A Nightmarish Scenario


Date: 2018-08-17
Pose Count: 42
Icela 2018-08-17 21:59:16 94758
Over the past two months, there's a particular part of the Realm of Dreams that's been seeing an increasing attraction to Nightmares. At first, it may have simply been a coincidence, but the longer it goes on the more unlikely that explanation becomes, and more so because the density of nightmares is still rising. It warrants investigation.
Ariel Theodore 2018-08-17 22:06:00 94760
    Two months now. Two months, and Nightmares have been increasing.
    It's a worrying phenomenon to say the least, and once Ariel decided that looking into the situation was probably too risky to pull on her own, she shot out a few texts just before bedtime. Those that responded in the affirmative and go to bed just after will end up accosted by a tiny unicorn, riding her dog, into their dreams to pick them up...
    And now here they are.
    "It's... It should be around here. I don't know why, but a bunch of Nightmares have been popping up, and it might be a good idea to at least try and figure out why, if we can't handle it tonight."
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-17 22:09:15 94761
    Well. Here she is. In a dream again.

    No matter how many times this happens, it weirds Kokoro out.

    "I'll, uh... I'll do what I can. But it ain't like I got a lot of ways to solve problems," the tall girl replies, scratching absently at the back of her head. "You want me to smash something, or not smash something, just say it." Her talents lie more or less solely on the battlefield, or anything to which she can apply superhuman strength. While she's a lot sharper than she might first appear, she also knows what she's best suited for - and it's not 'sorting out dreamworld logic or dreamworld problems'.
Lacrima 2018-08-17 22:23:46 94762
Lacrima is more than happy to help Ariel. Of course she is! She goes to sleep and--- well here she is. In a dream that isn't quite her own. She brushes off the fancy dream dress that seems to appear in this situation, and the fact she looks more human than pale faced vampire here, though the purple features remain prominent. She smiles to to the unicorn. sliding up to her girlfriend. "Hello, Ari-chan~" she says softly, as she looks around. Huh.

"Well in my experience, hideous monsters don't just congregate for no reason. Something or someone is probably drawing them here."

"I wonder for what reason, in any event." she says.

"Mmmhph..." she thinks as she raises her hand. She tries to feel out for darkness-- anything horrid related. She's never tried this in a dream. She doesn't know if it'll work.
Icela 2018-08-17 22:42:32 94764
It's there allright, the first sign of the nightmares is a forest, thick heavy forests on ground that slopes upwards; reminiscent of the woods in southeastern Europe. It's dark in those forests, the canopy so heavy that no light passes through. Occassionally glimpses can be seen of figure, roughly humanoid but more features are nigh impossible to make out in the darkness.

Lacrima may be the first to notice it, it's definitely got dark energy, but it tries to stay unnoticed, watching, seemingly curious but not doing anything to approach. There's more dark energy, and stronger sources, beyond the woods. Where the woods turn suddenly to a bottomless canyon, with only a rickety rope bridge to pass through and strong winds. There's no immediate sign of danger beyond the visible hazards, none except for a little source of dark energy beneath the bridge, and more dark energy beyond.

It's strange, these are clearly nightmares, but nobody seems to dreaming them.
Ariel Theodore 2018-08-17 22:55:36 94769
    Having Kokoro and Lacrima with her is comforting to Ariel. Two people she knows she can trust in almost any situation. Though it sure would be nice if Seishi would just show up, too.
    Right?
    "It's okay, Kokoro!" Ariel pipes at the thunderous mahou. "You can hit anything I can't." She points out sweetly. It may be necesary if Nightmares are involved, after all.
    "Mmm..." But Lacrima has a point. There usually is a reason for this kind of gathering, and when the group makes it into the spookiest forest Ariel has ever seen since her home had been darkened by the blight of the Nightmare Prince's darkness, she pauses at the edge of the trees, hesitantly, before she nudges Lucky to continue on cautiously. Floppy ears perk up as she stares through the gloom at the figures moving through the darkness and haze.
Seishi Tamashige 2018-08-17 22:59:36 94771
In such circumstances, the sound of hoofbeats drifting in from the dark forest they've just passed through, distant but coming closer at a steady clip, might be unsettling to say the least. When the source of the noise catches up with them enough to be visible, however - well, Ariel and Lacrima definitely know the big dark horse and its scarlet-clad rider well enough by now.

