Hatched Plans: Heist at the Hotel Augsta!?


Ikuto tries to steal a strange diamond that calls for help. Can Tadase and Amu stop Ikuto and Mikoto from getting away with it!?

Date: 2015-11-14
Pose Count: 44
Rocky Road 2015-11-14 01:13:51 15049
The Hotel Augsta is also home to a collection of old art and artifacts. Some of these are worth millions. The owners rely mostly on technological security and some guards. Mostly is also an overstatement. The owner of the hotel is clearly mundane- as there's no wards or magical detection runes or anything silly like that. SOME of these artifacts are magical and intresting but that's it- most are old and do useless things from some bygone age of lower magic. Eclipse would had bought the place out years ago if there was anything worth it here.

There is a very epensive diamond in a glass case. it is worth millions. It's white and glows with a blue light in the dark.

Ikuto is here for that. He sneaks in--- evading guards and obvious security is easy for Ikuto and his catlike reflexes and senses. It's easy to play the guards against each other or distract them away. Ikuto gets through the glass casing and places his hands upon the diamond and at first nothing happens. Then it screams out. It's a physic scream- not audible but to the mind of those with magic in thier hearts. It sounds pained and calling out. Those without a hatched heart egg just hear a general sense of urgency to check it out. Those who bear hatched eggs of thier hearts hear it more directly and clearly----

Help...

Ikuto can hear this too. It sounded 'loud'. He wasn't warned about this and it's likely it wasn't known it did that. Ikuto's probably going to want to run or move fast incase that attracted the help it called out for just now.

Things may get louder than desired in a moment.
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2015-11-14 01:25:05 15052
"...Che'." Just what he needed, for his inanimate target to start screaming for help. Of course no one told him that was going to happen. But then again does anyone at Easter ever tell him anything? Other than 'do this', no. "...Oh be quiet," he hisses under his breath, pocketing the gem. He'll need both his hands to climb out of here.

Given just how dangerous this was likely to be-- security guards tended to carry things like guns and tasers, things that did actual physical damage-- Ikuto had Chara Transformed before coming here. And so as he begins to make his way out of the building, he is in the form of Black Lynx.

His aim is to make it to the roof, figuring if most of those pesky magical heroes that heard that magical scream for help would need to make their way through the whole hotel first, a trip which might be hindered by the security guards. He's not above using his own obstacles to his advantage, after all.
Tadase Hotori 2015-11-14 01:32:05 15053
Tadase doesn't hear any call for help. Tadase is actually quite close, but he's also stuck in thought, hands behind his head, thinking about a great number of things, from school to Virtue to the Guardians to Amulet Heart.

Okay, a lot of that is Amulet Heart.

But that's what he has Kiseki for. That and his hopes and dreams.

Kiseki floats up in front of Tadase and waves his little arms. "Hey hey! Soemone's calling for help. It sounds like a chara but also kinda not! But if someone's in trouble the King should help them!" Kiseki says in a half-panic. Something about that specific call really got to him.

Tadase also can't argue with Kiseki's logic - nor his state of panic at the idea that someone needs help. He chara changes, and rushes down the street.

It says something about Tokyo that nobody questions the kid with the crown running down the road towards a fancy hotel.
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-11-14 01:41:48 15056
Mikoto had spent some time visiting the exhibit earlier that evening. Not because of any great interest in it, but simply for her family's sake, to see and be seen in the proper company, doing the proper things. She and her friend Victoria had had a less than boring evening, mostly because keeping in company kept away most of the less pleasant would-be suitors. They did find one interesting exhibit, a few really old artifacts that were supposedly of religious significance. She was almost certain that one of them was of Belkan origin.

And so, introduced to a life of crime by Hannah and Eclipse, she's decided to get a closer look. She's on her way in that direction, making her way along the streets from the Infinity campus. And then something ... happens. She isn't quite sure why. But she suddenly knows she can't delay any longer.

A convenient alley gives her a quiet place to put up her Barrier Jacket, the runic glyph flaring at her feet and fading away as her casual outfit is replaced by a familiar blue-white-black costume. And then she takes to the sky, zooming off towards the hotel and arcing around whatever buildings get in her way.
Amu Hinamori 2015-11-14 02:01:41 15062
Amu Hinamori is in the nearby shopping district, oggling clothes and jewelry and musical instruments with eyes full of desire. "Ohhhh, look at this one!" she says to Miki, the little blue chara over her head. Amu points in the window at a glass-cased grand piano; a beautiful work of art as well as a tool for creating even more beautiful art.

"Ohhh, Amu-chan, can we have that?" Miki begs Amu.

Amu laughs at her Chara a little. "I wish. It's too expensive, but that's kinda the fun of window-shopping, huh? Just to be able to dream about all these wonderful th--"

Help...

The cry interrupts Amu mid thought. "Hnh?" she asks, confused. "Miki did you say something?"

"Amu-chi, Amu-chi!" Ran's frantic voice can be heard as the little pink chara zooms towards her friend. "Someone's in trouble!"

Amu finally puts it together, and she glances towards the hotel where she sensed the disturbance. "Ran, let's go," she says.

"Right!" The little Chara responds, then declares, "Hop, skip, jump!"

Little fluffy wings form at Amu's wrist and ankles, and the eleven year old is propelled high into the air as she jumps to the roofs, building to building, rushing towards the unknown determined to help.
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2015-11-14 02:05:41 15063
For those flying or jumping, that's about what one would see-- Ikuto Tsukiyomi, in the form of Black Lynx, sneaking around on the roof. Tadase may be on the ground, but surely Amu would notice him there and tell him what she sees, right?

