Castillo Oscuro - Miserable Pile of Secrets

Content Warning: Sending Someone to Hell. Maybe some language. - The final conclusion to Paths into Dark! Lacrima and friends (Mamoru, Jiaying, Rei, Ariel, Kunzite, Miho!) finish off an evil vampire once and for all!

Date: 2019-05-18
Pose Count: 42
Lacrima 2019-05-19 00:17:07 105139

A reluctant vampire and her friends marched into the odd dreamscape of her soul! It felt a little like the past areas they've been in, but Lacrima's is obviously alive and active and not dead and only accessible via a sheet music key. Therin, they made it to the top of the tower and stood in front of a door.


She sighed a bit and tensely placed her hand upon the handles and threw the door open and then just yelled. "WHERE THE HELL DO YOU GET OFF INVADING MY DUMB DREAMSCAPE AND TRY TO TAKE CONTROL OF MY DUMB BODY!" she yelled out rather loudly. The room was a large, ornate-- well throne room? Greeting room?--- Basically. A long red carpet- whos path was lined with lit braziers. Ornate decoration like the room before. A slight raised platform, with a large ornate chair. There was probably a well dressed, pale faced, red haired and red eyed gentlemen in the chair.


"Seriously, get out!" she says pointing to a window.

Then she suddenly sputters and looses ALL that steam. "Um... please?"
Rei Hino 2019-05-19 00:25:25 105140
Sailor Mars follows shortly after Lacrima, gaze stern, hand on her hip. "Do as the tiny vampire says," She orders before pointing one finger at Ponderoso "Or I'll chastise you."
Miho Kagami 2019-05-19 00:32:07 105141
Life Witch Joy puts her hand on her hip and sets the broomstaff on her shoulder. "Okay, y'know what you guys' problem is?" she says. "I mean like, all kinds of bad guys like you. Your problem is that, like, everything has to go exactly your way." She gestures vaguely. "It doesn't even occur to you to make friends, to have people you care about! And you can't just ... let someone else be happy. Everything has to go your way, and if it doesn't, you gotta just tear down everyone else around you."

She gestures expansively. "But my power -- our power -- comes from our friendships! From our willingness to accept each other for who we are! For our willingness to do things for each other, not just their willingness to do things for us! And killing my best friend? That's just unforgivable! If you keep going the way you are now ... well ..." She gestures with the broomstaff. "... do you wanna have a bad time?"

And then, after that lengthy and somewhat stumbling and rambly Justice And Friendship Speech, she shrugs. "I mean, I'm seriously asking there," she says. "It doesn't have to be this way, y'know? Lacchan's our friend even though she's a vampire. You could be our friend too, if you want! At this point, we're, like, really forgiving, since you haven't really done anything. But if you wanna be our enemy ..."

She sits sidesaddle onto her broomstaff, and flips her pale blue hair. "... then in the name of the Life Blessing, we will halt the threat before us!"
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-19 00:39:08 105142
Tuxedo Kamen doesn't burst in with everyone else, though he winces at the faltering of Lacrima's confidence. But it's all right. She has a posse.

Instead, he hangs back and turns to face Kunzite, his appearance flickering. The first thing to go is his gloves, and one hand comes up to briefly touch the side of Kunzite's face; his cape doesn't change, but his tuxedo shimmers and shifts to a familiar navy blue jacket with pale blue and gold trim, armor, a sword; the last thing to go is his mask, revealing a darker face than the one which entered the dream.

Then he takes a step back, with a crooked little smile, and vanishes into the voluminous shadows decorating the vast gothic hall.

Only Ariel will be able to feel exactly what he's doing; Lacrima will be able to feel a quiet network of support growing around her inner dream soul, very like the sensation of Mamoru's healing her physical dark energy body. It's slow and methodical.
Ariel Theodore 2019-05-19 00:43:27 105143
    A hand gently sets on Lacrima's shoulder before she opens the door.
    Ariel steels herself and her soul as best she can before the coming battle. It is likely to not be an easy one, both mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausting... But the littlest unicorn steels herself as best she can, when the door pushes open and the group storms into the dark chapel that is an ancient vampire's throne room.
    Silently, she thinks about what she could say. What she could do, to bolster her allies in this dark time of calm right before the imminent and oncoming storm.
    Lacrima demands Poderoso leave. Joy offers amnesty- a path Ariel would prefer monumentally over violenve, but knows it may not come to be.
    No sooner than they're through the door, Ariel's faithful steed lowers into a crouch. Lucky growls, lips tugged back to flash fangs as he rumbles in a deep, guttural, and menacing tone that no mortal dog could ever hope to match. And Ariel calms him, gently resting a small hand on the shaggy fur of his neck.
    "Poderoso... I have always chosen the path of peace. But even I cannot sit by idly. You threaten one whom I love, and that means I cannot simply stand aside."
    There goes Mamoru-- no... Endymion, becoming a bolstering force the likes of which can only be found in a dream. It is a comforting sensation. And Ariel draws a breath.
    "I ask you, please leave now and never return. Go back to the darkness from whence you came. And go in peace."
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-19 00:48:41 105144
Kunzite tilts his head slightly, something like the smallest of nods given to Endymion; and then, as the shadows take his prince, he calls the shadows to him. The glowing energy that burned the gunk from the vine-creatures off his sword flickers and dies; night-black flows over the blade instead. A visual symbol of the shields he promised Lacrima to have ready. A darkness from whence Poderoso did not come.

