And once he's reacting to that? Well. It's as dreams go; his coming cleanly and clearly into the field is nothing to be concerned about, nothing worthy of attention. As if he, unlike the rising walls, had always potentially been there.

Even so, for a moment all he can do is pick himself up from the ground and stare at the sudden spires. "It's always castles," he says with a hint of resignation. "Someday we'll find a nefarious power that makes its headquarters in an igloo, and none of us will know what to do with a single straightforward entrance."
Lacrima 2017-03-26 20:50:31 74169
Lacrima purses her lips and looks around. She raises her hand to try to do some sort of focus scan when jets crash and the ground rumbles and she stumbles for a second as she then lets her feet lift from the ground for a moment because she doesn't want to fall over.

A giant gothic castle rises out of the ground and she purses her lips. Familiar designs. The castle itself isn't familiar. She seems to search her thoughts as she raises her hand towards the castle and tries to feel this thing. She blinks merely once then recoils immediately, snapping her hand back and going into an almost defensive posture.

"That thing is... it is really really bad." she says. "It's a powerful emission. I really don't have a basis to compare it to. This is the most powerful thing I've ever felt." she says as her eyes glance to Kunzite.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-03-26 20:53:24 74170
the moment the ground shakes, Akashimaru snaps into a defensive stance, for all the good that can possibly do her against a castle rising out of the ground. As its spires block out the sun, she's left staring over her tessen with wide eyes.

"...I am pretty sure your feeling is right," she answers Ariel, still staring.

It takes her another moment or two to recover some sense of self-possession and relax her stance a little, attention flicking toward Norie at her words. "If it's that bad," she says, "approaching it head-on seems dangerous... but we can't just leave it alone, either. Unless anybody has any other ideas--"

Gripping her weapon in her hand, she starts forward.
Hokuto Minase 2017-03-26 20:55:49 74171
Hokuto - 'Hanabi' when in costume, although she rarely bothers to insist on it - looks around for a moment, as if searching for the source of the bad feeling in the back of her mind. The air show is certainly worth watching, and it catches her attention... until the plane crashes. Her free hand snaps up to grab on to the horse's bridle as the earth starts to shake, and even with that support the girl wobbles on her knees.

"I could try setting a ward around it," she suggests after Akashimaru speaks, "But it's ... huge. I don't know I could cover an area that big, normally..." She shakes her head, looking around again, as if expecting the castle's arrival to be merely the harbinger of more to come.

"I'm with you, sempai. But... don't most castles have a back way in?"
Sachiko Hayakawa 2017-03-26 20:59:18 74173
Just then, there is a loud cracking noise, like wood and metal stretching and groaning. A split forms in the main gate, moments before it begins to open. It creaks and whines and moans, as the gate swings not wide, but wide enough to allow a figure to pass through.

That figure is the form of a young girl, no more than eight or none, dressed in a beautiful many-layered dress perfectly at home in this gothic castle. The blouse and overskirt are a deep black, but the ruffles and lace at every edge are stained a deep, dark wine. Black boots adorn her feet, and a silver diadem crowns her head, marked with a single red gem at the crown. In one hand, she bears a tall scythe marred by an evil grinning face on the blade, and at her side is a short and ugly little dog with a spiked collar.

The little girl looks over the assembled, and a slow smile crosses her features.

