A Special Invitation

Runealy gathers several friends to explain how the trip to her homeworld will work... but is quickly interrupted by a fiend instead.

Date: 2015-11-28
Pose Count: 50
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-28 23:16:27 16870
Rune has been making calls and texts - though the latter are semi-literate as she's still learning how to write on modern devices - for a while now, inviting several people to the island shrine in the park this afternoon. The cold weather is keeping most people away, though once in the shrine grounds it's not too bad.

The Guardian Knights were invited in person. They were not hard to find, seeing as they live with her in a 'safehouse' apartment for the time being. Rune had told them, "We're going back next week. Most of you know why," hinting at a major holiday. Their Earth-hailing member was given a tiny bit more detail: "We'll tell you why when we meet up with the others."

Everyone else was told the time to go to Waldia was near. It wasn't today, but it would almost certainly be next week, that the conditions would be best around that time. They were asked to come to the shrine to work out a few details.

And now the alien princess stands near a large tree within the shrine area. She's tense, head tilted down in thought as sharp breaths follow every so often. "This is really going to be it. I never imagined we'd be going home quite like this..." She's perhaps talking to herself, though her gaze does flick aside to any of those already gathered here and it would be easy to overhear this remark. "So many things happening all at once, leading up to this. To being able to go back on our terms, instead of having to hurry back with people chasing us all the way."
Mint Chip 2015-11-28 23:22:52 16873
There's someone here, walking up the path to the shrine now, who wasn't invited, however. Currently, it's in the form of a stern-looking Japanese businessman - however, it's true form is anything but.

It had been a long trek - coming all the way over from Waldia itself - but finding the Princess here was worth it. And, like any Waldian Demon, this creature is unwilling to let a chance to taunt, to torment, to twist a knife get in its way.

The relatively unremarkable, nondescript salaryman walks up to the group, and, as Rune comments, he speaks up.

"What makes you think that you have a home to go back to?" he inquires.
Hinote Kagari 2015-11-28 23:25:31 16875
Hinote Kagari has come along when he was invited, of course. He doesn't quite /live/ with the other Waldians. (He has an Earth home and his parents are wondering where he's spending so much time nowadays and eventually he's going to run out of excuses, but for now... well!)

He tapped his chin a bit. He arrived alone, from his own direction as he had his relic braclet on- he was getting more worried when Valeria showed up and spoke about the red sky. His parents also asked about that. 'He saw it in a shop and liked it.'. It was enough of an excuse.

He listens to the Princess's words as he arrived. "Well. We worked hard--- and did our best. And----- we might not had made the best choices...." he says.

"There were others who cared, Runealy." he says.

Then a strange man arrives. He doesn't know this man.

He does blink though.

"Well. That's rude." he says guardedly. He shifts closer to Runealy.

"Runealy do you know this man?" he mumbles back to her. Yeah he has a bad feeling but really who wouldn't.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-11-28 23:27:07 16876
Gaofele Doiru nods to Rune from his perch up on a tree branch. "As a whole, I'd say that things turned out better than we expected," he notes. "Even with all of the ups and downs, I think we're coming out ahead so far."

When the salaryman walks up to the group and asks his question, the forester hops out of the tree, landing near Rune. "And what do you mean by that?" Gao demands, eyeing the newcomer warily.
Fate T. Waldia 2015-11-28 23:35:48 16879
Fate arrives a little late, just in time to hear the mysterious salaryman. She flies in from above, in her barrier jacket with Bardiche in staff form, landing close to Runealy and her sworn friends.

"What do you mean?" she asks the stranger. "Why wouldn't she have a home?"

Fate glances from Rune to Hinote to Gaofele, then back to the stranger. "Who are you? Runealy-chan who is this person?"

To say that the little twintailed girl is confused is putting it mildly. She expected a (perhaps somewhat awkward) meeting with friends, but what she gets instead is an air of hostility and maybe even danger. After all, normal people don't tend to just walk up to magical girls like it's nothing.
Valeria Barun 2015-11-28 23:40:22 16880
    Standing a little ways away from Runealy is a very well dressed young lady with lavender eyes and hair, an elaborate white and green dress and matching jewelry. She's standing comfortably at ease with her hands folded in front of herself, posture genial but also somewhat formal. Valeria hasn't yet met any of the defenders of Tokyo that she had been told so much about and so was doing her best to present herself well; though such things are usually a matter of course for her.

    At Runealy's words she looks over in her direction and smiles, "You've done a good job of smoothing over relations with the people you met in your time here. Once we come back we can not only make it up to them for their kindness but make ourselves a positive force in their world."

    When the salary man arrives she looks to the others for some kind of clarification, only to take a protective step towards Runealy when Hinote doesn't recognize him. She lifts her chin a little as she looks the man over, her expression cooling slightly from it's usual warmth. "We don't think. We know," she speaks in an even, calm tone that betrays not a bit of any ill-ease she might be feeling. She takes a half step closer, not quite facing the man directly and looking towards him in a half sideways glance. "And who might you be? I find your insinuation most disrespectful."