Joy and Ariel are offering Poderoso a chance. He can never argue with that. No matter how much he wants to.

He can be ready to protect the others from Poderoso's response. Or at least to blunt it.
Jiaying Maki 2019-05-19 00:54:37 105145
Jiaying Maki is late entering the room, quietly walking in behind the rest, listening, waiting. Her ultimatum is a quick and easy one. "You've been dead and kicking long enough, time to move along to join the rest in your rightful place." She doesn't say where that might be, but she's pretty sure she's got a good guess.

Stopping towards the front of the group, she plants her spear in the ground and leans against it, watching Norie for the preferred method. She might have her head canted in a way that she's got at least a little warning for any potential attacks. Still, she's quiet for now.
Fate T. Waldia 2019-05-19 01:05:43 105146
When you think 'vampire' you probably think of someone like how the man in the chair is dressed. An obscenely handsome, pale man, with short red hair, a little messy in the front. He is wearing an immaculate suit, though not a tuxedo, it seems of a different period somewhere in time in the 1800's, black with bites of red and white here or there along the trim.. buttons and hems. There's a cape and he's sitting on it. He's wearing prim, proper dress shoes. He's basically sitting at a jaunty angle on the large chair and is resting his head on his hand. He looks absoultely bored.

"Ughhhh...." he suddenly laments loudly like he was a child complaining about being told to do chores as the assorted people burst into his room and he rubs a hand up his face. "I swear it's been... how many years? It's the 2000's now? And it's always this..." he motions. "With the speeches and the justice and-- nevermind." he says flipping a hand off as if to cast aside his complaints. "What's that saying? 'The More Things Change...'." he asks.

He raises his brow amusedly at Lacrima. "Little vampire. You have my power. It isn't the other way around." he says. "I didn't need to 'break in', it's always been mine." he says this like it's a hard truth he's making someone swallow. "So why don't you get out of 'my' castle? You still have that accursed stone. I know you do. She can inhabit that. I'm sure she has friends who can relate." he says with a coy tone.

Life Witch Joy speaks of friendship. Ariel speaks of love and friendship. They want to be his friend? 'Live in Peace', That's amusing to him for some reason. "You'd trust me? You're a fool. I mean. You're already a fool. For trusing the other one." he motions to Lacrima.

Poderoso makes a face at Jiaying. "Ugh... foxgirls." he seems to hold his forehead for a moment. "Don't you like. Have cars to chase or something? Like. Tiny animals to go eat?" he says.

Regardless, he seems unaware of whatever Tuxedo Kamen... Endymion is doing as he raises his hand and!--- dissapears into a vapor of black that many might associate with Lacrima's own 'Dusk Step' to move exactly three steps down in front of him. Because he felt like it. Also walking is for humans.

He raises his hands and snaps as he calls out "Lluvia Demoniaca Roja!" as crackling, hard beams of red lightning followed by a booming shake smash hard around the assorted visible heroes. It tears into the floor leaving smoking holes in it's wake. There's not reluctance to this. No holding back.

"If you won't leave alive and well. Well there's always the second option." he chuckles a little deeply to himself.
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-19 01:12:35 105147
The advantage to calling out one's attacks: they just plain work better. The disadvantage to calling out one's attacks: someone braced for them can react. A sphere of darkness blossoms around the cluster of Lacrima's friends at the doorway, swallowing the red lightning where it strikes; just outside it the floor tears up, and the darkness does not intercept flying splinters and shards of tile.

It's not an easy task, though. Kunzite hisses, and drops to one knee; lines of sparking crimson crawl through the black that coats his sword blade.
Rei Hino 2019-05-19 01:16:28 105148
Sailor Mars ducks to one knee in a vain attempt to get under the blast. It's only a moment later that she realizes, with a curious look, that Poderoso's attack is being held back, bringing an grim smile to the Senshi's face as she holds out her hands, focusing her will for as long as the shield lasts until the moment it drops, prompting her to cry "Fire Soul!" And release a return blast of fire at the vampire.
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-19 01:17:49 105149
There's quiet magic at work; when Kunzite hisses, dealing with energy unfriendly to him and in great quantity, falling to one knee, that background magic briefly nearly falters-- but it renews, more subtle still. There's no golden glow giving it away, no lightshow compromising it; there's only the sweet scent of otherworldly roses, faint on the air.
Ariel Theodore 2019-05-19 01:24:46 105150
    What Ariel had offered was peace, yes. To allow Poderoso to leave in peace and go unharmed. But her offer is not taken. Instead, he chooses war over peace, as so many do, and the unicorn heaves a thin and weary sigh as she and Joy are declared fools.
    But let it not be said that her heart is weak. Let it never be said that gentle, peaceful, heart does not know when to stand, when it must.
    Crimson lightning strikes and-- Kunzite is the one who soaks it all.
    Ariel's expression hardens by just the faintest degree as the knight of Purity and Affection is brought to knee. The unicorn leaps off her trusted steed. Lucky remains close, protective and loyal as she hooks Kunzite's arm over her shoulder.
    "It is ill befitting one of your stature to kneel before one such as him." She says gently, "Stand, good knight. Lean on me if you must, but stand."
    Then. ... She takes a breath.
    "Norie. Cover your ears. I will not be gentle tonight." She warns as she squeezes Kunzite's hand.
    "Let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you."
Miho Kagami 2019-05-19 01:26:02 105151
Miho isn't the slightest bit disappointed in this result. Disappointment would imply she thought there was a realistic chance of anything else happening. So she's leaping into straddling her broomstaff even before Kunzite puts up his shielding, smiling grimly up at it -- and at the smell of roses. Yeah, this was inevitable. It's not great that it had to be this way, but, it did. No use getting worked up over the might-have-beens.