Akashimaru had the snarling oni mask on, but as she reaches the little group, she pushes it up from her face and peers past them at the canyon and that very unsafe-looking bridge. "Well," she says briskly, "this all looks creepy. Sorry if I'm late."
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-17 23:03:32 94773
    "...yeah, I guess I can," Kokoro replies to Ariel. She looks at Lacrima curiously, but she's not at all sure what the vampire's doing, so she'll just let her focus. Instead, the hammerlass takes a moment to 'quietly' transform; there is no real way to silently upsize a hammer and engulf yourself in a crackling wave of lighting across your body, but there's at least no production to the act. As is her usual way, she takes a step to the fore of the group, acting as a defensive wall.

    She's about to give Akashimaru a brief nod, but they've emerged from a forest, and... well, huh. The wind isn't an issue, but on the other hand... "I dunno if that bridge is gonna hold me. I ain't light, especially with this hammer."
Lacrima 2018-08-17 23:09:03 94775
Lacrima lowers her hand and shifts a bit uncomfortably. "Dark energy sources. A lot." she says. "Some seem mobile others do not." she says as she lowers her hand and purses her lips. She crosses her arms and sighs. She looks to Ariel and nods a little.

"I'm not sure what their intentions are yet." she says softly. She gives Ariel a reassuring smile. And it's actually a smile!

She looks back to Akashimaru. "Oh!" she says. "Hello!, Akashimaru-san." she says as she looks up at the girl on her horse.

She eyes that bridge. Hrm. "It's windy, too. So flying isn't an option persay either or jumping over it." she says.

"Someone doesn't want us to pass here I think. Or get by barely doing so."

"...also there's a dark energy source in the pit so....." she sighs.
Youichi Mariyama 2018-08-17 23:17:18 94778
The tides of dreams take him where they will.

He wanders through the dark, most nights, in the space between dreams where spirits cease to be. Voices call to him from all around. Splashes of color roll like waves at the edge of his vision, beckoning him into someone's fantasy, or a half-remembered memory, or perhaps even a nightmare -- but a wholly natural one. Not the kind he seeks. Not the monsters who prey on dreams.

He ignores the temptations that might drag him into the oblivion of sleep, and marches on. Somewhere, there is something foul, something he is ordained to destroy. And the tide will take him there, if he simply lets it.

Youichi grows impatient, but Shouhamaru is ancient. He has waited far longer than a few dozen nights to find his prey, he is ready to wait hundreds more. But as his feet find the shores of a spectral forest rising from the mist of black, it seems he may not need to.

There are others here, human and monster alike. They have not seen him yet, and it would be better if they didn't, not until he wills it. So the blue-clad samurai, white hair lifting softly into the breeze, keeps to the shadows of the trees and lets his eyes fall onto a familiar figure on a black horse.

He shouldn't be surprised that the dead would follow him into dreams.
Narumi Nendai 2018-08-17 23:22:29 94779
Occasionally, through the trees, another source of darkness can be seen. There's a roiling mass of shadows filled with eyes that glow purple with dark energy. Once or twice, a single fuchsia eye is visible near the top. When Akashimaru joins the group by the canyon and Lacrima makes her proclamation, it starts to flow closer to the path and to the travelers, its form seeming to flow around the trees like a liquid or a cloud, rather than a single solid body.

