Castillo Oscuro - Ascent

Part 1 of 2: Lacrima and Friends (Ariel, Jiaying, Tuxedo Kamen, Kunzite, Dengeki Shoujo, Sailor Mars, Life Witch Joy!) fight through a monster filled castle to reach Poderoso's throne room. To Be Continued In Part 2, 'Castillo Oscura - Miserable Pile of Secrets'.

Date: 2019-05-12
Pose Count: 46
Lacrima 2019-05-12 00:22:01 104994

Something was bugging Lacrima. Ariel is good at knowing when things are bugging Lacrima because Ariel's picked up on the subtle nuances by now. Lacrima admits two things;

* She hasn't been able to access her dreamscape since they fought the last vampire ghost. Well. She has been able to. But she appears in front of the gates. And she can't get in. It's like things aren't obeying her anymore.

* She's felt ill for the past day or so. And wrong.


Lacrima taps her friends politely with the low down of 'it's time to basically handle this vampire issue for good and also if I'm cackling red themed vampire girl by the time you get here, something is wrong', and politely has Ariel tug you all into her dreamscape. She isn't red yet so that's a good thing!

Lacrima's dreamscape is an old, small Spanish castle manor-- a copy of one that actually existed at some point in time, a good hundreds or so years ago. Normally the entry point is the courtyard. Today you jarringly find yourself outside. Like someone sort of shunted you someplace else when you entered. Lacrima is here. 'Dreamscape' Lacrima, in her own dreamscape- has a few differences to her 'real life' self- mainly. Her skin is nowhere as pale. And she has Norie's blue eyes- but the purple hair and the fancy dress still particularly remain. Mamoru, Kunzite and Ariel are familiar with this version of herself. Everyone else- not so much.

"Dammit..." she says silently to herself. "--I can... feel things. In there and-- and-- him and--- this is all wrong." she says as she tugs a little scratchily at her arm.

She gently looks over her shoulder as people arrive.
Ariel Theodore 2019-05-12 00:28:24 104995
    When something is wrong with Lacrima... Ariel notices it very fast. And on hearing the admission regarding her dreamscape and illness, naturally the little unicorn was quite concerned.
    So naturally, once the planning and tugging on others had been handled and Ariel guided the way to the dark and foreboding castle of Lacrima's dreams, all that was left was to steel herself for what was to come.
    This is why the littlest unicorn is already in the silvery dreamsteel shell of her full plate armor, and Lucky, too, is clad in similar canine barding. And arms slide around Lacrima from behind in a gentle embrace. When she looks over her shoulder, Ariel is right there.
    "No~ri~e~... We're all here for you."
Miho Kagami 2019-05-12 00:30:35 104996
Miho knew, intellectually, that Ariel came from a world of dreams. But to actually travel there herself? While asleep? This is new.

Lacrima's appearance is equally new. "Hey, Lacchan," says Miho, as she flies over in her Life Witch Joy henshin under her own power. She pauses as she looks Lacrima up and down, but decides not to get all dramatic about it. "So, here we are, huh?" she says. With a wave of her hand, she summons the lengthy golden staff with the glowing heart-shaped emerald at the back end, and sits onto it side-saddle as she looks over at the mansion. "Wow. It's, like, it's almost kind of amazing that we're finally reaching the end here, y'know?"
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-12 00:34:07 104997
"Do you need anything we can give you right now?" comes Mamoru's voice-- the lighter and strangely still more confident version of it that comes of wearing a mask, and Tuxedo Kamen is there with Kunzite, also in an awesome cape as per usual. The masked defender of love and justice has a gloved hand on Kunzite's arm as he asks the question, indicating yes, he knows better, no, Kunzite doesn't have to loom at him. "Or do you want us to just go stomp in and tell that jackass that we're health and safety inspectors and we received a complaint?"
Rei Hino 2019-05-12 00:35:19 104998
Sailor Mars stairs off into the distance with one hand placed on her brow, squinting curiously and humming softly. "... Y'know, it doesn't feel THAT different from having a vision in here. Just less..." Sailor Mars pauses. "Okay maybe not MUCH less cryptic, but you don't feel like you're having a fever!" Okay, positivity out of the way, she crosses her arms. "So who do we punch?" She's been hanging out with Makoto too much, possibly. Mamoru says it a bit more eloquently, and Sailor Mars smiles at his version despite herself.
Kokoro Akakuma 2019-05-12 00:36:22 104999

    That's the sound of a thunderous girl taller than most adult women, standing there and looking at the dream version of Norie with vaguely-surprised curiosity. "Interesting look for you." She's only ever known Lacrima as the girl is now, in the outside world. But they don't exactly have time for the tower of magical might to stand and stare. Instead, she decides to get straight down to business, stepping past the group and stopping right in front of the gate, hammer still slung over her shoulder.