For his part, Amu and Mikoto are the ones in the air, so they're the ones that he sees initially. His ears go back; that's the last thing he needs right now. But with the gem more or less hidden, can they really prove it was him?

Then again once Tadase finds out he's here, it's going to be instant accusations, but NEVER MIND.

It also doesn't help that as soon as he sees Amu and Mikoto, he starts to leap away from the very place that the call for help had come from! Way to not make yourself look guilty, right? Then again maybe that's part of his plan too.
Tadase Hotori 2015-11-14 02:20:30 15068
Tadase isn't jumping around the city at a great height, and therefore, he can't see Ikuto.

This does not absolve the catboy of blame, however - because Kiseki pipes up. "Yoru's here." the tiny king says, clenching his fist and then pointing up with his other hand. And that's really all Tadase needs to know. If Yoru's here, Ikuto's here...

And that's when he looks up and sees the cat-eared shadowy boy jump off the roof.

It's probably impossible for him to not see the bright light of Tadase's character transformation below him. It's a lot more impossible for him to avoid "HOLY JUSTICE" as a bright golden light erupts in front of him, trying to arrest his forward movement.

Shoot first, ask questions later? Not very Virtue, but for Ikuto, Tadase always makes exceptions. "Whatever you're doing, stop!" he shouts.
Amu Hinamori 2015-11-14 02:40:38 15072
Amu didn't think before she lept into the air. She just started jumping, reaching for rooftops without Chara Transformation. She can't land, this way, but she's mostly forgotten that. All she was thinking is 'someone needs help'.

Now that she's jumping from rooftop to rooftop, though, the realization hits her. Half way between one building and the next, she spots a massive glowing ball of brilliant energy in the sky, and shrieks in surprise. Ikuto's there, yes, and she dearly would like to track him down and stop him.

But first, she's going to fall! "Ahhhh!!!" Amu screams as she plumets downwards towards Tadase.
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-11-14 02:41:40 15073
Mikoto closes in on the hotel at high speed, driven by that wild sense of urgency. She spots the figure atop the roof from some short distance away, and arcs in towards him. Maybe this is why she 'needed' to be here so badly... she's still not certain, right now.

((Energy signature recognized, Meister.)) Carnwennan's sensors have long been better than her own eyes.

"What? Who - oh. Oh, that's okay. He must have gotten there first... I'll bet he's already seen the ... well, whatever the problem is."

And maybe the pink-haired girl could use some flying lessons. Mikoto pays her little attention, at first, as she focuses on catching up with Ikuto.
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2015-11-14 02:57:22 15078
Ikuto wants to curse, he really does. But he devotes the thought to something else. Namely, not getting 'Holy Justice' to the face. But on the one hand, if it's solid enough to hit him, it's solid enough to function as a springboard. This is difficult-- as well as being rather painful-- and sends him in a flip, but he 'catches' the energy attack and lets it aim him towards another building. Even if he skids when he lands on the roof.

However, he chuckles at Tadase's words, and then gets where he can see the ruffly one. "And what makes you think I've done anything at all?" he points out as he straightens. "As far as I know you just started shooting at me. And you call me the troublemaker?"

Suddenly Amu's falling. She's too far away, he can't get to her in time. But he notices she's close to Tadase. And he knows Tadase will save her. Tadase wouldn't let someone fall out of the air and get hurt. Which is good because suddenly he notices Mikoto coming in. He looks in her direction and sort of... pauses. Crap, what did he do now?!
Tadase Hotori 2015-11-14 02:59:17 15079
Platinum Royale shouts. "You're doing something wrong, because you're here and something is calling out to me for help - It's really not hard to connect those dots!" he says. Because he's never around when Ikuto isn't being a jerk. This may be by Ikuto's deisgn. "Or are you trying to tell me you came by out of benevolence?"

And then Amu is falling. And he's not so much of a jerk as to prioritize chasing Ikuto or insulting him to saving Amu!

There's a big leap, another flash of bright golden energy from below. Tadase's made a giant (crown shaped-of course) cushion of energy (it looks somewhat like a jello mold) to catch Amu and arrest the affects of her fall.

Kiseki, who is in charge of Not Always Being Helpful, says from within Platinum Royale "geeze, be more careful." as the energy disapates and Tadase catches her from the now much shorter fall.
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-11-14 03:06:17 15080
Mikoto smiles to herself as she arrows in towards Ikuto. Behind her, the pink-haired girl (whom she vaguely recalls from the Halloween party) seems to be missing a stride, but there's someone in place to catch her.

Good! Nothing to distract her from her boyf - er, the strange magical boy who's lurking on the roof!

Soon enough she's landing lightly on the ground beside Ikuto, turning to glare at the flashy-looking boy confronting him. He was at the party, too, wasn't he?

"Oi, neko-chan," she says, grinning. "Princeling here bothering you?"

Something needs her help, after all. And Ikuto's right there, where the feeling is strongest.
Amu Hinamori 2015-11-14 03:14:13 15081
Amu never quite expected this to be the way she would die. Trying to save someone who called to her, and now she's going to die because she fell? How utterly not-cool. And then, very suddenly, a warm cushion of crown arrests her fall, and she finds herself in the arms of Platinum Royale. "T...Tadase-kun," she says, eyes widening at him.