It doesn't seem to notice Shouhamaru yet, but who can say for sure?
Icela 2018-08-17 23:28:26 94783
The darkness beneath the bridge doesn't move, but another nightmare shows up on the other side of the bridge. It could charitably be called a dragon, if dragons instead of wings were floating by means of a bunch of 'balloons' that appear to be identical to clown heads, and had clown-like colour patterns on its scales. It breathes candy cotton across the canyon, which and where it hits the ground there's a sizzle as things begin to melt. "Are you here to see her, too?" Twenty different voices ask in unison, one voice for each clown head balloon.
Ariel Theodore 2018-08-17 23:40:47 94787
    And there she is.
    "A~ka~shi~ma~ru~. Your timing is perfect!" Ariel greets, finding the ability to be chipper amid the bleakness. But then she purses her lips. Especially at the news she hears from Lacrima. Though the smile helps by several degrees; still unaware of Shouhamaru's presence.
    It's the bright purple eye-- and the amorphous darkness that gets her attention, and makes Lucky halt again. Is it... Approaching?
    Then there's the psychedelic balloon dragon. ... That speaks.
    The mass of talking balloon heads is eerie to say the least but if the nightmare is willing to talk first before aggression, Ariel will give it the chance.
    "Oh! ... Hello. Um. 'Her'? Who do you mean?"
Seishi Tamashige 2018-08-21 23:24:03 95381
Akashimaru doesn't immediately say anything as she gets a load of the clown-head balloons, but by the look on her face she is suddenly regretting having used the word 'creepy' way too soon in the proceedings. Her horse - extension of her will that it is - will not stand still, and there's a soft scrape of hooves and creaking of tack as the gelding fidgets in place.

Ariel is probably the best one to be doing the talking right now, and in any case Seishi can only think to ask the same question. She keeps quiet, for the moment...

...but she shifts the reins into one hand, freeing the other to slip her tessen from her belt. Just in case.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-21 23:34:14 95382
    Surrounded by dark energy sources according to Lacrima, a huge pit before them, and...

    That's one weird freaking dragon.

    Dengeki Shoujo barely has the presence of mind to give Akashimaru a distracted, "Yo." She's too busy goggling at the talking balloon dragon... thing.
Youichi Mariyama 2018-08-21 23:42:33 95383
What nonsense some dreams are. As a guardian of dreams, Shouhamaru had trained his sleeping mind, grooming his dreams until they were little less than visions. He would converse with mythological figures, follow invisible stairs into the clouds, slay his father in heated battle, and sometimes, find himself reunited with her --

But that is his mind, and he is no longer there. The dragon flying on a bizarre contraption of clowns makes that all too clear.

His left hand tightens on his sword. There's no doubt in his mind that he can slay this beast, but with so many intruders around, it is still too early to show his hand. He will let them get in a few words more, and when the time is right, he will strike.
Lacrima 2018-08-21 23:46:45 95384
Lacrima frowns. Incoming. An amorphous blob with an eye. Then there's, you know. a weird cotton candy spewing dragon with clown balloon wings. "Well." she says with bated breath. "That isn't disturbing at all." she says bluntly and dripping with sarcasm in a lower voice to the group.

She leans over Ariel's way. "Probably, she means the entity that has summoned or drawn all these things here would be my best guess." she says.

She leans back towards Akashimaru. "Hey, now is probably a bad time but um--erm. Nevermind. Later..." she says quietly as she turns back towards the creature.

She ahems and steps forward. "Take us to your leader." she says like she was a visiting alien. This should work, right?
Narumi Nendai 2018-08-21 23:58:45 95385
"Interesting," says a deep woman's voice in three different pitches simultaneously. The eye-filled shadow exudes from the trees, but keeps to the edge, as if it doesn't want to get too close to the travelers. Or possibly just so as to avoid looking like it's trying to cut off their retreat. The fuchsia eye emerges from behind a tree, revealing that it's part of a head on top which appears to have ... sort of like cat-ears?

It peers at the dragon for a moment, then turns the fuchsia eye to the others, and in particular Ariel. "Greetings, denizens of the waking world," she says in clipped, precise Japanese. The voice seems to come from the entire mass of shadows at once. "We are the Phantasmal Eyes." Maboroshi no Manako. "We found ourself experiencing ... a quite inexplicable compulsion to travel to this region." The fuchsia eye turns up to the balloon-dragon, almost questioningly.
Icela 2018-08-22 00:03:50 95386
The balloon dragon laughs in unison with itself upon being asked who it's talking about. "Our graceful host, of course. She who called us here, have you not come because you heard her summons?"" The unison-talking heads turn towards Maboroshi no Manako and Lacrima, "Come hither and meet our host if that's what you desire; but remember the one rule. Our host is sacrosanct." It turns its back towards the group, either failing to notice or uninterested in Shoumaru's hostility.
Seishi Tamashige 2018-08-22 00:47:49 95388
"I'll try and remember to ask you later," Akashimaru murmurs at Lacrima's abortive aside... mostly to herself, under the circumstances.