    "You need me to unlock the gate, or you got a less, uh, less rough means of getting in?"
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-12 00:36:45 105000
Kunzite's dreamself is always his uniformed self. Except when it's an eight-year-old. The latter, fortunately for everyone concerned, is not the case today, or odds are good that Akashimaru would've intercepted Ariel en route to avoid the poor unicorn seeing anything that would upset her too much again.

Also except when it's a Hot Rogue. It may only be fortunate for Kunzite that that one's not the case today. Ahem.

He's more than happy to stand tall and quiet and let the others do the talking, and to pretend that he would not at all have loomed at Mamoru. Really.
Jiaying Maki 2019-05-12 00:44:31 105001
Jiaying Maki is running late, something she's used to, but it may have been a while. To be fair, trying to force yourself to go to sleep isn't always easy. She's shown up in her original green! That is, she still sees herself as being green haired and the sorts. She might even be a bit annoyed that it's back, reminding her! She's wearing the armored coat that would be a three kingdoms style armor, her usual kung fu hero style clothes under and a proper guandao at the read. Sprinting in, sliding to a stop, she says flatly, "Sorry for being late. Nothing's on fire though, right?"
Lacrima 2019-05-12 00:45:48 105002
Lacrima blushes at Ariel's embrace as she takes a deep breath. "I know." she says. She notices Miho's glance at her and she does give an answer to an unasked question. "This is how I look in my dreamscape this is--- this would be my 'pocket world'-- like what we visited in the music sheets. Mine is still active because well. I'm alive... well. Undead..alive.. unalive..--- look it isn't important right now." she says with a soft cleansing breath, she says passively.

She looks at Tuxedo Kamen and says. "Nothing right now... I.. er. Ate. Last night. I mean. I'm... fine. I'm just.. strange feeling and odd and I'm pretty sure I just have this.. other vampire.. trying to take over my body. I mean. That's the general gist I get..." she admits.

Someday, years from now, it'll occur to Lacrima why Ariel imagined Kunzite as a hot rouge and Ariel will probably bashfully avoid the question. For now, she gives Kunzite and a nod as she looks to Dengeki.

"I have tried EVERYTHING to open that door. I have tried... flying over the castle and leaping into the courtyard and there's like... a barrier. I can do things out here..." she raises her arms to the dark woods that surrounds the moonlit castle. "But not to the building." she says a little sourly. "But I will be really frank. I feel things in there. Like. A lot of things. And sometimes I see movement by the windows. And I know here's going to be at the top of that tower...." she says pointing to the central tower. "....cuz..."

"...Cuz that's where I would go when I sit in the throne-in-my-dumb-dream-castle-- look---"

"What I'm saying is. I need that door opened. Then we're gonna fight our way to that tower and up it and then I'm going have some words with Poderoso about politeness and inviting oneself into my own damn home." she says as politely as possible despite the slight cussing.
Ariel Theodore 2019-05-12 00:56:31 105003
    Ariel holds the embrace for a moment longer, a contact that she cherishes more than anything in the world. But there are times for tender embraces and a time for action.
    And the time for action is now. Ariel slowly detaches from Norie and takes a deep breath as she turns towards the castle.
    Wind dramatically blows her cloak as she stares down the door and spproaches it with a purpose. Poderoso be damned, nothing will stop the little unicorn from doing all she can for the one she loves, and Ariel trudges for the door with conviction blazing in her eyes.
    "Okay... It's fine everyone... Mom taught me how to open a door!" She chirrups before tilting back--
    And violently slams herself face first into the door in the most vicious headbutt she has ever mustered, horn connecting with a resounding WHWUMP.
    Before she bleats, staggers backwards, and falls on her butt, clutching her skull, eyes swirling dizzy.
    No, it probably does not open the door.
Rei Hino 2019-05-12 00:59:00 105004
Sailor Mars blinks once. "I... guess that works." A beat passes, and then her hands catch of fire. "I wonder who'll be dumb enough to step up first?"