    A quick look towards Fate as she lands, her lips curling into a brief smile as the small girl begins sticking up for them immediately. Runealy seems to have judge these people's kindness correctly.
Mamoru Chiba 2015-11-28 23:47:57 16883
Tuxedo Kamen's sitting on a rock next to Seishi, composed and grave. He has his hands folded in his lap and his cape's not flipped back, but falling in front of his shoulders, and he's just been listening.

When the salaryman comes up and intrudes decidedly intrusively, one of his hands comes up to lightly touch Seishi's shoulder. "This is going to be a fight," he says very quietly. "That man is either possessed or he's a youma."

And then he stands, pulling a rose from inside his jacket, and stays his hand to wait for cues from the Waldians.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-11-28 23:58:09 16885
Seishi had begun to fear that it was going to take a governmental proclamation to convince her father to un-ground her enough to even make this meeting, but in the end, either sense or a certain amount of restrained groveling seems to have done the trick. Much like Tuxedo Kamen, she's been quiet, observing attentively, taking in the unfamiliar faces of those she doesn't know - but even before Mamoru touches her shoulder and murmurs that warning to her, when the apparent salaryman walks up to accost Runealy, Seishi's hands slip out of the sleeves of her kimono, one of them dropping to close on the tessen that's tucked into her belt.

She spares a questioning glance toward Runealy, but after that, her focus is very intently on this man, and she stands poised and waiting, an arrow on a drawn-back bowstring.
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-29 00:02:20 16886
With everyone gathered, Rune takes one last breath to compose herself. It's time to start explaining things, a process she's not sure whether to handle emotionally or formally. In the end, she tries for the latter but the former mixes in alongside it. "Thank you, all of you." Her gaze sweeps from person to person, mind flooded with memories of their influence on events.

Gaofele is how she even got this far; there's a chance she'd still be wandering the forests south of Tokyo, lost. Without Hinote, Tokyo wouldn't make any sense to her. Valeria has provided important context, reminders that their estimates on how long the Barrier protecting their world will last are running pretty close to them being out of time. They speak rightly of the events leading up to here, and bear a reply. "They did care, and if we make one more right decision, then maybe this will work out. We'll do that, and come back to help them too just like you said."

Seishi's interactions in Rune's nightmares helped convince her there might be other options instead of attacking Earth. Tuxedo Kamen laid out proof that helped define what those options are. Fate swooped in to prevent an agent of the White Flower from delivering a fatal blow to the princess.

Any one of these events could have gone differently, leading to a horrible outcome if they did not transpire exactly as they had. Life can be very precise and interesting like that. "Our world's most important day, Salvation Day, is at hand. Next week, we'll return and you'll get to meet everyone you've hel--"

A strange man approaches, interrupting her. "Huh?" Her eyes widen as she tries to figure out who he might be. "He looks a little like the Guard Captain back at the castle, but... no, it's not him." It was a vague guess at best and no other matches spring to mind. Then her mind replays his words. Now she's very, very confused. "What are you talking about?"

'Possessed'? Maybe. That possibility is worth investigating, Rune knows it's possible. Yet she does take the time to ask Tuxedo Kamen, "How do you know?" Seishi's glance doesn't get much insight from Runealy; she's puzzled too, and not about to declare 'open season' on someone for just making cryptic remarks. Even if doing so would show an abundance of caution.
Mint Chip 2015-11-29 00:15:11 16887
The man adjusts his tie - and smiles. It's a very warm smile - which makes it seem all the more wrong, when you consider the rest of his demeanor.

"The Princess doesn't know me. But I know her mother. Or... I knew her mother." the man says, that smile never leaving his face. "Not much left of her now."

The man flicks his hand out - but instead of a regular hand, there's a black claw, like a shadow, each thin finger ending in long claws. He makes a slow swipe through the air - and that smile never leaves his face.

"Do you think you still have time, Princess? You're too late. It's already over. I'm just here to finish the job we started with your mother. I think I'll drag you back through that portal and you can follow in her footsteps, PRINCESS." The last word is said with a hiss - like the title is an insult more than royalty.
Hinote Kagari 2015-11-29 00:24:23 16888
Hinote Kagari stands a little more in the way of Runealy when mentions of possession happen. Yeah this is getting a little more serious now. Runealy mentions Salvation Day. He was told of this when he asked about special days. It's the day the Barrier gets renewed and there's a celebration. Right now his mind isn't on that too hard.

Then the man talks and there's a black claws and those words....... there's a lock of shock and horror on Hinote's face. But this quickly also changes into straight up anger after a moment as words and actions connect in his head.

"To protect justice I am Guardian Hino." he says. There's the flash of orange light---then the Guardian Knight is left standing there. The sword's already out- he didn't need to draw it. It's held in front of him. Yeah. That's an agitated state.