Kiseki's words sink in, and Amu's expression turns to irritated disapproval instantly as she recognizes the reference for what it is. "Tch," she says, then hugs Tadase briefly. "Ah, now I feel just like a Princess," she says to him, honestly. "Thank you."

Miki and Ran catch up, and Miki's eyes are wide at the sight of Amu in Tadase's arms. There might be hearts in the little Chara's eyes, and even Ran squeaks in excitement, before Amu shoots them both death glares, then lets Tadase lower her to the ground. "What called for help?" she asks Tadase, staring up at Ikuto. She still doesn't henshin straight away; so many things it could be, and it all seems to be drawing her towards Ikuto.

"Ikuto, is it you calling for help?" she yells up to him.
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2015-11-14 03:24:25 15082
Ikuto tilts his head to the side as Tadase speaks. "And you think you're the only one who heard it?" Completely true, too. Just because he was stealing it-- and was probably the one who prompted that call for help-- doesn't mean he didn't hear it. However he also relaxes a little, seeing Tadase catch Amu.

Mikoto lands, and he barely resists the urge to lay his ears back. This is getting more and more convoluted. He doesn't want to explain it to her. But he offers, "We have some bad blood between us. So of course everything that happens now is my fault." He pauses. He doesn't want Mikoto involved in this. But maybe he can drive her away if he lets her know that it's true. And then he can also sort of... test where her feelings are. Is it helping him? Or does she just want to make him mind?

So instead of directly answer Amu's question... he smirks darkly. Even if it does look a little like a lazy look, the effect he's trying for is obvious. And in answer to that question he draws the gem out of his pocket. The sense probably gets stronger now that they have uninterrupted line of sight with the magical trinket.

"This little thing? I noticed it being loud... I had a feeling some magical types might show up to try to grab it," he observes. Though he quickly slips the thing back into his pocket. As much as he needed to use this to make his 'evil' character undoubtable, he knew this wasn't playing around. "I had no idea it would be you three."

Yes, he's adding Mikoto to that equation. Because he figures she's there to stop him, not to help him.
Tadase Hotori 2015-11-14 03:44:03 15083
Tadase smiles at Amu, but doesn't say anything in response to her comments, after he sits her down. He does respond to her question with a look up. "I don't know what called for help. But I know it's coming from near Ikuto. And I'm pretty sure it's not him."

He looks up at the roof and makes a massive leap up there, scepter still in hand, just in time to see Ikuto reveal the object calling out - and he's sure that's what it is.

"See? Why do I get the feeling that you're not saving it - that you're the reason it's calling out? Where did you steal that from, Ikuto?" he asks, leveling that scepter at him.
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-11-14 03:46:44 15084
Mikoto takes a moment to be sure Amu has landed safely. Seeing she has, her attention moves more solidly to Ikuto. He's the one she's here to see, after all. The 'trinket' catches her eye. "Oooh. Shiny," she muses, peering more closely at it, letting Carnwennan's sensors get a good look.

"Nah," she finally decides. "It's cute, I'll admit, and it might look good on a brooch or a choker... but I prefer a sapphire. You know me."

She looks over at Tadase. "It was probably bored stiff with all the stuffy idiots who come by to gawp at it."
Amu Hinamori 2015-11-14 03:57:18 15086
Amu starts to ask, "Are you sure?" of Tadase, but then Ikuto shows off the diamond, and Amu can sense the feeling of need coming from the thing. "Is that ... someone's heart egg?" she asks quietly. Tadase's already leaping away, though; possibly too far to even hear the question. Amu hops back a step to get a better view. "Ran," she says.

The little Chara rushes towards Amu, leaving Miki behind on her own. "My heart: UNLOCK!" Amu declares, flashing her fingers over the humpty lock dangling around her neck.

A brilliant light engulfs the girl. Ran dives into her egg with a wink, and then merges into Amu entirely. From schoolgirl to magical girl, Amu transforms into a pink-haired cheerleader in a literal flash. "Character Transform: Amulet Heart!"

Her henshin complete, Amu makes the leap right after Tadase, moving much faster than the prince as she joins him on the roof. "Ikuto!" she yells at the catboy. "Give it back!" This is becoming a common phrase.
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2015-11-14 04:01:33 15087
"You keep saying that word... 'stealing'," Ikuto replies. "What makes you think I'm stealing it? I'm only intending to borrow it for a little while. I had an idea, and this little trinket is just what I need to kick it off. That's all." He doesn't move, keeping his eyes carefully trained on Tadase, since he's the one pointing a weapon at him at the moment.

Mikoto's words get a raise of his eyebrow. "It's not for you anyway," he states. She might find it odd... he's totally different here than when he was at the charity ball, or the restaurant afterwards. There, he was quiet and withdrawn, and almost skittish. Here? He's full of a malevolent kind of confidence. But there are cues, if Mikoto can read him close enough, that he might not really be as confident as he's appearing to be. The lazy quality to the smirk might be the biggest one.

Then Amu appears as Amulet Heart and makes her demand. "Like I said, I can't. So go on. Go back home. You wouldn't want to get hurt, now would you?" And there's that smirk again. Really, he's trying to look evil, but he's not quite got the hang of the expression.
Tadase Hotori 2015-11-14 04:14:29 15088
Tadase looks at Ikuto. He gets that feeling of untrustworthiness too - the idea that Ikuto is intentionally hiding something behind that smug grin - but rather than take it as a sign Ikuto is matrying himself, he just adds it to the 'growing list of reasons not to trust the larcenous cat.'