If you're gonna face the unknowable, might as well do it with staggering unearned confidence!
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-12 01:07:52 105009
"Did you try 'speak friend and enter'? I mean, nevermind, he's not that particular kind of jerk," says Tuxedo Kamen, reaching up to scratch the back of his neck dubiously. "But hey, I see a big hammer, some potential melty-goodness, and I've got these roses that have the potential to break through enchantments, right? So why not just throw--" he starts, then appears a long-stemmed rose in one gloved hand out of nowhere, and then as he's speaking he pulls back and hurls it at the gate, "--EVERYTHING WE'VE GOT AT IT."


"Maybe," he says, "something'll stick."

A petal flutters down as the rose vibrates to a halt, stuck in the gate right where Kokoro's probably about to smack it as soon as Ariel's out of the way. Somewhere, a spanish guitar plays, accompanied by castanets.
Miho Kagami 2019-05-12 01:08:26 105010
Miho giggles in response to Kokoro's comment. "'Unlock', right."

She gulps. "Ariel-chan!" she exclaims. She then turns to face the door, nodding to Mamoru. "Yeah okay," she says. "This is vampire-stuff, right? So purification should, like ..."

She shrugs, holds out both hands, then lowers one of them to grip the broomstaff. She swirls her other hand in a circle, leaving a ring-shaped trail of minty-green light. "Joy Shining Ray!" she exclaims, and thrusts her hand forward. The ring collapses, firing a brilliant green beam of purifying energy at the door.

... A small part of her is imagining herself saying, 'The door hurt Ariel-chan. KILL THE DOOR!'
Kokoro Akakuma 2019-05-12 01:09:45 105011
    Ariel volunteers. So Dengeki Shoujo steps aside, making way for the tinycorn to have her go at it. She's not sure exactly what form of dream magic the kind little Defender might bring to bear, what magical trick of the dreamscape she might have learned from an ancient unicorn-



    The snrt escapes Kokoro before she can stop it.

    With one or two more glances between gate and unicorn, Kokoro finally takes a step over to Ariel, then reaches down to give her shoulder a little squeeze. "...good effort. Technique needs a little work, though. Can't just swing your neck, you gotta put your body into it."

    Kokoro stands back up, sets her hammer to one side, and steps right up to the gate. She points once at the rose Mamoru has planted, as if to call her shot, and then turns to look over her shoulder at Ariel briefly. "Watch. Square stance..." She sets her feet wider. "Drop your center of gravity..." She shifts her body lower, as if starting to crouch. "Tuck your chin..." Her head lowers. "And then put your whole body into it."

    Arcs of electricity crackle across Kokoro's boots, up her legs, tiny little dancing bolts of lightning that work her way up her body - and then she drives her whole weight forward with superhuman strength, applying the might of her legs and torso both to slam her head into the rose like the world's mightiest hammer; enough to keep going and SLAM into gate itself with the force of a massive battering ram. "ORAAA!!"
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-12 01:10:08 105012
Kunzite is armed with limited energy, with a shield, and with a sword. The sword is ... far less effective in these things than a hammer. Therefore Kunzite does not count himself as part of 'everything.'

What Kunzite does do is help Ariel up off the ground and out of the way of the incoming Kokoro. After all. With Joy around, for once, that's not such a good job for Lacrima.
Jiaying Maki 2019-05-12 01:11:11 105013
Jiaying Maki looks at the door curiously, having wandered over to try and figure out the trick in. Maybe it's close enough to her usual tricks? While she's standing there, leaning back, looking the door up and down, a unicorn suddenly slams into the door. There's a slow look over to make sure she's not seeing things, then she quickly hops back, gets over her shock moves back over to Ariel, partially crouched and offering a hand out, two fingers up while asking, "How many fingers?" ... "Are you okay?" comes second when she realizes she should do both.

"Think we could sidestep the door entirely? It can't be different than the music doors right? I uh... don't know if I need paper here though. Maybe I can just scribble on the air?" Which she admittedly tries. No she doesn't use her tail as an ink brush either. She's finger painting. Sort of. She leaves the semi-familiar marks in the air using magic or dream stuff or both and then tries to will it open. She's pretty sure one way or the other though, that brute force will blow the doors off, or not. Either way it is kind of funny and impressive in a way.
Lacrima 2019-05-12 01:26:11 105014
Lacrima steps aside when Joy starts throwing purification around because she would prefer not to be the victim of friendly fire. She sighs a little, as she shifts a bit. She winces when Ariel hits the door "A..Ariel--!" she sputters out, but-- Ariel is okay, and others are attending to her, as she keeps away from purification.

Dengeki Shoujo and Joy hit the door when Tuxedo Kamen's rose seems to stick right into it--- something odd and 'spiderwebbing' from the initial strike and the door cracking, Jiaying is right, though, brute force gives way as the door slams open into the main vestibule.