And Ariel sings for joy. Trusting her sense of darkness in the Life Blessing, Joy thrusts her fist in Poderoso's direction, the emerald heart-emblem on the back of her hand glowing brightly as she calls out, "Jade Barrage!" Pellets of jade-green light fire out; given Poderoso's relative resistance to purification, this probably isn't ideal, but she can certainly help keep him boxed in and on his toes.
Lacrima 2019-05-19 01:27:24 105152
Lacrima frowns. "Ugh! For the .. past three... is it now!? Years I've had nothing but dreams about your dumb life." she says angrily. "I want my own dumb dreams! I wanna dream about.. about being in pajamas at an important test! Or eating clouds or or literarily anything else!" she says. "It.. this wouldn't even be a problem if you just wanted out. Because I literarily would not give a darn, but no. You want all of it." she says angrily.

"S--so just get out...." she suddenly says smally again.

She can feel... something strange going on. She realizes she doesn't see Tuxedo Kamen. She doesn't make a big deal about this, since asking 'hey where's Tuxedo Kamen' might make Podoeroso suspicious.

Deep... cleanings breaths. Red beams erupt from the ceiling and she avoids taking a direct hit though, thanks to Kunzite's shield- though also wood splinters into her. She stings a whole lot but she frowns.

"F.. Fine..." she says angrily as she throws her own hand out and her own bolt of purple energy erupts from the ceiling and towards--- Poderoso's chair. Causing it to erupt into it's own splintery mess behind the vampire and hopefully into him. Two can play this game.

"You'll find I found ways to think laterally about using my powers to hurt things like us." she says angrily. Yeah she's feeling better about this now. Vaguely, as she covers her ears quickly. She'd remind herself to buy earplugs. But she's hoping this isn't something that ever needs repeating again anyways.
Jiaying Maki 2019-05-19 01:43:31 105153
Jiaying Maki cracks her knuckles and stands up straight, the guandao pulled from the ground and pointed at the vampire, "I don't chase cars." there might be an undertone in Chinese about not eating rodents anymore either. She found it funny at least. "Come on, sparkle for me." She offers before she slings the guandao back, gripping it towards the bottom as she runs forward and in a giant overhead chop, tries to bring it crashing down, wreathed in magic. Impact with him or the ground, it leaves a cloud of mist behind that trails behind the weapon.

There's some strange chanting going on behind her, some fiery explosions, the usual at this point really. She's settled on something much more simple.

Lashing out with the blade, she spins it back and lashes again before trying to follow up with a thrust. An attempt to keep his attention on the magical blade rather than on the people further away who might be doing useful things, like purifying, powering up or erasing the remnants of a curse. That sort of thing.
Fate T. Waldia 2019-05-19 01:55:39 105154
Poderoso has fire launch at him and he takes the hit, primarily because the sudden explosion of his fancy, big chair behind him sprays him-- while not hurting him immensely is enough of a distraction to allow him to get super singed, and the back of his fancy outfit shredded. This seems to displease him in many ways, such as being hurt. Like the sheer audacity of it all.

"I'm going to take great pleasure in taking over your form." he says bluntly at Lacrima.

Ariel tries reciting scripture. This seems to annoy Poderoso greatly but it doesn't have the effect it did before. It doesn't freeze him or stop him. Like a gnat was buzzing in his ear. "That won't work, little goat." he says. He throws his cape in front of him to tank Joy's sparkly bolts of purification energy. This doesn't have the same effect it would on a weaker youma or creature. It barely phases him.

Ten to one it wouldn't hurt him at all if he became whole. At least this seems like it's wrecking havoc on something. All this is enough to distract him from the 'wrongness' of something going on outside the castle.

When Jiaying lunges out with a bladed weapon of some sort Poderoso unfurls the cape he furled over himself to present some sort of dripping crimson sword to meet Jiaying's own with, meeting blow for blow in parrying attacks. He's good, fast with it.

"I've killed many in the past. Why do you think this is any different?" he says dryly as he throws the sword into an arc. It turns into a spinning buzzsaw of sorts as it arcs around the room, trying to catch everyone at least once. This may be in response to seeing Kunzite's shields at work, maybe not. It's hard to tell.
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-19 01:59:08 105155

Once upon a time, a boy named Hiroshi Takeba had dreams of being an architect. He dreamt of building beauty in an age wherein beauty had already taken a backseat to function over form, a time when the art of designing structures had even abandoned the dazzling boldness of the atomic age and come to lean heavily on the brutalism of postwar construction and the breezeblocks-and-poured-concrete ugliness of the recovering world's institutional mentality.

This cathedral-like great hall is from a time when form and function loved each other, were equals; a time when grand structures were designed as a life's work and building them took several generations to complete.

Mamoru Chiba doesn't know architecture like the young dreamer that was Kunzite's father knew it, but he's not uninformed; he read up on it to have a conversational topic in common with the man that didn't involve Kazuo.