"I don't understand, Ikuto - I don't know why you've become this, or what you think you're doing. But I know I'm not going to let you take that thing back to Easter so they can use it for whatever they're doing! They're up to no good, and so are you."

"I told you last time, I'm not going to let you do whatever you want. I will always stop you. Just because you may have run away from your problems doesn't mean I will." Yeah, they may have a /little/ bit of history between them...

He looks to Mikoto. "I'm not sure who you are, but you should stay away from him. He only brings trouble and pain." he says, gritting his teeth.

To Amu:"He's doing the same thing he always does - stealing things that don't belong to him." Kiseki adds to that "You haven't caught onto that by now?".
Amu Hinamori 2015-11-14 04:29:39 15089
Amulet Heart frowns at Ikuto, and then holds out her hand. "Platinum Royale is right," she tells Ikuto sternly. "Thieving is wrong, no matter what you want to call it, especially when it's something that's actively calling out for help, like that is. Give it back, Ikuto!" she yells at him.

Suddenly, a brilliant glow appears in her hand that manifests into a meter-long rod with heart-shaped charms at either end. "I won't let you get away with this. Spiral Heart!" Amulet Heart declares, and sends the wand flying. Miki flies up next to Amu, and grins as she watches the wand fly away towards him. But it misses! The wand goes wide, flying straight past Ikuto almost as if Amulet Heart had the worst aim imaginable.
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-11-14 04:55:15 15090
And it's decision time for Mikoto. Will she help the heroes stop him? Or will she help the boy she's - definitely starting to have feelings for that have nothing to do wit romance, even if she did kiss him!

He's stealing.

She spent last night helping Hannah smash up a jewelry store.

That was for her cover.

This is for her friend.

Ah, heck with it. She closes her eyes for a moment, and there's a flicker of virtual matter rezzing into being... and then there's a pair of cat-ears on her own head, to match Black Lynx's.

"Sorry, hon," she says, "But there's a big difference between what's right, and what's easy."

And then a Belkan-style rune-circle flares into being bethind them, just as Amulet Heart's wand curls around towards Ikuto's back, interposing itself just in time to block.
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2015-11-14 05:18:25 15091
"Who says it's Easter that wants it?" Ikuto counters to Tadase. Yes, he's trying to make it sound like he's the one who's doing the thing. And to the words at Mikoto? his smirk widens. "'The Black Cat of Misfortune' again, hm?" Can Mikoto catch the bitter undertone to his words? Can Amu? Tadase might not; he usually seems too angry at Ikuto to catch anything like that.

Suddenly Amu is throwing that wand at him! Ikuto makes to dodge... but he doesn't even need to. "...You missed," he points out. Or did she? If the Heart Rod acts true to form, it will double back and try to hit him from the back... and he won't even realize it...

Thankfully Mikoto does. Ikuto's not aware of it, no. He's too busy looking funny at Mikoto when ears appear on /her/ as well. He's about to say something rude... when the rod Amu threw bounces off the shield Mikoto raised behind him. And he realizes it then.

Mikoto's throwing her lot in with him. That's the last thing he wants, he doesn't want her getting dragged down with him. But it's too late now, isn't it? The surprise on his face though, is impossible for anyone to miss. This wasn't something he expected.
Tadase Hotori 2015-11-14 05:26:43 15092
Tadase watches as Amulet Heart starts the opening salvo. And misses. He doesn't /say/ anything, which is good when it turns out that was somewhat intentional and the rod comes flying back at Ikuto from behind. The barrier from Mikoto, though, was suprising.

"You're right." he says, to Mikoto. "What's right isn't always easy. That doesn't mean it's okay to take the easy path! Easy or hard, the only thing that matters is that in times like this you choose to do the right thing." He turns from pointing the scepter at Ikuto, to pointing it at her.

"And now you're making the wrong decision." he says. It's not a threatening voice - it's a pleading voice. Tadase wouldn't even be blasting Ikuto if he didn't think it had been proven necessary - especially recently as he's tried to steal Amu's eggs.

"If you're going to stand with Ikuto when he's doing the wrong thing, though - you're going to be just as guilty. Please don't make that mistake. I don't want to fight you."

The grip on his scepter visibly tightens. "Either of you. But I will, because I am going to choose to the the right thing, no matter how hard it is." He looks to Amu, a sign of clear support and resolve - even if there might be some sadness in his eyes.
Amu Hinamori 2015-11-14 05:28:49 15093
Amulet Heart reaches up to pull her eye down and sticks out her tongue when Ikuto accuses her of missing. Miki even mimics the gesture at the same moment, as if they choreographed it! The akanbe is, however, lost behind a gasp of surprise when the heart-rod slams into Mikoto's shield instead of smacking Ikuto from behind.

"Hey, that wasn't fair!" Miki yells at Mikoto. Amulet Heart is too busy being surprised to disagree with her chara. "You're not supposed to help the jerk!" Good thing Yoru's not visible, or Miki might be singing a differnt tune entirely.

"Miki," Amulet Heart declares, "Your turn." There is a brief *pop* as Amu and Ran separate, and Ran flies towards Miki. The two Charas high-five briefly, before Miki jumps in her egg with another akanbe for Ikuto. Once again, there is a bright light as Amu merges with her chara. Adorable hat, tall striped stockings, painter's smock, and fly-away sleeves? Check. "Chara Transform: Amulet Spade!"