This looks nothing like the vestibule of Lacrima's dream castle, someone's been decorating. It is grand, but the decor is stone grey, with red carpet and trim and two stairs leading up to the an upper level of this area and a main corridor more inwards.

There isn't a lot of time to admire the locale because this room is filled with skeletons. Lots. And lots. of Skeletons. That all turn to the door the moment it breaks open.

They begin charging. Some have rusted swords , pieces of armor. Some are actually holding their other arm as a club.

Lacrima sputters as she fires a bolt forward, throwing a few aside and others being thrown into others. "Forward." she says. "We need to go forward...just.. keep moving...!" she says. Lacrima seems to be giving directions. So forward through that corridor it seems!
Ariel Theodore 2019-05-12 01:35:01 105016
    Ariel's expression can be summed up pretty easily.


    Still a little dizzy, it's the squeeze to her shoulder that pulls her back to reality, and then she's grinning sheepishly. After that fiasco, she doesn't decline returning to the back row as Kokoro takes to the fore, with some helpful pointers.
    "Eheh hehhhh..."
    Well, can't fault a girl for trying to look heroic in front of their girlfriend right? STILL, one last rub of her head and squints. "Two fingers! I'm fine, really, as she follows Kunzite out of the way of imminent door breach.
    Then there is door breach.
    And then there are skeletons!
    It's p. spooky.
    "Uwah!" Another bleat and Ariel remembers she should be bracing for combat. So she hops upon Lucky's back and keeps her head low. But for every skeleton that rushes forward, weapon in hand, she focuses. That nubby little horn glows with a flickery seashell green light, summoning shields from the very stuff dreams are made out of. Kite shields, heater shields, targe shields, a heavy tower shield- each appearing from thin air as needed to fend off a blow or absorb a strike meant for someone else.
Kokoro Akakuma 2019-05-12 01:37:43 105017
    As the smashed-up door opens, Dengeki takes a step back, then turns to glance at Ariel, then Miho. And then offers a simple, deadpan-faced thumbs up.

    Of course, then she has to collect her hammer, and bring it up at the ready for a charging horde of skeletons. Skeletons that Lacrima informs her they're going to have to go through. "Forward. Alright. Uh..." Quick glances, both at the skeletons and her group. "...I'll take point. Anything big comes at us, it hits me first. Should be able to clear us a path, but try to thin 'em out as best you can."

    Lighting crackles across her hammer, and in the next heartbeat, Dengeki Shoujo is among the skeletons, swinging left and right, filling the air around her with the sounds of crackling lightning and cracking bone. She's putting a lot of trust in Ariel's protection and the efforts of the others, focusing entirely on attack, and relying on her own magical toughness to blunt any strikes that get through.
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-12 01:37:44 105018
They charge i-- pile in, actually more likely, since WOAH a bunch of skeletons suddenly look at them and then charge, SOMEONE's gotta stop short-- and Tuxedo Kamen's eyes are briefly wide behind his mask. Lacrima's talking sense, but Mamoru can't goddamn help himself. "I've heard of skeletons in your closet but this is beyond the pale~!" he sings out, drawing his cane and falling into a proper melee stance. Except it's a dream, he's got his Endymion sword, and while it doesn't shine like the Holy Sword, it's no slouch in the gleam department.

He practically dances with the blade in his hand, doing better with it than he does with blades on his feet, but another thing he can't help doing as he slices through clattering bones and turns skeletons into piles is sing.

He's had practice since karaoke.

"None of you... has a heart! You're all losing in-- Skeleton War! Don't close your eyes but... tell yourself! That this dream won't come true! There'll be no more darkness when we believe in ourselves we are unstoppable--"
Rei Hino 2019-05-12 01:41:55 105019
Sailor Mars hands de-ignite as Ariel's headbutt does less than she'd expected, wincing slightly and walking up to Ariel as the others work on the door. When it finally starts to open, Mars is saying "Hey, don't worry, you did your b-ooooooOOOH MY GOD!"

There are SKELETONS FOR DAYS, and Mars' hands reignite as she rushes after Mamoru, crying "Oh my god, shut uuuuuuuppppppppppp!!!" As a wide blast of fire pours out from between her extended fingers, , which she sweeps left across as many skeletons as she can.
Miho Kagami 2019-05-12 01:45:32 105020
Miho sits up straighter on her broomstaff. "That," she says, "is plenty of skeletons!" She floats up higher, giving herself a better overall view of the battlefield, and take herself most of the way out of the melee. "In fact, I'd probably say, like, it's enough skeletons!"