When Maboroshi no Manako emerges to introduce itself (themself?), her eyebrows shoot upwards and her dark eyes widen. There's a tense second or two where her mount stamps and jigs uneasily in place, while the scarlet-clad samurai looks from the balloon-winged clown-dragon to the Phantasmal Eyes and back like she's trying to decide which is the more immediate threat.

Soon her breath hisses out between her teeth. "Just for the record," she says conversationally, "basically none of this looks promising. I'm not a fan of making promises before I know what's going on, but--"

Here, Akashimaru looks toward Ariel... only to realize that at some point between Maboroshi no Manako emerging from the shadows and the dragon answering the question that was posed to it, the unicorn girl has scampered off.

The look on the samurai's face is, momentarily, priceless.

Rallying, she redirects the rest of what she was about to say towards the dragon instead, tone turning rather dry. "Have we any assurance that your host will let us leave when we're done?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-22 00:50:33 95389
    And now there's a phantasmal eye staring at her. "...gotta be honest, here, I got no clue what any of this is about." Kokoro, why are you talking to the strange eye-thing? "I guess we're going to see the... host, or whatever that dragon was talking about." There's a brief side-glance at Akashimaru. That's... a very good question, actually. Though she does have her hammer, depending on the answer.
Lacrima 2018-08-22 01:07:43 95395
Lacrima can sense Ariel leaving. It's that tick of proximity reacting to the unicorn tear around her soul. She looks to a side glance. Ariel is going to check on something. She will be okay. Because if she isn't. Everything in here will be dead.

And it might not entirely her own doing at that.

She looks to Manako. It's obviously a nightmare or similarly aligned being, if it can hear this thing's call. She isn't hearing it. She isn't a nightmare. "Phantasmal Eyes." she says quietly to herself. She takes a deep breath. "I am the vampire, La Crima. We are investigating this too." she says to the Eyes. If the Eyes are not currently hostile, she sees no reason to be overtly hostile. She is curt. But this is not the same as hostile.

She looks to Akashimaru who brings up very valid points. She looks back to Kokoro and moves a little closer to her, and says more lowly. 'Be on the lookout. And be ready. I don't trust that thing. But let's play along for now. Maybe we can find out what's going on, and potentially resolve it peacefully.' she says. Ariel would want that, right? She thinks so.
Youichi Mariyama 2018-08-22 01:16:54 95398
As it always happens when he hesitated, the situation grew worse in the space of a few seconds. Seconds ago, he would only have had to puncture that dragon's balloon-wings to send it hurtling into the crevice below. But he had been too cautious. He'd let a shadow appear, and though occasionally figures in dreams could be more than they seemed, he had no doubt that this darkness full of eyes was another nightmare for him to cut down.

No matter. He will handle them both, and take the lesson he learned well in hand. If the intruders stay out of his way -- if Akashimaru doesn't recognize him -- he might have them down in as little as a few minutes.

Though his gut tells him it won't be that simple. Nothing in his life has ever been simple.

Shouhamaru unsheathes his sword with a cold shriek of steel, pivots on his heel, and lunges from the trees like a streak of blue sky across the darkened dream. For now, he runs past the manifold eyes, instead dashing to the very edge of the bridge and leaping toward the dragon, his katana point bared to strike.
Narumi Nendai 2018-08-22 01:23:30 95400
"How ominous!" Maboroshi no Manako says cheerfully. She nods to Lacrima. "Well, if this compulsion is new to you ... then I suppose you aren't beholden to any part of it. The question of what our esteemed host will then do," and she says this with clear sarcasm in her voice, "is much more open, but as of now, we see no reason to open hostilities unless you --"

And suddenly, Shouhamaru!