"Welcome," says Memoria to them all, "to my master's castle. Please, come in, and stay a while."
Dream Defender Ariel 2017-03-26 21:27:16 74178
    Ariel is still a little wobbly after the ground comes to a halt, and it takes her a second of holding on to Lucky before she's close to completely upright again. But she takes a steeling break. Akashimaru is already on the move and-- there's Kunzite; who's arrival gets a small bleat of surprise, before Ariel actually settles down even more in the knight's presence. But she seems to wilt at Lacrima's assessment.
    Well there's only one way to find out. On the approach towards the castle, however, the one plane that did not veer off course plummets; a single figure leaping from the jet and flinging itself through a stained glass window before disappearing inside, if anyone looks up to see it.
    Because on arrival as the drawbridge lowers, the portcullis rises and the door opens to reveal... Memoria. Ariel... Has no memory of who the girl is, not truly being present for her last appearance. Yet Lucky growls... She curls fingers into her mount's fur to try and settle him, but it's not quite working. Aside from hearing that the dark energy emissoins off the castle alone are immense and terrible already getting her hackles up.
    "Um."
    Well, everyone was invited inside. And the interior of the castle is dreary and bleak, dark and chill, in spite of the warmth of the dream it suddenly invaded, and even that is beginning to drop, as though the castle itself were infecting the surrounding area with a dreary sense of foreboding. The stone walls are bare, lacking any sort of hangings or tapestries, even further sucking the life from the dismal interiors on the way into the grand entry hall. It is a voice from the upper level that calls down, voice carrying with a lazy sigh.
    "And here I thought I'd hide away a little longer, but if I'm not dealing with one nosy unicorn, I deal with another and her friends."
    He's a young man, dark hair slicked back, face obscured by a black opera mask, and clad in dark, but regal and royal looking garb. And at his side, curled up on the floor and looking severely curb-stomped, is another young man, dressed like a pilot. The whip on the floor at his side must have been what this particular dream guardian tried to put to use, with minimal result.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-03-26 21:36:40 74181
Akashimaru's query about other ideas does indeed prompt Kunzite to glance upward, to the last survivor of the planes -- but it falls, and he says nothing, particularly not about any possible survivors. Other methods of entry, check.

Other methods of entry with a young girl who's notably familiar: yes.

That plus Lacrima's note is not encouraging. But it's Ariel and Akashimaru he trusts to have an idea what they're doing here, and it's Ariel he follows. To ...

... really? The Phantom of Castle Kong Versus the Planes?

No. Don't mind the mask. Observe the pilot. Observe the girl, to whom Kunzite bows slightly and gravely in recognition. Observe the mention of another unicorn, and the black. Observe everything, particularly (with the faintest of shadows echoing, like a thin dark mist exuding from his own body) the energy flows around the castle itself; whether the chill and the dreariness are merely special effects, or whether the stones themselves are made to consume those who enter.
Lacrima 2017-03-26 21:51:25 74184
Lacrima frowns as she eyes Memoria. She remembers her. She has a dog apparently now. She doesn't seem here to fight. She's inviting them inside. While the darkness and chill and bleak it's putting out is probably discomforting to the rest of the group- she finds it relaxing and 'right' to her. She knows this is a bad sign, overall. Still- it's more like coming into the air conditioning after being outside in the sun for too long.

She takes in the sights. Well the lack of sights. No decorations or tapestries. Just bare walls. Something does seem wrong to her about this. Shouldn't a castle be 'lived in'. Even she /decorated/ her own bleak manor in town.

They arrive to what seems to be a finished battle for all intents and purposes. A young man dressed regally with a mask. She isn't going to attempt to sense this guy. She's pretty sure she'd get a headache. This guy screams 'lord of the castle' anyways. She searches her head. She searches through old customs. Nothing comes to mind. Poderoso didn't bow to anyone anyways. She's on her own here.

She doesn't have a noble title. Does she? There's always that nagging feeling that she should. But. She knows the term to use regardless. She lifts the hems of her skirt and gives a formal bow as she then stands back up straight. "I am Lady Lacrima." she says. She may be trying to be formal to give Kunzite time to do.. whatever he's doing- via formal etiquette.

"Are you the Lord of this castle?" she asks. "It is very interesting." she says. Interesting can mean any number of things, luckily. Such as 'it's interesting it's very bare'.

"May I ask what you intend to do that other?" she asks politely. "I find it's better to be hospitable to visiting guests. Rather than kill them." she asides. "Or.. twist them or whatever you intend to do." she says.

"Don't you agree?" she asks.
Sachiko Hayakawa 2017-03-26 21:55:57 74185
Memoria takes the time to make it a point to be near the dreamers; near, bu t not threatening them. Like a good host, she makes a point to escort them, polite in their presence. When the man in the mask makes his own introduction, she smiles brightly, then curtseys low to him--a lady to her liege.