Of course, she can already see that this height-advantage won't work too well once they get indoors. She certainly doesn't want to sequence-break and get to the "throne room" ahead of everyone else, and by "ahead of everyone else" she means "alone."

She thrusts her hands outward. "Jade Barrage!" she exclaims, and the glowing heart-emblem on the back of her glove starts firing out jade-green pellets of purifying light, aimed at the opposite side of Mamoru from where Rei's concentrating. It's considerably less powerful than Fire Soul, but it makes up for it in purification. "Oh, c'mon, he's not that bad!"
Jiaying Maki 2019-05-12 01:55:25 105021
Jiaying Maki looks past the broken doorway at all of the skeletons. Down at her armor, back at the skeletons. She decides not to comment on what it reminds her of and instead, steps back, flipping her polearm up so that she's gripping it low, then charges straight towards the crowd, stopping short and using that transfer of momentum to do a wide sweep with the blade. After a significant swings it up overhead, then back down in a chop. Finally, pushing forward, swinging left to right, switching her grip and back right to left. She is totally humming along to a soundtrack in her head though.

Sure, he antics are more about abusing her pole arm, but there is an element of magic and illusion still! Leaving behind mist that starts to mimic her actions, obscuring her swings and in general... probably wasted on skeletal mooks.
Lacrima 2019-05-12 02:04:51 105022
There is a lot of skeletons, it would be generous to call it a 'wave' but there is a LOT. You could probably stand there for days and fight skeletons as they fall apart and don't take a lot of hits. Lacrima herself, occasionally blasts or shoves some out of the way. She does try her 'take control of a dark creature' bit at least once but it doesn't work. Not here. Not with who these are being controlled by. He probably gets a good chuckle from this attempt up in that tower.

Lacrima stops and lets others pass her by as she turns around and then summons up as much power as she can into her hands and throws a shockwave of dark energy upwards. She causes the corridor to collapse. Not completely close it off but skeletons have trouble climbing over the rubble. They could probably throw themselves over it, if they had to escape.

Not that - that is the plan. The corridor opens into the courtyard. It also looks different. Different plants. Different doors.. it's... wrong.

Lacrima takes a moment to slow down and point to the right. "That'll take us to the tower's entrance." she says as she moves forward.

Suddenly. Plant-like, tentacle like vines burst from the ground attempting to grab at feet, and limbs and grow massive venus-fly trap like heads.

Lacrima rips one out of the ground that grabs her arm. "RUDE." she snaps. She continues forward.
Ariel Theodore 2019-05-12 02:14:10 105023
    Pushing through the wall of bones takes some work. But Ariel is there the whole way, fending off blows and strikes for the others as best she can, her dream shields until Lacrima collapses the corridor and seals the way for any skeletons to follow.
    "Phew... ... They weren't as nice as the halloween skeletons." Muttered glumly as Lucky trots along.
    Only for vines to erupt from the ground itself.
    There's a bleat of surprise, followed by a sudden... SNIP!
    Ariel's horn shimmers briefly, and in her hands, she is now holding a very large pair of pruning shears.
    These are plants. Plants simply need pruning sometimes and that means Ariel starts snip-snipping away.
Rei Hino 2019-05-12 02:16:58 105024
"Fire soul! Fire Soul!" Oh my god this is exactly like when Grandpa let Rei try to do gardening when she was five. "FIRE SOUL!" Sailor Mars cries, attacking repeatedly with a look of deeply repressed alarm in her eyes.
Kokoro Akakuma 2019-05-12 02:19:20 105025
    The stampede that is Kokoro Akakuma doesn't stop. She's putting herself out there, both to tank any big 'initial hits' and to act as a plow for the hordes of enemies. One thing she can't tank simply by being in front, though, is a sudden eruption of hostile plant life... but it's making the mistake of latching onto a girl with thunder in her veins.


    A crack of thunder fills the courtyard, defiance transforming into a charge of lighting that erupts from Dengeki Shoujo's body into the vines grabbing her. Without skipping a beat, as soon as her arms are free, she swings her hammer around to smash a Venus flytrap into the ground before it can consume her whole.
Miho Kagami 2019-05-12 02:19:33 105026
Miho shakes her head at the flytraps, and raises her hand to call up another Jade Barrage --

They're plants.

Which means they're stationary.

Which means they can't dodge very well.