"-- do something of that stripe first, we suppose," the voice says dryly. She starts moving backwards on the path. "You wouldn't terribly mind if we place you between us and this newcomer? Just so that you might get a word or three in edgewise first."
Icela 2018-08-22 01:33:52 95403
"I can't speak for any other than mys--" The clown-balloon dragon gets rudely interupted, and is not a very strong nightmare regardless. It gets cut down without much effort, and the bridge collapses as Shouhamaru passes it. The good news is that the bottomless canyon is fake, and the remnants of that fallen bridge end up resting on top of nothing. A frustrated sounds as the nightmare beneath the bridge flees, leaving behind the grassy knoll the canyon was projected upon.

While unorthodox, the path forward is clear now, literally opening up as the shadows shy away from the group. A well-trodden path through the trees, leading to a clearing with a single tree at its center. A beam of light rests upon the pale figure that sits upon tree. A girl in long robes, sitting upon a tree. She stares at the group, eyes open wide, mouth agape. In one hand she holds paper, from the other, a pencil drops to the ground.

"You killed him." Her voice contains a multitude of emotions: shock, fear and anger. "Why?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-22 01:39:17 95406
    'Be on the lookout and be ready'. That's an instruction Kokoro can follow - that's something she understands. Even in a dreamworld. But the sword guy is across the gap and slaying the dragon before she can so much as break into a run. "Oi-!"

    And there's the 'host' for that matter. A host that looks utterly aghast at what just happened. And more than anything else, Kokoro's instincts are telling her that Ariel would absolutely not have approved of this. So her emotions are already boiling to the surface, tiny arcs fluttering across her arms, when she skids to a stop behind Shouhamaru. "Yeah, I'm askin' that question myself, lady, this jerk ain't with us. Listen, you, the hell was that for?! You got some good reason you felt the need to just jump out there and kill that thing?"
Seishi Tamashige 2018-08-22 02:00:03 95413
Akashimaru has the chance to flick a grateful look Lacrima's way for stepping up into the role of diplomat in Ariel's absence. Otherwise, she was going to have to try to take up the job herself, and undoubtedly would have made a grand mess of it.

That's about all the input she really gets to offer before things take a sharp left turn in the direction of pear-shaped. "Oh, for - now what?"

It's a rhetorical question and she doesn't wait to have it answered for her. With a swift, sharp motion she sends her tessen flying, a thin streak of red light that thuds into the ground between the figure in blue and the girl in robes. In the next instant the air is full of sparks, a flurry of embers both where Akashimaru and her mount had been until just now and at the point where the Shinken landed, where the girl in red (now horseless) has abruptly appeared to yank her weapon back out of the ground.

"Hold!" she calls sternly. "Time out! Too many players on the field and we still have no damn idea what's going--"

Her words break off in a startled intake of breath that sounds almost like a gasp of pain. She's only just now gotten a good look at Shouhamaru.
Lacrima 2018-08-22 02:01:29 95414
Lacrima huhs!? "Wha-----" some figure, they didn't see lashes out at the balloon dragon and suddenly she can feel that thing shift and there isn't actually a bottomless pit. She looks dumbfounded at that but then gets an annoyed look and storms across with everyone else.

She frowns. "Hey. Stop that!" she calls out. She looks to the girl with paper and a pencil? Huh...?

She leans over to Akashimaru. "I think this is the 'her' the dragon was referring to. It's like looking into the center of a black hole." she says as she leans back.

"Hello." she says as she smooths out her dress and bows. "I am the vampire La Crima. These are my friends. Who did that ghastly thing to your friend is not our friend. I deeply apologize. He was about to lead us to you." she offers.

She blinks at Akashimaru, and looks back. "Hey, are you okay?" she asks at that gasp.
Youichi Mariyama 2018-08-22 02:21:01 95421
There was a time Shouhamaru felt empathy. There was a time that cruelty was so abhorrent to him that he left all he knew behind to follow a path entirely new. There was a time he could have been moved.

That time has long since passed.

The instant the dragon and the ravine fades, his senses prick -- there is a dreamer near here, and he'd hazard to say that there's a link between her and the unnatural dreams that plague this place. It doesn't take long to find her, sitting in her tree. When her pencil hits the ground, so too do his feet. His eyes are appraising and pitiless, sparing only a glance to the intruders he knew would resist him.