Memoria straightens again at Lacrima's introduction, then scowls at her just a little, "You're not a lady. A lady has to have a noble name, noble title. You're a commoner. You should introduce yourself as 'Miss Lacrima'. Liars are not welcome, here," she notes with a bit of a sneer.

"And he," says Memoria, motioning towards her liege, "is no mere Lord, either. He is the Prince, and you should kneel before him and declare your fealty."
Seishi Tamashige 2017-03-26 22:00:14 74186
Akashimaru is really, really wishing at this point that O-Yasu was with them instead of... off doing whatever the baku does when he's not within her sight. But it can't be helped now. The whole situation has her back up; her shoulders are tight and her movements stiff as they enter the castle and come face to face with its occupants.

Tension has a way of making Akashimaru shoot off at the mouth.

"Too bad," she answers Memoria without stopping to think twice about it. "A ronin like myself doesn't have fealty to swear to anyone. Especially not to a Prince of nightmares."
Hokuto Minase 2017-03-26 22:07:50 74187
Hokuto hmms softly to herself, taking brief mental note as others seem to recognize the girl. As they enter the castle and pass through the halls, she looks about, eyeing the walls and windows, looking for patterns, things that might indicate something hidden. And then they enter the Grand Hall, and...

Guy in an opera mask. Of course. And pilot - right, that makes sense, the planes. Pay attention, she tells herself. She waits while Lacrima introduces herself, observing the reaction, muttering something under her breath about pretentious nutters.

After Akashimaru introduces herself - such as it is - she claps her hands once, then makes a brief but respectful bow. "I, Hokuto, heiress of Minase, am pleased to meet your highness. I fear I may not offer more than that, however, as my fealty is already owed to the line of Amaterasu. I am honored to have been invited, however." Shooting off at the mouth is her schtick, too. She's had a bit of practice lately at doing so politely.
Dream Defender Ariel 2017-03-26 22:35:21 74190
    "Not everyone understands what it means to knock politely under the auspices of being a guest." The prince replies pettishly to Lacrima. He proceeds to promptly ignore the fallen figure at his feet, resting a hand on the banister overlooking the assembled as he cocks his head to the side and sneers. "I have a use for him though. I hardly think anyone of you will like it, so I'll spare you the unsavory details."
    In essence: Nothing good.
    He clicks his teeth. "Oh no." Mused as fingers drum on the stone railing. "Not a prince of nightmares..."
    There is a moment here where Ariel goes as still as a bolt, not even breathing; topaz eyes staring upwards in an expression trapped somewhere between quiet horror and caught in a waking nightmare, and without thinking, she places herself silently behind Hokuto and Akashiamru, and proceeds toe REMAIN there, as the prince turns his attention to Akashimaru. "An eastern knight without a master. I haven't heard tales of your kind in a long time. I see the old knight's daughter really is pulling every thread she can. But."
    "I am the Prince of Nightmares."
    He has introduced himself, and a sweeping motion og his arm gestures all around, "And as my dear Memoria has bid you welcome, then so do I. For now."
Lacrima 2017-03-26 22:50:36 74192
Lacrima brushes he corset off a little as she looks to Memoria. "I own a manor estate. And land. I am a /Lady/." she insists. "If you do not like these facts, well, I am very sorry that facts don't change because you wish them to." she says.

She looks towards the Prince as she bows again a little more properly. She watches Ariel move. There doesn't seem to be an altercation happening here. She listens to the Prince. She doesn't seem particularly moved to save the fellow.

"If that is your way, so be it." she says a little cooly.

"What are you doing here, right now, though?" she asks. "This dream doesn't appear to be particularly interesting or important." she says. "Or- as you said- were you just hiding?"
Seishi Tamashige 2017-03-26 23:03:48 74194
Akashimaru's dark eyes stay fixed on the Prince, but as Ariel moves behind her and Hanabi, the samurai plants her feet a bit apart and stands just that little bit more firmly. Her sole concession to the 'welcome' is to fold her arms before her and tuck her hands into the depths of her sleeves, her weapon disappearing from sight along with them.