Joy breaks into a grin. "Jade Light Arrow!" she calls out, and fires darts of light out at the flytrap-monsters, one at a time. She hits one. Then another. Then another. Then --

A flytrap manages to twist out of the way.

"None of that," snaps Miho, firing off another Light Arrow.

It starts to dodge again, but Miho moves her hand slightly to the side, and the dart just barely changes its path enough to hit it. "HAH! There we go!"
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-12 02:22:20 105027
Kunzite and Mars are beginning to develop a system, in these things. Mars lashes out with fire. Kunzite's dark shields manifest to collect those flickering sparks and flames that might have gone off to the side, might have spent themselves on air and walls rather than on the plants, and to shunt the fire back into more threatening tendrils. Those catching at his feet? Those strong enough to develop and support flytrap heads? Those he can draw his sword for -- support it with a faint glow of his own dawn-colored energy, and with flares of borrowed fire. Striking at waving vines. Cutting through ones trying to hold him in place. Moving forward, keeping pace with Lacrima.

"The one time ice skates might be useful," he comments aside to Tuxedo Kamen.
Jiaying Maki 2019-05-12 02:24:39 105028
Jiaying Maki is kind of doing a spin to win thing through some skeletons, though there's the whole moving fight thing and she needs to avoid too much tunnel vision, even if it is kind of satisfying. Kicking a skeleton before her, clearing just enough space, she hops back, then vaults over them to meet up with the others, getting there just in time to watch the collapse happen.

She's sort of keeping an eye on the entry in case the bones try getting through and missses the growing vines until one about pulls her from her feet. Chopping down hard wih the blade of her spear, she looks down, back and lets out a quick muttering of not-so-polite Chinese.

Stepping forward carefully, she stomps on the vines, trying to get the chompy bits' attention, her grip low on the spear until she's got it in a place to swing wide at it. It's just a machete on a stick right?
Lacrima 2019-05-12 02:43:22 105029
Lacrima looks around for her gardener. The creature Mamoru met once. It isn't anywhere to be seen and this makes Lacrima kinda sad. They'll have to handle this first. She rakes a shadowy hand out a moment to rake through another set of vines as she reaches the door. Vines try to cover the door... Lacrima just immolates it all in dark fire. She's clearing the way into the main castle proper.

Lacrima frowns. "Collapse the door again please..." she asks to Dengeki. She sighs as she looks up a long spiral staircase, ornate, with gold railings.

She sighs. "Up there...." she says. "This is... the final stretch." she says. "I think." she says.

"Blech.. I like my... dusty wooden railings..." she admits as she starts up the staircase quickly. There's stained glass windows. Those are new. She frowns at them.


Did that squire on one just look at her?

There's loud crashes as sharp, stained glass figures explodes out of the windows screeching and skittering like nails on a chalkboard as they attempt to make stabs and swings with sharp limbs and edges.

Lacrima takes a hit, but she doesn't care. It's a physical hit. She'll be fine. She has to keep moving. She has to make sure the others can tool.

"S..smash them, they're glass right!?" she yells out.

Al--almost there...
Ariel Theodore 2019-05-12 03:00:14 105030
    Past the plants and now to the tower. The last stretch is it? That means it's likely to be the most dangerous as Ariel urges Lucky onward and...
    Did that stained glass figure just change the direction it was looking?
    Yes. Yes it did, and when it bursts from the windows, followed by others like it, Ariel bleats with surprise.
    Fumbling into her armor she produces... A hunk of chalk.
    Chalk with which she rapidly starts to hurriedly scrawl on the nearest wall with. It's not much, just a stick figure with a sword and shield. And then she draws another- and another. And with a glimmer of her horn, she uses her very dreams and imagination as a weapon, as the stick figures peel themselves from the wall and rush into battle with the stained glass warriors.
    One of her stick figures has a cape and a mask. Another has a big hammer. Another is riding a broom, while another is mysteriously a hot rogue and--...
    Ariel pauses. Did she really draw that one like that? It's up to interpretation.
Kokoro Akakuma 2019-05-12 03:01:17 105031
    Swing and smash, electrify anything dumb enough to get close. It's a good method for Dengeki to keep herself cleared of anything trying to hold her down, and before she realizes it, she'll reach the door. A door which Lacrima is calling for her to smash up. With a simple, "Gotcha," and a brief nod, the hammergirl turns and stands beside the door, letting everyone else go through.

    Only when the last other member of the group has gone by, does Kokoro turn and step in the door herself. But as she goes, she whirls herself into a mighty spin - and swings her hammer straight *through* the left side of the door, and then the right side, and then for good measure she shifts her momentum and directs that spin upward, smashing through the top as well. If that doesn't collapse the doorway, she's not sure what will.