Endymion never built a castle, but as a young boy living in them, knowing each stone laid to construct them, he listened to them. He listened to where they said water eroded mortar, he listened to where they said weeds grew up and pushed at what had already washed away.

Mamoru's seen sidewalks buckled by the roots of penned-in city trees, has seen pavement cracked and broken by weather and dandelions and crabgrass, has seen buildings engulfed and toppled by kudzu in the countryside. He's seen baby trees taking root on rooftops where the detritus of seasons has turned into a fine mulch. Mamoru's well aware of the gentle, inexorable damage that life, growth, and time do to the artificial.


The fresh scent of green growing things joins the aroma of the otherworldly roses, and a draft that wasn't there before swirls lightly into the grand hall, bringing fresh air into the stale, stultifying resident atmosphere of the ancient vampire's lair. It drifts through the smoke from the attacks and destruction that would otherwise just hang there, invisible and supernaturally refreshing to the people in the hall who love something beyond only themselves.
Rei Hino 2019-05-19 02:01:43 105156
Sailor Mars pitches forward into a roll, narrowly avoiding one of the buzz saws and landing in a crouch, grimacing at Poderoso. "Because now you're dealing with the Guardian of War!" Sailor Mars declares, and prays to KAMI that this dream world works the way she thinks it does when she closes her eyes, plants a kiss on two fingers, touches it to her tiara... then does a quick pirouette, leaving a trail of sparkles in her wake that quickly ignite into flame.

Those flames flicker and dance in the air before coalescing at two points on Sailor Mars back before roaring to life as a pair of angelic looking wings that flap once and pull Sailor Mars up into the air.

Okay! Okay! Okay! Awesome! Gritting her teeth and trying not to WIG OUT, Sailor Mars thrusts her hands forward and cries "Burning Mandala!" Only instead of the usual circle of flame, the wings point forward at Poderoso and unleash a rapid fire barrage of flaming feathers at the vampire.
Lacrima 2019-05-19 02:10:24 105157
Lacrima mutters. "Because I exist?" she says bluntly. "I mean. You're at half power. It's all over here." she says dryly, pointing a finger at herself. "Remember this is why we're here fighting right now?" she says angrily. "You're only at half power. You have enough to maybe just flinch when Joy hits you or only be bothered when Ariel spoke that but you're basically just me when I get angry and I can assure you that these guys can handle that." she says a little confidently there.

Because they have. Like. Repeatedly. In the past. Well. Others have. Maybe not everyone here. She then takes a harrrrrrd breath in.

"ALSO I SWEAR TO GOD IF YOU CALL MY GIRLFRIEND A GOD DAMN GOAT AGAIN I AM GOING TO SHOVE MY HAND DOWN YOUR THROAT AND MAKE YOU KISS YOUR $%^&*#@!" she yells in a manner that many might remember from the night Earth took Mamoru's Golden Power.

Following this is a blaze of dark energy, themed in purple, bolts raining from the sky around Podoeroso, pretty much powered by the sheer anger she's feeling right now.

Look... A...anger's okay right now, right!? She can be angry right now!
Jiaying Maki 2019-05-19 02:16:38 105158
Jiaying Maki finds her blade met with the vampire's own. She's a fan of cheating though and after hopping back, she swings again and again, each leaving an illusory after image, mimicking her movement even as she obscures her own movement behind the growing cloud. It's only after she's created a few of these images that she stops swinging and instead goes for a simple strike with the butt of the polearm. Any other plans gets pushed aside though, as she turns back, just in time to catch one of those spinning blades across her back.

There's a moment of shock that slowly shifts into one of anger. She's got fewer reasons to be angry with this long dead vampire than her friend does, but that doesn't mean that it hasn't been something building up on its own. Besides, it's contagious. She swings her guandao one last time overhead, throwing it at the vampire before following up the spear throw with a running jump kick. Which if even kind of successful will have it's momentum used for the fox girl in question to try and lash out with some rarely used claws! She's much more civilized than that after all! Also usually not actually angry.
Ariel Theodore 2019-05-19 02:23:23 105159
    Ariel practically bleats the word, dismay creeping into her voice as her faith is put to the test... And found wanting, when it does not so much as irritate the ancient vampire. For an instant, Ariel's heart quails, the only weapon at her disposal proven moot and impotent in the face of this great and terrible evil.
    And then... Then she smells it. The sweet scent of nature and life, and roses, and it quells the brief thrill of terror that overtakes her.
    "... A goat am I...?" She when utters, brow knotted. It is an insult not taken lightly. "A goat indeed!" She spits, clenching small hands into fists. "I am no goat!" Declared as she points a single, accusing, finger.
    "I am unicorn! First of the beasts named by Adam in the Garden of Eden!" She says.
    "And--... And..." ... And Lacrima says what may be the most colorful threat Ariel has ever heard in all her life, and it stops her cold, cheeks aflush in dark silver as she fusses for a beat and clears her throat, righteous indignation dying down pretty darn fast. "U-uh."
    Ariel rallies.
    "If all I can do is annoy you then I will do everything in my power to be as irritating as possible! For my Norie, I will go to any length."
    "... Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs..."
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-19 02:27:56 105160
Kunzite accepts Ariel's assistance -- more than the physical (especially given their relative heights), the spirit it's given in and her sheer proximity and the spirit behind her words help; the sparks of crimson lightning along the length of his sword grow less frequent. No less bright. But less frequent.