"You must know that makes us enemies," she replies tautly.

Lacrima is asking the pertinent questions, though, and for a half-second Akashimaru's eyes flick her way before they re-orient onto the Prince, waiting for his answers if any are forthcoming.
Hokuto Minase 2017-03-26 23:16:21 74196
Hokuto pauses briefly to reach back and clasp Ariel's hand, if the unicorn-girl allows it, spreading her stance slightly to better block the line between Ariel and the Prince. Her hands meet before her, tucked into opposite sleeves. She listens attentively, weighing the nuance of each phrase carefully in her mind. By the scowl that turns up as he finishes, she's just a little put out that he hasn't seen fit to acknowledge her own introduction.

"I've been threatened by scarier," she says, just a little tetchy. There was the one jorugumo, for example, who wanted to... well, no, better not to think of that here.

She offers Lacrima a pleasant nod, however. "Excellent questions, yes, yes. But, really, is Nightmare such a pitiful realm that it rates a mere Principality? No greater?" She shrugs. "I trust that you will endeavor, yourself, to be a proper guest, while you reside here in our friend's realm."
Sachiko Hayakawa 2017-03-26 23:21:41 74197
Memoria's eyes narrow at Lacrima just faintly. "Land alone does not make you a lady," she notes with a sneer, "but I suppose if you want to be a liar, that's your decision." She sniffs airily, then sticks out her tongue. Such a very mature nightmare?

Well she is like eight.

As for the size of the kingdom of Nightmares, Memoria offers no opinion. Instead, she leans down to scoop up the little ugly dog at her side and pet it on the head. The creature seems almost lifeless, its eyes glassy and its tail hardly moving. BUt it's breathing; it can't be entirely lifeless.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-03-26 23:45:14 74201
Kunzite inclines his head slightly to Memoria again, something almost a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. Only his mouth. It never touches his eyes. "It's been seventy years since birth, rather than others' respect, determined such things in the waking world," he says. "And surely it befits a lady to treat with respect, herself, the titles that others claim from other domains."

He inclines his head then in turn to the self-proclaimed Prince, not so deep as not to be able to see him. And not a bow. As Hokuto said -- 'our friend's realm.' "My fealty, also, is sworn elsewhere, and not to be swayed despite the young lady's entreaty. I am Kunzite." As if the name were, itself, a title that placed him on a level to speak with Princes without overgreat formalities.

No questions, from him. The girls have questions, and declarations, and while he'll keep up their level of etiquette -- this is a place they're stronger than he.
Dream Defender Ariel 2017-03-26 23:56:34 74202
    "I know that quite precisely." The Prince replies curtly. Shadows swirl at his feet as a simple and utterly uncomfrotable looking throne rises from the stone behind him, and he dumps himself back into it unceremoniously. Proceeding to prop his chin on his hand and cross his legs, the ruler of nightmares clicks his tongue. "Your friend's realm?" It almost moves him to laugh, a sharp chuckle beginning only to be cut short. "No no, that's where you're wrong, this is my castle. The dream beyind its gates will be mine soon, as have all the others I've touched."
    He sounds almost bored; as if he has done this before; swooping in to a nice dream and twisting it terribly to suit his tastes, "I'm simply doing here what I've been doing for a long, long, time. Dreams are for the weak. Hope is a lie, and happiness is false. I simply show things for what they are." Stated as he looks toward Kunzite, the knight's introduction drawing his gaze, "I don't want fealty. And I think you already do my job for me in your own sleep."
    He takes this moment to prod at the fallen dream guardian at his foot with the toe of his boot. "When their guardians come to stop me, I just. Convince them to help me along with my work. Just like I did with that one's mother." He admits airily, motioning for Ariel behind Hanabi. Ariel who seems to really need that handsqueeze as a result.
    Ariel who begins to wilt on hearing what he has to say.
    "Now. I have business to attend to shortly. I'd offer to let you all stay longer but. The other residents of my castle can be a bit.. Bloodthirsty."
Seishi Tamashige 2017-03-27 00:11:17 74204
It is not the shock it could have been - some of them, at least, were mercifully forewarned - and Akashimaru only narrows her eyes a little at the Prince's word. Those eyes glint with a dangerous brightness, and her voice is low and clipped: "I see," she says. Sou ka.