    Unfortunately, that leaves her lagging behind, only able to watch when the stained glass figures go on the attack. "Look out-!" She's already off and running, and as soon as the magical viking is in range, she whips her hammer forward and unloads one of her short-range lightning bolts on the nearest glass enemy she can reach.
Rei Hino 2019-05-12 03:02:44 105033
Sailor Mars is in the middle of intermittently shooting fire - doing more hesitating than shooting, really, out of fear of melting glass onto someone - when the Stick Batallion goes to war, drawing a look of pure amazement from the Senshi of War. "... Wait, can all of us do stuff like that here?!"
Miho Kagami 2019-05-12 03:04:08 105034
Glass. The most fragile substance known to humankind.

(The instant she has that thought, Miho's mind tries to come up with examples of even weaker substances. Paper, for one. Sand? No, that's not a substance, it's more of ... a mixture? She isn't quite sure how to classify. Chalk is definitely softer, but is it more fragile ...?)

Regardless, as she tries to keep some distance between her head and the ceiling, she trades the arrows back out to the previous maneuver. Except that this time, she thrusts out both hands, using her innate flight-magic to keep her upright on the broomstaff. "Double Jade Barrage!" she calls out, firing pellets from the gems on the back of her gloves, breaking through the windows, and anything that manages to break through before she can stop them!

("Now there's a fragile substance," she thinks to herself. "Dark Energy, when all of your powers are made of purification.")

She does break into a grin, though, at the sight of the stick warriors. A grin which only fades slightly at the sight of the Mysteriously Hot Rogue. What's that all about?
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-12 03:08:56 105035
"Ice skates are always useful for something," Tuxedo Kamen tells Kunzite, eyebrows up behind his mask as he swords carnivorous foliage, and he looks around for the gardener too, because that guy was cool, but before he has a chance to get lost looking harder or wonder morbidly if one of the weirder skeletons was it, the stained glass is pretty-- and wrong-- and B R E A K I N G and Tuxedo Kamen looks LIVID. "SCOUNDRELS! Stained glass windows are a beauty on earth meant to give glory to a higher power and inspire peace and goodwill in the hearts of those who view them! Admittedly sometimes this goes awry horribly, but it is the intent of those dedicated to this ancient art that it be so, and you-- PODEROSO, VILLAIN, WHO WOULD TWIST THEM SO EVEN IN DREAMS-- YOU ARE UNFORGIVABLE! We are ALL YOUR OPPONENTS!"

And it's a dream, which even Endymion of Elysion forgot, and Ariel has brought effigies of them to life to fight on their behalf, and Tuxedo Kamen momentarily considers giving himself a justice speech, but there's no time. He sheathes his sword and pulls his cape around, spinning on one heel to do a thing he considers actually actively ridiculous:

When the cape billows around the other side, he flings his arm out and lets loose a veritable hailstorm of roses, which don't just target glass, they target the vines still creeping through from the last room. Where they hit glass, they shatter glass; where they hit floorboards, they root; where they hit vine, they claim.

Climbing roses strangle back the evil vines and creep up the walls to bind what's left of the glass in place, and let the fighters fight what's left until it's nothing but glittering colorful dust.
Jiaying Maki 2019-05-12 03:11:36 105036
Jiaying Maki is finishing up with the rest of the plants in her immediate area, moving to keep up with the others, keeping behind with Dangeki, making sure no one gets overwhelmed and you know, staying out of the way of the magical explosions happening. Through the door, she looks up as the sound, glad she's further away with her sensitive hearing. Not that it was pleasant even this close.

Face scrunched up, she twists the guandao in her hands and with magic lingering around the handle, hurls it up at the closest stained glass creation. Following up with her throw by chasing after it rapidly. Smashing through it with a flying kick, she lands by her spear and with one hand, not quite touching it, flips it around and controls it with her magic, giving her extra reach to try and lash out at another. Nothing too long, but she's learning some control. In dreams. Sort of.
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-12 03:13:06 105037
"Sometimes. Ariel's one of our experts in dream manipulation; for her it's less 'sometimes' than 'almost always.'" Apparently, one of the things Kunzite can do in his dreams is talk and fight without his words hitching or his breath being caught at a blow. He slashes his glowing sword through the scythe being wielded by an uncomfortably martial stained-glass farmer, whips his cape up to intercept the shower of glass shards that results, tries not to think about the stick figures, and starts to call out a suggestion --

When Tuxedo Kamen proves that they have more than one person good at dream manipulation present. And more than one who's familiar with this castle.