And there is the scent of roses. There is no question that that helps, too.

All of which means that when it's his and Ariel's turn to be targeted, the dripping crimson buzzsaw is deflected from his side, the shielding-enhanced sword able to send it into a sharp upward spin -- it may come around again to target Ariel, but Ariel is more than capable of defending herself. If Kunzite can keep her from being distracted in her chant (including, now, the one that even he recognizes, no matter his opinion of Deity in general), that's a contribution. Possibly only a contribution to Poderoso being irritated. But irritated people make mistakes. Particularly irritated people suffused with dark energy.

And whether or not Poderoso is existing courtesy of stolen identity (and given his comments about chasing cars, is there any doubt about that?), he's still person enough for that to count.
Miho Kagami 2019-05-19 02:31:45 105161
When your main gimmick is super-speed, there's a standard evasive-maneuver: pick a random direction, and boost. Riding on her broomstaff, Life Witch Joy zips out of the way of the oncoming sword, and stops on a dime, grinning back at Poderoso. "And what kind of reaction do you expect us to have to that statement, huh?" she calls back at him. Yeah, Endymion's spell is really helping her live up to her name. "You think we're just gonna roll over and die for your convenience? And yeah, what Lacchan said."

Her eyebrows raise at Sailor Mars's sudden transformation. "... huh!" She concentrates, gathering up the power of both the Life Blessing and trying to add a nifty dream-effect of her own. Then she stops trying to do both at once and just works on the dream-effect instead. Soon, a pair of mint-green gauze butterfly-wings appear on her back, and she's surrounded by emerald-green sparkles of light.

"Okay, yeah!" she says. "Right then! Uhh ..." She watches Jiaying's series of strikes, waits for an opportune moment, then thrusts her fist out, glowing with mint-green light. "Jade ..." She boosts right towards Poderoso, fist-first. "... PUNCH!" And she follows it up with a rapidfire flurry of punches, boosted by both her super-speed and the Life Blessing.
Fate T. Waldia 2019-05-19 02:39:46 105162
"Waaaaarrr..." he says dripping with sarcasm, drawing the word out. "Where we're you when....." he tenses, regardless, and stops talking. Was he going to say something? Regardless, he takes that firey hit, clenching his teeth, gnashing in mostly anger and pain as he gets burned hilarously bad. Regardless he starts yelling and summoning up dark energy around him an aura to cast aside the rest of the incoming flames as he seems angry.

When Lacrima swears at him, and makes a threat, that's mostly cast aside for the truth she utters. It's true. He is only at 'half power'. She has 'the rest of it'. Dark energy rains around him, he flicks aside a blast. He's not worried about energy he can absorb easily. "Language." he says tersely.

The sword dispeases into a grisly splat of blood when it reflects off a final shield and onto a wall. Not blood. But whatever it is, it smells awful.

Something is making him desperate. He can't put a finger on it. Something feels off and wrong here. Is he truly losing? No he can't, this is his turf now after all.

He snorts. "Some unicorn." he says as Jiaying's claws slash into him... suddenly when he's talking to Ariel. He frowns a little when he's met with a flurry of punches. Too many close contestants. Too crowded. It feels wrong----

"ENOUGH!" screams out Poderoso as there's a sudden flare of dark power, shockwaving out, like a wall that slams outwards at everyone, pushing them away as he lets himself change into some ichor and black with red eyes as he suddenly just moves to leer over Lacrima, lashing spindly, long awful claws out to try to grab her.

He's going to take what belongs to him back. He's going to take it back.

Then he's going to kill everyone here. Probably slowly if he has his way.
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-19 02:46:05 105163
The windows begin to darken in patches and the draft becomes an actual breeze. Green vines like the ones they'd fought in a previous hallway creep in through widening cracks in the walls, but these have thorns on them, thorns and clusters of five leaflets everywhere, and they climb from wherever they get in, and push back out again, weaving themselves through the walls. Then the tall, high, arched, elaborately sub-divided stained glass windows are utterly dark, and the climbing vines are speeding up--

They twine themselves around the chandeliers, and creep through cracks in the roof; now and then a flake of plaster or paint flutters or drops down, but no mortar, nor stone: the vines have covered the ceiling, keeping it from falling.

All at once, the windows shatter-- not in or out, but in place. Following the windows, the walls slowly and unstoppably crumble in place, dust and debris filtering down like a quiet rain from inbetween the network of vines and brambles. Sunlight, golden and warm, filters into the dark space.

The roof cascades away down the outside of the rose web, and abruptly, every bud on the climbing rose vines bursts into bloom and shimmers with the heart of the Earth's magic, and the structure that Poderoso built and relied on to keep Lacrima's space imprisoned... is gone. Is gone, replaced by something that has always allowed Lacrima to absorb it and power herself when, always given freely. Something that's friendly to each of Lacrima's friends, and something that's so very dear to Kunzite.

There's a dark-skinned and blue-eyed prince clambering down a rose ladder, now, grinning. "Thought your feng shui needed a little work."
Rei Hino 2019-05-19 02:48:08 105164
Sailor Mars rains down fire until the others get within Melee range, hovering around on gently flapping fiery angel wings looking for another angle to attack again when the wave of dark energy strikes her. The Senshi throws her arms in front of her defenseively with a pained cry before her wings dissipate and she's thrown backwards, coming to a rolling stop on the floor. Gritting her teeth with pain, she rises to one knee only to see... Endymion, bringing a wry smile to her face. "Show off~"
Miho Kagami 2019-05-19 02:57:57 105165
Miho gets clipped by the darkness. She boosts away, but away is also where Poderoso is firing everything. She lets out a yelp as the attack hits her square-on, and her shadow flickers.