Spade whirls her paintbrush like a staff, then glares at the two cat-people on the roof. "Tadase's right. Doing the right thing is way hard, but that doesn't make it stop being the right thing! Ikuto, you're not a bad person! I just know it! Give me back whatever you stole and you can get away from here safely. I won't chase you, I won't even ask why you did it. Just do the right thing, Ikuto!"
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-11-14 05:44:27 15094
Mikoto flashes Ikuto one of her trademark smiles. "Sometimes you just have to trust someone," she tells the cat-boy. "And sometimes they'll trust you, too." Whatever that means. They spent a lot of time talking, this past week. About things like trust, and friendship, and doing what's right.

Speaking of what's right. Tadase gets in a nice little justice rant. And she grins at him. "That's why it's what's right. Even if it's not to your liking." She steps closer to Ikuto, taking up a defensive stance beside him. "Sometimes, things are ... complicated."

And with that Ikuto gets yelled at by another Chara. Mikoto's cheeks redden at the name-calling, and her eyes narrow. She starts to say something, then bites it back as Amu re-transforms. That's new.

... oh my GODS. The cute is ... I need a toothbrush. What is she, like, eleven? Wait, she probably is. Okay, please try not to just blow her away, Mikoto.

"Aaaaand here we go with the name-calling. Got any original material, pinky? You did so well at Halloween."
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2015-11-14 06:04:39 15095
And then this is just a huge disaster. Not only because he doesn't want Mikoto involved in his problems. But because he knows she won't hold back if she has to attack Tadase or Amu. Ikuto has been holding back thus far. Because he doesn't really want to hurt them.

It's probably one of the few times in recent times Tadase's seen him not looking confident and snarky, so there's that. Ikuto's rhythm has been thrown off. So he could conceivably be easier to defeat.

The down side? It's THAT face, the look Ikuto had that day he left so suddenly, when Tadase tried to chase him and fell. That look that Ikuto sent back at Tadase... it's there again. it's a hard look. Intentionally closing himself off inside.

He doesn't have a choice. There's nothing else he can do.

His head lowers a bit, but that hard expression stays on his face. He's quiet as Mikoto engages Amu in conversation. "...Be careful." This is to Mikoto. His voice is gruff, but quiet. "...They're tougher than they look. Particularly the little Prince. He knows his powers really well. The girl is new to this, but don't underestimate her. She has three heart's eggs. Go for the girl. The Prince will try to protect her. You'll catch them both, so watch out."

Yes, he's giving Mikoto a rundown of their powers and predilections in battle. He's quiet, so it's entirely possible that Tadase and Amu may not be able to hear him. And then?

He's lunging at Tadase, claw drawn back to attack. He's counting on the other boy being able to block, though. But if Mikoto takes his advice, it'll force Tadase to pick between fighting him and protecting Amu.
Tadase Hotori 2015-11-14 06:07:57 15096
Tadase seems resigned to this. He only has one last thing to say. "Trusting Ikuto is a mistake. He will take the most important things from you." He's thinking about his dog, mostly. But the key is still a sore spot, too.

Amulet Spade /might/ be able to catch the dual 'amazing' from both Kiseki and Tadase as she tags out henshins during the fight. "Alright, Amulet Spade. It's two on two. Lets get that thing he stole back." he says.

And then Ikuto's coming in! He's right in that Tadase's normal plan would be to block - to put up a shield. It's a play they've run before, and the ensuing chaos usually lets Ikuto get away.

But it's not Tadase today, it's Plantinum Royale, and combined with Kiseki he's somewhat less defensive. "HOLY JUSTICE!" the call is made again, and Platinum Royale's scepter unleashes a blast of golden-white energy at Ikuto - aimed slightly off in the hopes of avoiding hitting the side of whatever it is he's trying to save. (This will make it more trivial to dodge, all things being equal.)

He doesn't want to blast Mikoto yet - if he can avoid it. Success or failure, he shouts out "Watch out for his new friend!" to Amu.
Amu Hinamori 2015-11-14 06:10:35 15097
Amulet Spade may not know the look on Ikuto's face well, but even she can recognize when someone's been put between a rock and a hard place. But what can she do? He's clearly attacking, and that doesn't leave her much choice.

Amulet Spade isn't nearly as aggressive as Amulet Heart; rather than going all out attack, she instead jumps back a step, falling behind the much more protective Platinum Royale, knowing that he will buy her the time she needs to work her own magic. Whirling her painbrush before her, she draws magical artwork into the air, then sends it whirling at Mikoto. "COLOURFUL CANVAS!" A spray of magical paint assaults the catgirl, seeking to push her backwards and out of the fight, if only for a moment.
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-11-14 06:20:35 15098
Mikoto's made her decision. She'll stand by it, and by her boyf - FRIEND. She looks at Tadase, briefly, then at Amulet Spade, as if assessing each of them in turn. Considering just how badly she'll need to hurt them to make them leave Ikuto be.

She gives Black Lynx a curt nod as he briefs her on their capabilities. "Don't worry," she murmurs. "I've got this."

She looks at Tadase again as he speaks, and shakes her head. He's already taken the most important thing of all, after all. Her heart. "You'll understand," she says, softly. Then she adds, "I'll try not to hurt her. Too much."