Her hands slip free of her sleeves, revealing a glint of red light along the polished line of the Shinken she is still holding. "In that case--"

In one smooth motion her arm sweeps forward, thrusting the Shinken towards the Prince to point at him as though in accusation. "Know this, sower of nightmares," she declares. "This Akashimaru will never submit to you. What you have taken and corrupted, we will reclaim, until all of your nightmares are broken and you have been proven wrong. This I vow upon the cord of fate."
Hokuto Minase 2017-03-27 00:16:38 74205
Hokuto nods, and withdraws her arms from her sleeves, revealing a half-dozen ofuda already energized and alight. "What she said," she answers him, with a nod to Akashimaru. "Crawl yourself back into your hole and pull the lid back after you. I've seen scarier in my breakfast cereal."

She's clearly given up all pretence of politesse at this point. Her usual sarcastic irreverence is back, in spades. "This is not yours, it shall never be yours, not even if Birnam Wood should come to Dunsinane Hill." With a snort, she tosses the paper slips into the air, where they form a ring around the dreamers, floating at chest-height.

"I've cured worse dreams with a mug of cocoa and a stuffed animal."
Lacrima 2017-03-27 00:20:18 74207
Lacrima keeps her neutral expression. She does bite her teeth a bit. Nrg that familiarity cuts deep here. Not this man. Things in her own magical memory of the other vampire. 'I'm not him.' she thinks. 'No, we are not.' answers back the voice in her head.

"If you continue this course of actions, you know you will die. Right?" she asks. "I am of the darkness too." she says. "-and even I know you'll anger the wrong people eventually. Maybe not us. But someone. Maybe not this year. Or next hundred. But probability isn't on your side given past events." she urges. "-and I chose to stand with my friend. Rather than this darkness."

"We'll leave today. Next time may be different." the vampire says.

Her eyes look to Memoria and she frowns at her. She doesn't turn her back though. She'll start to turn and leave only when the others do.
Sachiko Hayakawa 2017-03-27 00:21:08 74208
Chastised by Kunzite's admonishments of politesse, Memoria scowls a little, then raises her chin, but does not argue. Instead, she wraps her arms around that scythe so that she can free her hand to pet the puppy. She seems content to be silent, for the moment.

That moment passes, hwoever, when her Prince begins to dismiss these travelers, and their response is to reject his suggestion with rudeness. A deep frown, and then she notes, "Entering our castle, as our guests, and this is how you repay us? With threats and pithy words of hope?" A roll of Memoria's eyes, and then she beckons towards the gates, "Begone, begone! My prince is busy, and you have spoiled his audience!"
Kazuo Takeba 2017-03-27 00:24:01 74209
"It ill befits a Prince to lie when both he and his audience know he lies," Kunzite says, and there's a faint echo of Akashimaru's tone in his. He steps a little forward, enough to bring up a hand and lay it on Ariel's other shoulder, placing the unicorn between himself and Hokuto. "It may be that he is, himself, afraid to consider those lies too closely; afraid to let himself know the strength in dreams of the future, or that hope ceases to be a lie and happiness ceases to be false in the moment in which one learns to find them in others, and to look for them in unexpected places."

He does not risk looking at the pilot. But he's speaking to the fallen man as much as to the Prince whom he overtly addresses, and as much as to Ariel.

Next time may be different.

That truth he leaves to stand on its own.