Everyone here knows what it means when her shadow flickers.

But then Poderoso's structure has shattered, replaced by that of Prince Endymion, and Life Witch Joy's smile returns. "Yeah, okay, no," she mutters. "Sorry, Red, but you had your chance at life, and you threw it away! Keep your distance for a sec, Lacchan!" She twirls her hands in figure-eight patterns, leaving mint-green trails of light ... "QUADRU--"

... which promptly sputter and fade.

"D'oh!" She shakes her head. "Okay, uh ... Life Blessing, Pure Elation!" She winces as the purifying power of the Life Blessing wafts up from her and interacts badly with her Death Curse. "... nrgghh ..." She twirls both her hands in circles, each leaving a single ring of light as she directs the purification spell into the circles, then thrusts her hands forward. "Ow ow DOUBLE SHINING RAY ow ow ow OW!" The rings collapse, drawing in a good half of the Pure Elation effect into themselves into the process, and fire brilliant twin beams of purifying light, glowing more brightly and with a wider aura of purification than the usual form of this attack!
Ariel Theodore 2019-05-19 03:02:58 105166
    'Enough' he says. And he says it with such force that Ariel is blown from her feet with a tiny cry. Floored and stunned, for a moment she does everything she can just to pick herself back up. And when she glances up the sight she is met with is Poderoso- not as a man, but as a monstrous form of black and red, looming so threateningly over Lacrima-- over her Norie.
    Topaz eyes widen and time, for Ariel, seems to slow, every second turning into an epoch all its own for the littlest unicorn.
    And then there is so much green.
    Vines. Leaves. Life blooming in this dark place, overtaking everything. ... It is in a place of nature that unicorns thrive. It is in nature that unicorns are at the most peace. It is in nature that a unicorn is at her strongest.
    Ariel moves without thinking, small, gentle hands curling around a great thorn and wrenching it free with a grunt, before she picks herself up to stand. She wobbles. Staggering like a foal on first legs, she begins her course, but finds her footing fast. And once she does, she is a beast at full tilt.
    With an old, gay, terrible cry of ruin, the unicorn reared out of her hiding place. Her hands came slashing down like a rain of razors, her mane raged, and on her forehead she wore a plume of lightning, and even Lucky cowered before her. Mad, dancing, sea-white, she belled her challenge...
    And then she was there, between Lacrima and Poderoso, great thorn in hand, held out like a vampire-hunter's stake, lancing forward with all the might her tiny body could muster.
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-19 03:10:22 105167
The roses bloom and shimmer, and Kunzite's uniform shimmers with them -- the gray on gray of his jacket gleaming suddenly white and gold; the white of his cape flushing with color, the brown of rich soil, the deep blue of the night sky, of the ocean depths, of Endymion's eyes and clothing and perhaps a hint of echoing Norie's blue eyes as well --

His sword is cast aside, and his hands come up, signalling his own power. Lashing out to injure Poderoso's monstrous form, certainly. But most of all lashing out with all the light he can bring to bear -- with the dawn-gold brilliance of his power mingled with Mamoru's gift from earlier, with the remaining shreds of Kokoro's lightning and Mars's Fire Soul interwoven in fierce dance with the other two -- to try to blind Poderoso's red eyes to the precise location of the unicorn's charge. To keep those claws from striking at her thorn.

He probably shouts "Tuxedo la Smoking Bomber!", calling out the borrowed attack to focus it. But against Joy's cry and Ariel's challenge -- if he does, it's unlikely anyone notices.
Fate T. Waldia 2019-05-19 03:23:59 105168
Poderoso is so close to that energy. He can taste it. Tastes like.... Black licorice?

Regardless, he can feel the world around him shake and course and suddenly there are vines? And this causes him a momentary lapse to wonder what's happening for just a second. He figures his vines from earlier may have gotten this high. But then they bloom into roses.

Everything hurts. Everything burns as Elylsium roses burn bright and red- flooding the chamber with golden energy. This causes him to recoil like a snake, the creature screeching loudly, being signifgantly weakend as Joy's powerful purification blasts into him. He 'screeches' some more--- now it's hurting him a lot. It's hurting him a hell of a lot.

A unicorn comes with a thorn like a stake. The stake doesn't hurt him on it's own, but it's probably it's source, from the roses that lend it's striking power as dark and black leak out of the screeching mass of anger and increasing hatred.

Kunzite's lance of energy pierces through him--- causing him to heave. "Do---do you think ---!?" it screeches.

"THIS WILL WORK!? YOU CAN'T BEAT ME! I'LL JUST DO THIS ALL OVER AGAIN!...." he says desperately. "IT MAY TAKE MANY YEARS BUT I'LL GET MY CHANCE AGAIN!...." oh he's losing consistency.

But those words do ring in an awful truth. Don't they? He's done it already. He's Been here before. Right? Desperate as the words may be, they resound of an awful truth.
Lacrima 2019-05-19 03:26:52 105169
That feeling that Endymion is coursing through the tower is helping her a lot. But before she knows it, Poderoso's in his basest form. That black.. ichor thing she does sometimes... trying to latch onto her. She can feel something touch for all of a moment before she peeks her eyes open Is---

Is that Ariel?.. With.. with a sharp thing and she's....?