"I killed him because he was an abomination," Shouhamaru replies, as evenly as if he's discussing the weather. "If her nature is good, then she was ensorcelled by its power. If her nature is evil, then it was created by her and left to wreak havoc on the world. Either way, it was right that it should die."

He looks over to the girl again.

"What I haven't decided is whether she must die as well."

Maybe he would have thrown caution to the wind and gone for the attack without letting her explain herself, but the interruption of Akashimaru throws him off just long enough to hold him back, narrowing his gaze to glare at the samurai as recognition washes over her.

"You are not as I remember you," he mutters, "but I am unchanged."
Narumi Nendai 2018-08-22 02:35:54 95425
Maboroshi no Manako sits back for a moment, just listening to the conversation. As soon as Shouhamaru is done speaking, she turns back to the dreamer before her. "Greetings, our most esteemed host," says the Phantasmal Eyes. "We cannot speak for the dreamers present, but are Maboroshi no Manako, but we would not object if you in particular were to address us as 'Manako-chan'." She glances at Shouhamaru. "We're afraid we've never had any sort of encounter with this enterprising gentleman before in his current life ... at least, we assume not. The others, we have merely ... not set eyes upon them in ... oh, fourteen months, was it?"

It's just audible in her voice(s) that if she had a mouth, she'd be smiling like the cat who swallowed the canary, as she just announces to the veterans of the Nightmare Prince's invasion that she was there, too.
Icela 2018-08-22 02:59:43 95433
"I'd rather you not try to kill me." The girl answers Shouhamaru, though there is no pleading or fear in her voice. Accentuated by the following line, "I am not done drawing my visitors yet." Priorities. Clearly, she's got them straight. "And I can't finish my drawing of the Coulrodrake now." She sighs and looks towards the others and considers there words, "You can call me Icela. You're not like my usual visitors are you?" She glances to Manako when the word 'Dreamers' is used. "If so I'm curious, do you know what date it is?"
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-22 03:00:25 95434
    "Well I got some bad news for you," Kokoro growls, taking a few steps aside and around. "That choice ain't in your hands anymore. I don't know what the hell's going on here, so until I get say-so from the one person whose word I do trust, nobody's dyin'. On either side." Punctuating the point, she takes a few more steps back and toward Akashimaru, hefting her hammer off her shoulder and into a two-handed grip.

    Then, there's a brief glance over her shoulder at Akashimaru. "Oi. Since when can you sword-teleport?"

    She's still standing at guard, eyes squarely on Shouhamaru, when Manako makes a revelation that hits her almost immediately. Fourteen months. That... that was a night with a lot of emotional baggage both going into and coming out of it. So for just a heartbeat, she manages to get Dengeki Shoujo's eyes off her opponent. They're back by the time she answers Icela, though. "Seventeenth, ain't it? Or... I dunno, I guess when I wake up it'll be the eighteenth?"
Seishi Tamashige 2018-08-22 03:24:12 95439
Shaken, distracted, Akashimaru only just barely manages to quirk a wan half-grin at Kokoro's question. It flickers across her face, there and then gone. "...been learning," she answers in a murmur. "This is my kind of turf, and all."

The thought brings back a little of her self-possession. Unfortunately, it's short-lived. Manako's words take her straight back to the night of the Nightmare Prince's assault on the waking world, to the horrible truth that night made clear.

She has no answer for Lacrima when the vampire girl asks if she's okay, can't restrain the shudder that rolls through her body. Fourteen months - five hundred years - the past simply never stays buried.

"Shouhamaru..."

Her voice comes out rough, strained, the pitch lower than usual. She holds her iron fan up before her, but her stance wavers, her other arm curling instinctively around her midsection. Even her clothing looks shabbier than it usually does, the red kimono sleeves tattered.

"...You're out of line. We fight the nightmares that haunt people's dreams. We don't kill the dreamer." A tiny jerk of her head towards Icela identifies the girl as the one she means, for Lacrima and Kokoro's benefit.