And he glances to Akashimaru, again. To follow her lead.
Dream Defender Ariel 2017-03-27 00:46:52 74211
    Threats and venom are levelled his way. And for a long moment, the prince is silent. He stares down from on up above with an almost tired disdain in his eyes. "So be it." He says, not battling a single statement with retort. "If that's how you all feel, it would be quite hopeless for me to try and change any of your opinions wouldn't it?"
    A motion of his hand indicates for Memoria to calm and let it pass. "But I was not lying. I suppose that is where our ocnvictions clash; where the truth to me is lie to you, and your truth are lies, to me. Next time will be different yes. That much I can promise to this Akashimaru." He says. "I've been at this a very long time, and for all who I have angered, I have yet to encounter the 'wrong' people. But if you think yourselves the ones, then come. Let me clutch thee." Asided to both Lacrima and Hanabu.
    Ariel seems to flinch under Kunzite's hand before she's tugging, quite keen on leaving when given the chance. Nothing intervenes with everyone's exits, anyway.
    For now.
Seishi Tamashige 2017-03-27 00:55:29 74215
They leave. Every step galls Akashimaru like blisters on the soles of her feet, but what else can they do?

There is a time and place. For all their declarations of war, it is very clear that trying to pick a fight here and now would only lead to defeat.

Later, she promises herself as she lets Ariel lead them out.

As she steps off the end of the drawbridge, however, she stops and turns back, long enough for one more act of defiance. The Shinken flashes in her hand as she raises it, a burst of crimson light - and within that light, the long pole of an old-fashioned nobori, a tall white banner that she thrusts sharply into the ground.

Where the end of the pole digs into the earth, red crests and ripples outwards, a profusion of spider lilies springing up out of the ground in all directions, breaking against the castle like a wave.

Upon the white banner is painted a single scarlet character: 'Perseverance.'
Lacrima 2017-03-27 01:02:02 74216
Lacrima mmmphs. It took nearly almost 300 years for Poderoso to 'meet the wrong people'. All it is, is a matter of time to her. Just because you never have, doesn't mean you never will. She frowns and turns finally, pretty regal dress fluttering in her turn as she looks to Kunzite in more of a side-eye with a softer frown. She doesn't look at Memoria as they exit.

She turns to regard the castle as Akashimaru does. She doesn't do anything. Nothing of her power could do much here on it's own. Like always, she'd just be feeding it. She watches what Akashimaru does and the sheer positivity of the act kind of makes her sick to her stomach. But that generally means that's a good thing right now. So she tries to keep her reaction to a minimum. She manages just a small flinch. It's uncomfortable but it isn't hurting or damaging her.

"We should probably go now before he changes his mind now." she says, raising up her head.
Sachiko Hayakawa 2017-03-27 01:03:51 74217
Calm? Calm?! They're threatening her Prince in his very home! The nerve. Rude, lying, foolish ... Memoria doesn't actually take actions, though the anger is clear on her features. The young lady of nightmares strokes her pet dog vexedly, but says nothing, as the dreamers are allowed to leave.

She disappears from where she was standing, and reappears at her Prince's side. "I still don't understand why we allowed them to come here," Memoria says to him. "Nor why they cling to hope so desperately."

Another figure, this one with fluffy brown hair, dressed far simpler in an apricot gown, walks up to lay gentle hands on Memoria's shoulders. "The same reason I once did, little one," says that second figure to the younger nightmare: "Because giving in is painful, even if it brings release. They will understand, in time. Until then, you need to keep offering them the opportunity, and remain stronger than I could be."
Hokuto Minase 2017-03-27 01:07:11 74218
Hokuto turns to go, following Akashimaru's lead, without a glance back or a word to the 'Prince'. The circle of ofuda follows the group out like a pack of obedient puppies, keeping perfect pace with them.

She flashes a smile when she sees the banner erected. "Good thinking. That ought to give him second thoughts." A gesture, and the ofuda circle about it, before spiraling in to plaster themselves about the banner's shaft. "And that ought to make for thirds." She flashes the samurai a grin.

"Shall we be off, then?" She offers Akashimaru her hand, with a nod to Lacrima, agreeing with her about that, at least.
Kazuo Takeba 2017-03-27 01:20:42 74221
Perseverance. Yes.

Kunzite doesn't speak as they leave. Lacrima's side-eye is noted, but that's a conversation for latr. Right now -- it's time to keep within Hokuto's circle. And to keep by Ariel's side, silently protective.

And, when Akashimaru plants her banner, not to smile. Only to give her the bow that he did not give the Prince within.