When she dealt with a White Flower witch ambush the other day, Mikoto spent ten minutes stacking up nearly a thousand Flicker Shots. Going all-out with that kind of firepower would be ... entirely too much overkill. Especially since she knows Amu is supposed to be one of the heroes.

She keeps it simple, at first. Another of those Belkan rune-triangles appears, glowing in mid-air, between her and the splash of paint. ((Panzerschiff!)) "Thank you, partner," she murmurs, then a flicker of her fingers and her sword is drawn. ((Flakschrecken!)) A spiralling vortex of mana is launched from the blade's point as she lashes it through the air, the attack zooming out at the pink-haired heroine. "... that was a level one, right?" she asks the Device.

((Confirmed, Meister. Low-level kinetic impactor with neural disruption. Probability of direct permanent injury: zero.))
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2015-11-14 06:46:27 15099
The thing in Ikuto's pocket is the only thing that keeps him safe, and Ikuto knows it. The blast comes at him and his eyes widen a bit-- no, he wasn't expecting that. His instincts only barely get him out of the way in time, and only because Tadase purposely fired off-center. He leaps to the side, charge interrupted, though the blast scraped across his side. Tadase can see the wince, and how the older boy's cat-ears flatten back.

But Ikuto's not going to let that stop him. He just needs to occupy Tadase until one of them gets tired. He needs to force Tadase on the defensive. And so he draws that claw back again. "SLASH CLAW!" And as he swings that arm forward, silvery arcs of cutting energy fire at Tadase. Like Tadase's attack, it's aimed too far too the side to do too much damage. Even without a shield it shouldn't hurt him too much.
Tadase Hotori 2015-11-14 06:54:25 15100
Tadase doesn't smile when Ikuto gets singed by Holy Crown. He just keeps that stern look of determination to deal with something bad on his face. Ikuto might actually recognize that. For all his loudmouth insults, Tadase would rather not be fighting Ikuto. But he also knows it's not the first time, and it won't be the last.

Slash Claw comes in, and those silver blades of energy nearly do make an impact: "HOLY CROWN" comes out at the last moment, the erupting shield barely covering Tadase from Ikuto's attack. It also causes a large, bright explosion as the shield disapates, and there's sparkles in the air for a moment. He's not backed down though - even if he did have to take a short hop back.

"I won't let you just take whatever you want, Ikuto!" he says, though the close shave of that attack seems to have shaken him - but only for a moment. He's moving up towards Ikuto now - no fancy attacks, he is going to try to just bash him with the ornate scepter in his hand.

Getting into melee with the more agile catboy is not the smartest idea he's ever had.
Amu Hinamori 2015-11-14 07:01:40 15102
Amulet Spade yelps and leaps aside as a lance of mana arcs toawrds her from Mikoto's sword. She twirls like a ballerina on point as she recovers from the dodge, then whirls her paintbrush and points it at Mikoto. "Why are you helping him!? He's stealing someone's heart egg! Someone's dreams. This is wrong! We shouldn't be fighting!"

For a brief instant, there is a flare of golden energy, as Tadase's Holy Crown manifests, and Amu doesn't miss the opportunity. She leaps towards Ikuto. "And you!" she yells at the catboy as she brings the brush around to try and whallop him from the side opposite where that thing was placed.

"How dare you take things that don't belong to you again! When will you learn your lesson? This isn't right! I know this isn't what you want, either! I can see it in your eyes and in your movements. Stop fighting us!" Three more rapid attacks from the brush, all as she's busy trying to inspire the pair to stop.
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-11-14 07:07:37 15104
Mikoto keeps at least half an eye on Ikuto and Tadase's fight. Just in case she has to pull catboi's cute little arse out of the fire. She probably won't. He's made it this far okay. But you don't get to be a Knight of the Centai Zel by taking unnecessary risks.

Taking extremely, even hilariously, necessary ones? Yeah, that's right up their alley.

She watches, instead, as Amulet Spade dances out of the way of her attack. Her smile widens, her eyes gleaming with mirth. "Looked an awful lot like a rock, to me," she says, interposing herself between the girl and Ikuto to parry the paintbrush with her rapier.

"Now," she says, "If you're going to do that, hold it straighter, don't tuck your thumb like that... put your forward foot out just a hair, you'll balance better that way... that's it, now try again!"

Kendo Club wins again. She's giving a lesson in the middle of a fight.
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2015-11-14 07:12:31 15105
As Tadase comes in for melee, Ikuto raises his right arm, the one with the claw, and clashes with the scepter. It takes more effort than he'd like to admit to hold that scepter back. Tadase has gotten strong.

While no, going melee with Ikuto might not be the smartest idea, on the other hand Tadase is close enough to see Ikuto's face. His eyes. But Ikuto knows that too, and he smirks. It doesn't reach his eyes. But he pretends not to care. "Keep fighting, little King. It won't do you any good."

And then suddenly Amu's there, swinging at the pocket where the gem is tucked. With no other defensive options, Ikuto pulls his left arm down and takes the hit on his arm, with a grunt of pain. And with his claw-arm still bound up by Tadase's scepter, it looks like each of Amu's other three attacks are going to land, too.

Except then Mikoto interposes herself and rescues him from those last three.

He gives a shove with his claw-arm, to throw Tadase's scepter off his claw so he can disengage, and then flips back. A quick assessment of the situation and he sends another three energy slashes forward again. But this time it's at the roof at Tadase's feet. What's he trying to do, cut through the roof?!
Tadase Hotori 2015-11-14 07:18:26 15106
Tadase presses in on Ikuto with the scepter - and while he only makes up a little bit of ground - he leaves him open for Amulet Spade. And then Ikuto smirks.