Lacrima is going to feel really bad about her problems forcing Ariel to... to raise something to attack someone... something. Sure. It's at least a jerk that deserves it, but she has no snarky comeback for this.

All she can do is feel the surging of power and that energy she's familiar with ripping through the tower from Mamoru... and the various purification attacks coming at her.

Her eyes dart around as she mutters... he's dissipating. "....He's telling the truth." she says softly. It's a grim reality... "But... they couldn't defeat you before, Because they didn't have a way to handle this part of it." she says angrily. "The part where you actually 'die'."

"Well unluckily for you I have a way to handle that part..... or rather I have someone who can...!"

"JIAYING NOW!" she screams out desperately. She hopes Jiaying is ready to do this part.
Jiaying Maki 2019-05-19 03:39:37 105170
Jiaying Maki is thrown across the room, leaving her dazed again even as she tries to get to her feet to finish the attack. Having the wind knocked out of you and your bell run is a surprisingly good method for clearing one's mind though. Probably not the best way to do so, but in a pinch, percussive maintenance has it's good sides. Which means that angry look is briefly gone, then actually gone as she gets to her feet. She ignores that ringing in her ears for now.

She starts to run forward, constructing her weapon from raw magic and willpower, but she's late to the party. Coming to a stop before him, Listening to that panic, she plants her spear in the ground, blade down and quickly tears pages from wherever it is she stashes them. Three to each side of the vampire, a strike to each one leaving a burnt image. She's improvising, what with having thought they're purify him... out of Norie's dreamspace. She didn't really think about how that would play out actually.

With a clap of her hands, she steps back, a ripping sound filling the air as a door opens behind the vampire. A looming figure, shrouded in haggard robes, lit by spirit fire stands there patiently. Improvised or not, she had been planning this for a different horrific monster that should stay dead. "I told you last time, didn't I?" before sharply kicking the vampire square in the chest and through the door. The figure opens its arms and welcomes the creature of darkness with a low, echoing laugh. Standing there in the doorway, she considered something pithy, something witty and finally just settles on, "Good bye." before closing the door by lashing out at the sheets of paper, claws rending each into pieces and severing the doorway. The final thing seen from the door before it disappears is a fanged mask, grinning before burning away with a blue flame. Then she stops, steps back and leans heavily on her spear. Maybe she should have prepared better.
Fate T. Waldia 2019-05-19 03:47:16 105171
Suddenly, there is a door. And he's being dragged towards the door. And then there's that feeling setting in. "W..what!? How!?----" he digs those unearthly claws into the ground. It's leaving literal marks in the ground, shaving up wood. "Nonono....."

He doesn't dare look back. "---s..stop! PLEASE! I'LL DO ANYTHING! I'LL! I'LL GO AWAY!" he says. Really, he'll say anything. Because when you live for hundreds of years and then suddenly someone makes you take a number, it's really, really hard accepting it.

"S--STOP! STOP THIS!" he tries to lash out at the assembled peoples but that'd mean losing his grip on the ground.

Then suddenly he's right up to the door and there's nothing but a 'screeeeeeeeeeeeech!' as he gets dragged through the door and it shuts tightly.

And then. There is nothing.

There is a sudden SHUNT of energy though. This one feels like dissapation. As the room changes from ornate and great to old, dusty-- a little run down-- but not too much. Like someone tried their best.. like someone who could only clean once every one and a half years.

You probably get the idea this is Lacrima's version of her tower rather than Poderoso's. Also. It feels basically 99 percent less jerk, too so there's that.
Rei Hino 2019-05-19 03:52:01 105172
Sailor Mars somehow manages to both watch in mute horror... and not feel a dang bit of sympathy for the vampire as he's dragged away to god knows what fate. The environment changes around her and a suspicious moment of silence passes before she sighs with relief and brushes herself off, sighing, "Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy."
Ariel Theodore 2019-05-19 03:54:10 105173
    That is Ariel, yes. Ariel, with a great thorn in hand, embedded in the dissipating mass of Poderoso.
    Unicorns are gentle and timid creatures. Shy by nature and slow to anger. But when pressed... When truly pushed to fight.
    They become the most terrible of monsters.
    Eyes wide and wild, Ariel rips the thorn free of the ichorous mass of Poderoso's body. Her face is a rictus of righteous fury, and for an instant she looks ready to drive the improvised stake into the beast again, even raising it once more, readying for the next strike.
    It does not come.
    Instead, the great thorn is dropped, clattering to the floor of the dark cathedral as the unicorn takes a staggering step backward, right into Lacrima.
    Her hands are shaking. She spends a long moment staring down at her palms, stained by ichor, for a long moment. ... Before slowly she brings her hands up, to cover Lacrima's ears as she watches Poderoso dragged through the doorway into oblivion.
    "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord." Whispered with finality. Before she turns to her Norie and releases her ears.
    "I-... I thought..." She whispers, voice tiny and strained with distress.
    "I thought he was going to take you away from me..."
Mamoru Chiba 2019-05-19 03:57:05 105174
For a second, Prince Endymion stands there at the bottom of the rose ladder, which is already growing back into the living web of vines, and he just stares at Ariel in shock. Actually completely shocked, forgetting how to move. And then there's even more lightshow effects going off everywhere, and then he sees Kunzite's shields-- no, Kunzite's covering fire-- no, Kunzite, in a uniform of cream and gold and brown and dark, dark blue, and his eyes widen in recognition and bright joy, and his breath catches and his throat tightens--

--and then Ariel stabs and attacks stack and shatter and batter, and then Poderoso is dragged shrieking and clawing into Chinese Hell and the hall is restored.