Under the arm she's wrapped around herself, the fabric of her clothing is beginning to darken. "...how can you call yourself unchanged, if you've forgotten that much?"
Lacrima 2018-08-22 03:26:03 95440
"Uh. Friday the 17th.... Friday the... 17th..." she taps her foot as she thinks. No that date has no personal meaning to her. "I'm not sure. This day isn't significant to myself. Is it significant to you, Icela-san?" she asks. "Excuse me a moment. There is a very rude person calling things names." she says.

"Hey. You." she yells out to Shouhamaru. "First off. You never bothered to talk to that thing so you really don't know if was an abomination or not." she spits. "It's awful to attack something before taking the time to get to know it." she says angrily. "It's so infuriating to be attacked for what you are." she says with some empathy "Nrrrrrgggfg..." is all she does to quell her anger. She's doing her best to play this Ariel's way. She isn't here. She's trying to do this for. She's trying to do this, without hurtling a dark energy blob around at something's face.

Manako mentions a timeframe and she thinks back. She narrows her eyes. She understand that. She frowns heavily.

She looks from Akashimaru to Icela, and nods to Akashimaru. She doesn't act on this information yet.
Youichi Mariyama 2018-08-22 03:55:20 95446
Shouhamaru must make a grievously frustrating enemy to these intruders. Several of them are inflamed with rage, or passion, or even sympathy for the creature he destroyed and the girl that sits in her tree. His face is nothing but an icy mask, eyes flitting from person to person as they speak, but never lingering to consider their words. He always returns to this 'Icela,' who admitted to creating monsters. Drawing nightmares into being is far from the most absurd summoning method he's seen.

That's all the information he needs. That's all they should need too, but this world was never perfect, and men always hesitate to do what needs to be done. Akashimaru is falling more and more to pieces with each passing second.

"I do not answer to you. If I choose to kill this girl, you will not stop me," he says offhandedly to Kokoro. "Akashimaru. You heard as well as I that she is the source of the nightmare I destroyed. Her mind is already corrupted. I no longer allow such things to fester." His head slips down to the swath of red spreading across Akashimaru's kimono. "You're right. Perhaps I am changed."

Shouhamaru draws his blade into his hands and brings it down in an arc to clear the obstacles in his way.
Narumi Nendai 2018-08-22 04:00:43 95447
Manako is immensely pleased at the reaction her revelation getting from the others. "The Coulrodrake?" she says, lazily floating around the group towards Icela. "Interesting! May we see what you have so fa--"

When Shouhamaru starts speaking, her fuchsia eye peers down at him, and she starts ... subtly sidestepping around the group, trying to move closer to Icela, never taking her eyes off him (or at least the eyes on that side of her shadowy mass). And when he makes his move, she surges sideways at breakneck speed, intending to interpose herself in front of Icela in a defensive position.
Icela 2018-08-22 04:08:58 95449
"The seventeenth? Friday?" Icela starts counting on fingers and knuckles, muttering to herself about dates and month lengths as she deduces the truth. "Oh. So it's been about two months since I went to bed then. Felt longer." Then she looks up to see Shouhamaru's aggression and she blinks. "You're quite the rude guest, you know that?" She smiles at the others and jumps out of her tree, "I think this party is over."

And at that point, something changes. The nighmares who've been drawn in and been complacent suddenly grow active, more aggressive. Icela herself stretches, "You know. If you can make your way here... I was getting bored anyway." And then she begins to casually walk away as her dream begins to devolve into clashing nightmares, most of the ire pointed towards those who have not been invited, but some of it at eachother.

It's a mess.
Kokoro Akakuma 2018-08-22 04:14:48 95451
    If Shouhamaru is expecting to either scare Kokoro out of the way or cut her down in a single stroke, he will be disappointed on both fronts.

    CLASH-crackle!

    When the strike comes, the red-haired girl steps forward, steps into the strike, and brings her hammer down in such a way as to interpose it between Shouhamaru's blade and herself. The point of contact crackles, a constant, rippling electrical buzz of clashing magical weapons. And the tall girl holds that clash, quite deliberately, making an open point of halting it just so she can get in a gritted smirk at the samurai.