Tadase hates that smirk. Because it feels directed at him, it also seems to be so hollow. It upsets him a great deal.

But with Mikoto sparring with Amulet Spade, he has other things to work with here he turns to look at her, and that's when Ikuto disengages!

The claw swipe cuts into the roof - and forces Tadase to jump. But this is Platinum Royale, and it's one heck of a jump. He uses that momentum to come down behind Ikuto's new ally - he's aiming to slam into her back, but he'll be happy with anything if it just keeps her off Amu - the difference in skill is somewhat notable there.

"Hey, watch your back, lady!" Kiseki jokingly 'warns'. Kiseki is still Not Always Helpful.
Amu Hinamori 2015-11-14 07:28:01 15108
Amulet Spade grimaces in surprise as most of her attacks are foiled. Worse, she's being schooled by the older, more graceful woman. In any other situation, she might actually appreciate the lessons, but right now they just frustrate her. Doubly so, since she's certain this entire situation is wrong.

When Tadase leaps in to attack Mikoto from behind, it buys Amulet Spade the space she needs. "Again!" she declares. "Colourful canvas!" There is a wash of paint directed in Mikoto's direction, but it's not really an attack; it's a distraction as she rolls and dodges away, and then spins her staff before her and sets it to floating on its own. Amulet Spade takes a breath and reaches up to activate the lock. "Negative Heart, Lock On!" she declares, forming a heart over the device, then pushes that heart outwards towards Ikuto.

Magical energy courses out of Amulet Spade as the humpty lock dances with a riot of rainbow colours. Waves of energy flow towards Ikuto; waves of love and feelings of positive energy. Nothing in this attack can possibly hurt him. But the feelings of comfort, calm, peace, and love are overwhelming. Encouragement. You can be who you want to be. "OPEN HEART!"
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-11-14 07:39:50 15110
Mikoto continues the lesson, giving Amulet Spade further advice in the art of the sword - or in her case, the paintbrush - for as long as the younger girl puts up with it. She flicks aside the last burst of paint easily enough... it's like she's never considered attempting to actually hurt the girl.

Kiseki's warning, at least, is heard by something. (<Round Shield>), another voice echoes, as Labyrinth Architect chips in his two yen and another rune-sigil appears in the attack's path.

So when Amu dances back to try something more powerful - and possibly more effective - she hesitates, a moment. Once again she interposes herself, protecting Ikuto.

The thing about using a positive energy attack on someone who's already acting out of, well, affection, even if she'll deny calling it love?

It just reinforces what's already there. She can't speak to its effect on Ikuto. But her own efforts are simply ... encouraged.

She'll regret hurting the girl. But she already doesn't want to. She just wants to make sure Amu learns something from this.

((Flakschrecken, level one...)). She flicks the blade out again, sending another of those little helixes of mana at the girl. This one's moving a bit faster than the first.

((... Ripple Fire.)) Oh. And there are seven of them.
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2015-11-14 08:06:36 15112
It's understandable that Tadase would be a little disturbed by Ikuto's smirk. It does rather look like the hollow, painted-on smile on a doll, doesn't it...?

He traces Tadase's leap, and there's a frown of annoyance when he realizes where he's landed and what he's aiming to do. This is why he always fights alone-- trying to keep track of his OWN enemies plus keep them off his allies, is a huge pain in the butt! Unfortunately for him, this is also a distraction that Amu capitalizes on. With her 'Negative Heart' technique.

Truth be told, he'd rather Amu have attacked him again. He would rather have taken a full-strength punch in the gut from a pro boxer than tank a Negative Heart to the face. Worse, Mikoto's trying to tank it for him. It's not helping. In fact it's probably just affecting them both now. But unlike Mikoto, it's not helping Ikuto focus.

There's no real 'push' to the attack Not a physical one. But there doesn't need to be. The whole thing feels like a knife in his heart anyway. Nothing positive comes about from that blast of positive energy. Well, not positive for Ikuto. The energy fades and Ikuto falls to his knees on the roof, catching himself on his hands. His head's down, his hair's hanging in his face, and he is utterly silent.

And suddenly Yoru appears with a flash and a pop, the trappings of Black Lynx disappearing. From the look on his face, he's as surprised to be there as anyone else might be to see him. "Ikuto?! What's wrong-nya?!" Still Ikuto remains quiet.

He doesn't want to do this. He doesn't want to attack Amu and Tadase. But he has no choice, because... because they just won't...

"...Why can't you just stay out of it...?"

It might not even be heard. It's spoken quietly, half-whispered under his breath, voice thick in his throat. Why can't they just stay out of this? Why can't they just let him protect them from Easter? Let him take the brunt of it.
Tadase Hotori 2015-11-14 08:17:59 15114
Tadase's scepter clangs against Mikoto's Round Shield, but it does the job of drawing her attention! Amu's in - and she's using Negative Heart on Ikuto? He's not an X-egg. Just an X-Jerk. But he trusts her judgement on matters like this - and it seems to be effective!

But not on Mikoto, who, while unable to stop Negative Heart, decides to counter attack Amu!

And Platinum Royale moves /much faster/ than he's moved any other time this fight, interposing himself between Amu and the magical attack of Mikoto's - just in the nick of time, again. "HOLY CROWN!" he shouts, and that cone of golden energy soaks the incoming attacks - one of them detonates by virtue of being /caught/ in the shield rather than impacting it, the wall was so close. These two together are dangerous.