Swiftly, the prince remembers himself and gestures rapidly, and the roses fall away and become manageable, become smaller, become potted plants and bouquets and windowboxes.

Finally, Endymion's gaze falls on Lacrima and Ariel, and he gestures to the others: let's go, let's let them be. This is their time to recover, to help each other back to their feet.
Miho Kagami 2019-05-19 04:02:26 105175
Joy nods in approval. "Whew!" Not as dazzling as the way Sailor Earth went down, but there's just something really final about someone getting dragged directly into Hell.

She sinks down and lands, dissipating her broomstaff, before leans slightly against Mamoru and takes a few deep breaths. "Wow," she says softly. "We ... heh ... we finally did it, huh. We actually ... finally beat Poderoso!"

But Mamoru is gesturing for them to leave, and yeah, if it was her and Aki, she knows full well that they'd want to be alone. Though she shoots one last look over at Ariel before they're gone; when she next speaks, it's in a low voice. "Did Ariel-chan just ... attack Poderoso?" she says. "Because, I, uh, well, holy shit." She shakes her head. "Wow. Uh. Like, goddamn."

She giggles humorlessly. "... y'know, the last thing that made me cuss out loud was finding out that Saint George killed someone." Even she knows exactly how monumental it is that Ariel actually tried to hurt someone.
Lacrima 2019-05-19 04:07:22 105176
Lacrima twitches a little softly as this happens. She ignores the screeching and the yelling and the pleading. She's dreamed about that person for three years. She knows he isn't to be trusted. She's seen the things he's done. She isn't reaching out. This is a long time coming. This isn't her fault.

He did that to himself.

She shifts a bit uncomfortably though as she relaxes when the tower shifts to it's 'default' state or rather, her version of things as she seems to suddenly slack. "Okay." she says.

"This is mine again." she says softly. She takes a hard breath. She gently clenches her hands and looks down at herself. "Okay, I'm whole. He didn't take anything. I don't think." she says quietly.

She's about to turn around and say the resounding 'thank you' when Ariel is there. And she's shaking. And she drops the thorn. And she shakes her head as gently moves to drag Ariel into a hug and hold her.

"Shhhhh, my unicorn." she says quietly as she can, bringing her forehead to meet her own if possible, tiny horn be dammed.

Ariel will remember this tone from when Ariel got mad for the first time. At Ryo. All her problems. Causing this for Ariel.

"I'm sorry. I know. I know you we're doing it to save me. No one will think badly of you for that." she gently pats her back as she just tries her best to relax.

"I'm here. I promise." she says. "You can stay here. Tonight. O-okay?" she says.

Thank yous can always come later. So can unlimited egg breakfasts for foxes.
Kazuo Takeba 2019-05-19 04:12:31 105177
Kunzite -- still Kunzite, nevermind that in the waking world a strike that hard would have reverted him to Kazuo -- glances sidelong at Rei, weighing for a moment lending her a literal hand up. But being set on fire doesn't seem to him to be the best of plans. He paces to Endymion's side instead, grey and white again as the gold and brown and blue have faded along with the roses. Low-voiced in turn, he answers Joy, "Anyone foolish enough to think that years would help him do this was too much of a fool to stay." And he bows to Jiaying, grave and quiet.

After all. Even if Poderoso manages to escape what Jiaying did to him. It's not as if they're not going to be there. And if it happens to be after their lifetimes -- it's not as if it's so unlikely that Lacrima will still have friends.
Rei Hino 2019-05-19 04:17:25 105178
Sailor Mars winces slightly at the sight of Ariel and Lacrima, feeling entirely unwelcome to witness such a thing, and follows after Mamoru and Kunzite. "Yeah... yeah, you're right."
Jiaying Maki 2019-05-19 04:21:20 105179
Jiaying Maki looks where the doorway was for a moment longer. She waves her hand through that space and says flatly, "That was easier than I'd have thought. The door." She pauses, wondering about the other implication she could have meant. The actions taken. There's some quiet contemplation, looking at her hand, back and front. Usually when she handles these, she just does the guiding, not the direct... delivery.

Returning the bow from Kunzite almost autonomously, she says to no one in particulary, "I'm going to go. Somewhere else."

She puts on a smile, waves to the others and turns on her heel to leave, leaving Norie and Ariel to their time together now that there isn't some form of creeping doom present.
Ariel Theodore 2019-05-19 04:23:15 105181
    Pulled into Lacrima's embrace, forehead meets forehead, and topaz eyes close. It is a soothing thing; to hear that tone of voice and be so close, and Ariel's shuddering breath begins to even out in but a moment. A hand rises, to wipe at her eyes, before fingers thread.
    "I know. I know. Okay." She settles on staying for the night easily enough. "I'll be fine." Murmured quietly as an after thought.
    "We should probably say thank you to ever--..." Pause.
    Where is everyone going?
    "Uhm. ... I guess that can wait a little."