    "Tch... cocky jerks like you drive me nuts. Standin' there forgettin' the first rule of a fight. Minute you underestimate someone, that's-"

    Oh lovely, now the dream's going bad. Very, very bad, very quickly. Much as Dengeki Shoujo might like to continue this particular kerfluffle, she's (usually) not dumb enough to fight in a burning building. So with a sudden, forceful push, she leaps back out of the clash instead. "...you and me, we ain't done, sword boy," she growls, before turning around to start swinging at the first nightmare to attack her. They need to get out of here, ASAP. She'll probably have to clear a path.
Lacrima 2018-08-22 04:29:14 95454
If Shouhamaru was going after a Nightmare, she might not be as inclined to get directly to try to get in the way. But she knows 'Dreamer' also means 'person sleeping'. She is assuming that dying in your dream like /that/ is like dying in real life, or at least some sort of hilariously bad damage.

So she tries to move suddenly and fast as she can, black energy wisp in her wake.

She won't make it in time to get in the way, but she has to try.

"Stop this!" she commands, her tone angry. It's all she can manage.

But then the girl begins to leave and suddenly it turns into chaos, because there's suddenly some sort of awful octopus with a vicious beak suddenly trying to snap at her and she isn't a fish or a clam or anything like that.

She'll run off and find Ariel. It'll be easiest for her to find her. When she does that. She'll run off with Ariel and anyone else who bothered to follow.

She wake up throwing up the lid of her coffin at about 3 AM in the real world suddenly and sits up- and it takes her a moment to realizes this isn't Saint George, Ryo, coming to put a sword through her coffin. Takes a deep hard breath, then merely close the coffin slowly and tries to go back to a normal sleep. As far as normal is for her.
Seishi Tamashige 2018-08-22 04:36:20 95455
"No--!"

In other circumstances, Akashimaru could react instantly, could surge to meet the attack. But in this moment, something is not right. Her movements are stiff, shaky; her body seems to want to curl around itself. By the time she moves, Kokoro's hammer has already caught Shouhamaru's blade. Before she can rally herself to take further action, all hell is breaking loose.

"We need to leave," she says, breathless and urgent. "Now."

She deals a few strikes with her tessen, the closed fan a blunt weapon to drive the nightmares back, but it's not much more than a temporary bid for space. Drumming hoofbeats break through the rising cacophony, and sucking in a deep breath, she manages to catch hold of the saddle of her big dark horse as it comes cantering past her out of nowhere.

Kokoro's efforts to clear a path haven't been in vain - still slightly hunched over herself in the saddle, Akashimaru steers her mount towards the other girl and the space she's cleared. "Up behind me!" she calls, reaching down towards Kokoro to help her onto the horse behind her. "And hold on tight!"

The moment Kokoro is safely up behind her, she gives the dream-horse his head. It's a mad, bone-jarring charge with a wild lurch or two when the horse has to launch itself over one of the remaining monsters in its path...

...but in scarcely more than moments, they're clear and waking up in the real world, leaving the dreamscape behind.

For now.
Narumi Nendai 2018-08-22 04:43:43 95456
Manako's fuchsia eye glances down at herself in surprise, then her shadowy "head" turns around to watch Icela's retreating back. "... Our host is sacrosanct, indeed!" she says, and her body shakes with laughter. "The 'urges' that child gave us were so complete, we didn't even consider not moving to her defense!"

Another nightmare tries to lunge at her. Moving like a snake, she slips to the side and impales it on a shadowy pseudopod. She peers down at it with detached interest for a moment, then unceremoniously dumps it onto the ground.

Manako then rises into the air, away from the dreamers. "We are intrigued, human child!" her voices call out after Icela. "When we next cross paths with you, we shall have to determine whether you are a threat or a boon!"

And with that, she flows away through the sky in another direction, away from the fray.
Icela 2018-08-22 04:48:14 95457
In King Penguin park, a pale girl in white robes appears in one of the trees. Looking up at the night sky, the Eidolon smirks. "This is going to be good." And then she jumps down from the tree and walks off, seen only by some high school girls who are out and about way too late, sparking rumours of a ghost in the park.