And even still, he can't help but taunt. "What, you thought only you would shield for your ally?" This time it's not even Kiseki doing the taunting. Ikuto seems in a bad way though. And he's out of henshin.

"Just give it up, Ikuto. We can stop fighting, if you stop fighting us." he says, plainly - but with that determination still clearly in his voice. He's also ready to defend against Mikoto again, if need be.
Amu Hinamori 2015-11-14 08:32:53 15117
Amulet Spade has spent her greatest attack on Ikuto, and it worked! Mostly. There's sadness in her expression as Yoru is expelled and the boy is left looking defeated on the roof.

"... Why can't you just be the hero you were meant to be...?"

Amulet Spade asks Ikuto, half-whispered, so quiet it may not even be heard.

Lances of mana are spent towards her, as Spade allows her guard to fall. She doesn't even notice them until,

"HOLY CROWN!"

"Hnh?" Amu asks, eyes widening as she looks up to realise she's being bathed in the golden light of Tadase's protection. She shrieks in surprise as Mikoto's Flakshrecken explodes within and without the shield, and wraps her arms around Tadase, clinging to him for protection.
Mikoto Nakajima 2015-11-14 08:47:15 15119
Did Mikoto ever really think that Tadase wouldn't protect Amu?

Well, maybe. It's why she kept her attack so weak. The spell-bolts fizzle prettily on Tadase's shield, dissipating harmlessly. But it gets him out from behind her! Bonus!

"Actually, I thought that she could use the dodging practice," is her answer to the actual question, however.

And then she hears Yoru's voice. And looks back to see Ikuto dropping to his knees, his transformation dissolved. Further swordswomanship lessons are off the table. For now.

"Enough," she says, cat-ears flicking back atop her head. She reaches down to grab Ikuto by the scruff of the neck, or at least the collar of his shirt. "Carnwennan. Prepare dimensional transfer. Coordinates as stored, code 'Summer Garden'." There's no more playful teasing in her voice. Determination. Disappointment. A gruff, blunt certainty.

((Calculating dimensional transfer vector, Meister.)) A Belkan runic sigil flares to life at her feet, triangular with smaller rune-circles at each point, rotating beneath the two.

Her sword is placed back in its sheathe as she straightens, hauling the boy up beside her, one arm under his shoulders to support him and hold him close. "Go," she says. "Go, and learn, and be happy little heroes. It's going to take me all night to get his head back together after this."

It's going to take a moment or two for that 'dimensional transfer' to happen, whatever it might be, it seems. And she isn't attacking any more.

But, uhm. You might have made her mad.
Ikuto Tsukiyomi 2015-11-14 08:53:31 15120
Mikoto may be right. Tadase's question gets absolutely no response from Ikuto. He doesn't move. And he probably didn't hear Amu. Even if he had he probably wouldn't have moved.

Slightly more disturbingly, Yoru's insistent prodding doesn't get any response, either. "Ikuto. Ikuto, wake up-nya!" Still no response. "...Ikuto...?"

"..."

Yoru's ears droop, and licks Ikuto's face lightly, trying to get through to him. Trying to get any kind of response, even a negative one. His head just stays down, his hair obscuring his eyes.

Fortunately Mikoto has the foresight to haul him up to his feet. He's kinda skinny-- and he IS basically scruffing him, so he doesn't stop her, and offers no resistance to her arm around him. Though he's still keeping his head down.

Suddenly Mikoto's talking about dimensional transferring, though, and Yoru gives a 'nya!' of surprise, grabbing hold on Ikuto's arm and latching on. If they're going somewhere, he doesn't want to be left behind!

A moment later, the rune-circle on the floor spawns a duplicate of itself, overlaid just above the original one. The duplicate circle moves up, the original rune-circle remaining underneath them. And as the duplicate circle rises, the forms of Mikoto, Ikuto, and Yoru seem to dissolve into thin air.

It's all very quick. When the area is empty, the rune-circles fade out of existence.

At least the gem stayed in Ikuto's pocket. It'd have sucked all kinds of eggs to get wrecked like this AND lose the gem....
Tadase Hotori 2015-11-14 09:08:08 15121
Tadase watches as Mikoto grabs Ikuto and teleports out... -and there's an Amulet Spade on his back so everything else stops for a moment- and he drops his scepter - and Holy Crown dissapates.-

"Amulet Spade... " he starts - and now that the other two are gone. "Amu-chan? It's okay now." he says, even though they're gone - and with the item - both Amu and Tadase aren't hurt. He has no idea what to do here.

But for some reason he doesn't want to urge her to stop squeezing him, no matter how odd it might be to suddenly have a very blue girl on his back.
Amu Hinamori 2015-11-14 09:17:22 15122
There is a soft popping noise as Miki emerges as well, leaving the pair of eleven year olds on the roof, Amu clutching to Tadase's back worriedly. She doesn't let go right away, even if it is okay now.

Miki just gives a big thumbs up to Ran, and the pair of them move over conspiratorially to surround Kiseki on either side. They don't say anything at all; just look on with expectant grins.

Amu doesn't let go; not even a few moments later. And why is Tadase's shoulder getting wet?

*snf*

Oh that's why. Amu Hinamori is crying, leaning on Tadase's back for support, clinging to him in the hopes that he won't see her like this.