Kunzite exhales, and keeps his attention on the glass, watching Jiaying's back while she works on getting better at that herself.
Lacrima 2019-05-12 03:31:25 105038
Stained glass monsters are dangerous, but they are still glass, and they fall easily enough, and are easily pushed down the center well of the tower to smash below. Eventually, windows do stop at the landing as Lacrima needs to stop to catch her breath as she winces and feels a little at her right shoulder where the monster cut her. "Nrg--- we're close." she says as things get...

Quiet. Way too quiet. And way too dark. There is a long hallway to an ornate door. She starts walking towards it, as she does--- torches come to light on blazers set along a red carpet. The walls are set in fancy high class art of some bygone age.

It is thankfully, not coming to life. The torches continue to light the whole way.

"....Dramatic asshole." she says under her breath.

She gets to the door and stops and turns around to the others and bites her lip. "...I'm going to... open the door. He's probably not gonna attack us right off the bat..."

"He uh. Likes to gloat when he thinks he's going to actually win a major fight? So. He'll flap his mouth before he actually attacks. I think... I mean... Ariel.. Kunzite can you.. shield? I mean have shields ready? Just in case? and---"

She looks at the others. "Don't feel bad about hurting this particular person." she says quietly. She sighs.

"Look I..."

"Just thanks... for... being here. Okay?" she manages to say a little tsundere-like even as she turns back around to the door to place her hands on the handle....

Here they come, jerk...!
Miho Kagami 2019-05-12 03:37:09 105039
Miho takes note of Kunzite's comment. She'll have to experiment with that ... maybe. Sometime.

Meanwhile, things are getting dark and dramatic and extra. It doesn't exactly give her pause, but the thought does cross her mind that if she was an absolutely evil creature of darkness who had complete control over their home like this, she wouldn't be able to resist showing off a flare for dramatics either.

In the meantime, she smiles, and draws her power back in; the gem on the back of her gloves even stop glowing. She puts a hand on Lacrima's good shoulder. "Hey, it's no problem, Lacchan," she says. "I'm just, like, helping you in whatever ways I can, y'know? We all care about you here!"
Rei Hino 2019-05-12 03:39:22 105040
Sailor Mars crosses her arms and eyes the door warily. "Well, whatever he does, he won't get to do it for long."
Kokoro Akakuma 2019-05-12 03:41:02 105041
    Somehow, Kokoro finds herself not terribly surprised that they have finally passed through the storm into a moment of relative calm. They've demonstrated quite thoroughly that the underlings aren't enough to stop them, so the only thing left for their enemy to do, is wait for them to arrive and handle them himself. Her pace slows as she reaches the front of the group again, and the hammer comes up, resting lightly on her shoulder in that usual 'idle but ready' stance of hers. She's still on her guard, still watching their flanks, but... well, she doesn't expect any last-second surprises.

    But Lacrima says something that gets her thinking for a moment, and she turns to look over the group briefly. "...anyone gonna object if I rush him while he's monologuing?"
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-12 03:44:59 105042
"Definitely maul a man in the middle of his cadenza," Mamoru says seriously, dusting glass off his cape and wishing Usagi could hear him paraphrase Disney.
Ariel Theodore 2019-05-12 03:46:17 105043
    Finally... After enduring the ordeals of the castle, the group passes the stained glass warriors and reaches the final door. And it's just so quiet.
    Ariel's hand slides int Lacrima's before she opens the door. "Why wouldn't we be here?" She asks brightly.
    Before Ariel frowns.
    "That's not really nice, though." That... That's to the thought of attacking mid-monologue.
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-12 03:50:07 105044
"Shields ready," Kunzite confirms to Lacrima. And gives Dengeki Shoujo something faintly resembling a smile. That might translate as 'please do.' To Ariel, he says seriously, "I think Poderoso's behavior has disqualified him from deserving niceness."

And Mamoru agrees with him. Which means Kunzite can take the gloves off.
Jiaying Maki 2019-05-12 04:01:26 105045
Jiaying Maki stops with the rest of them, hopping from foot to foot, trying to keep from slowing down, not that she ever does in this sort of situation. Coming to a brief stop she looks around the castle, then to the door. At the mention he wouldn't attack right away, she gives Norie a curious look and asks, "You're sure? Does he like to monologue? I know... he liked to offer power right?" Easy enough. "Just stick him while he's rambling- and well, we're here for a friend right?"