"No." he says plainly. "She isn't going anywhere---and if you insist on it. You'll go through me and the others first." he says, looking out over the drawn longsword. It lights on fire to drive the point home.

He's unhappy now. He's not the only one of course mostly likely. His eyes draw onto Kamen and Akashimaru in a sideglance.

Hinote already knows this is going to be a fight. "Princess..." he mutters in concern. "We're here." is all he says as reassuredly.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-11-29 00:26:22 16889
"To protect the lands, I am Guardian Gao!" Gaofele snarls, sliding the bracer onto his arm and drawing an arrow as soon as the henshin finishes. "I don't know who you are, but you know too much to be of Earth," the forester Knight growls as he interposes himself between Rune and the interloper. "And by your inhuman claws, I think I know what you are."

He nods to Hinote. "And we're ready," he adds in agreement with his fellow Knight, then glances towards their allies.
Fate T. Waldia 2015-11-29 00:36:18 16890
Fate gasps as the strange man says that Rune's mother is already gone. How? How can that be? That's terrible.

She hears Kamen say that the man is either evil or possessed. So he's some kind of monster. Fate holds Bardiche in front of her, defensively. She takes a few steps back as the claws appear, now more and more sure that this is an enemy.

"I don't think I like what you're saying. Get out, whatever you are. If you don't leave, don't expect us to go easy on you."

Fate floats back into the air, Bardiche at the ready. She's not really expecting this thing to leave. They never do. She's quietly loading up a few spells for Bardiche to get ready to cast.
Valeria Barun 2015-11-29 00:37:56 16891
    As the 'salaryman' speaks again Valeria's attitude goes from cool haughtiness to one of contempt, her eyes half lidding. The tingle of rage prickles over her as the Demon outs itself for what it truly is while making a mockery of the death of Runealy's mother, the Queen. She hides it remarkably well, showing only that disgusted look from her eyes while keeping her chin up. A furious reaction is exactly what the demon is trying to illicit, and she's not going to give it the pleasure of getting a rise out of her.

    "What a boor. You see? This is why your kind had to be caged in a bottle in the first place." She looks over to Runealy, "Don't listen to what this creature has to say. We know how to deal with his kind, do we not?"

    She lifts her hand into the air, "To protect our future, I am Guardian Vale!" A similar flash of light surrounds her and soon she's transformed as well, now in a partially armored white and purple dress, full armored gauntlets up her arms and armored boots as well, a shield strapped to her left arm and a broad sword held in her right hand.

    She walks closer to Runealy as the other Guardian Knights take a position in front of her, careful not to turn her back to the half disguised Demon in front of them, "You've nothing to fear with so many friends on your side, Princess. Remember what your mother taught you and we'll send this fell harbinger to it's destruction."
Mamoru Chiba 2015-11-29 00:42:02 16892
Tuxedo Kamen doesn't worry about answering Runealy's question right now, since the evidence is now apparent that he's right. He does say, perhaps a little insouciantly, "In fact, you've so many people on your side willing to curbstomp this jerk that you may as well keep explaining what you need us to know, Rune-chan." The rose is twirled carelessly between his fingers. "And remember," he says more encouragingly, "he's just trying to get to you. Ignore his words, you can deal with sorting them out later."
Seishi Tamashige 2015-11-29 00:45:05 16893
This is more than enough for Seishi. As the claws come out - both figuratively and quite literally - she tugs the metal war fan out of her belt and snaps it fully open with a quick flick of her wrist, raising it to shoulder-height as she assumes a ready stance.

"I don't think so," she states, a clear and decisive voice joining the others that have spoken out. Light glints along the delicate lines of the spider lily motif that decorates the fan's metal slats, red like reflected sunset. "Now, I'll have you show us your true form."

The hand holding the tessen sweeps out and back, stirring the air around her. "Come, the wind that blows away illusions--" And with a sharp motion, Akashimaru swings her fan toward what is very clearly not just a businessman, the stirring in the air around her becoming a blast of wind that whips her hair and sleeves wildly. "--San-kyo-sen!"
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-29 00:49:25 16894
"What?" Rune is astonished by this claim. "You knew mom? How d..." His words quickly turn cruel, leaving her staggering back a few steps. "Wh... what...?" He quickly proves Tuxedo Kamen's warning to be right, and even though he wasn't directly attacking her... the princess leaps back regardless. "No way!?" This isn't defiance, she's startled by what he's saying.

It's too late? Did she really waste too much time, dealing with Witches and protecting hospitals and stopping to talk to Tokyo's protectors when they asked for her to consider opening up to them? Sitting around resting and healing in a comfortable modern apartment when her world needed her?

Maybe. It's very likely, in fact. Her head begins shaking over and over. "How could you have even found this world!? We've made sure to keep things hidden, you shouldn't be here! Nobody should, but a demon least of all!" A demon. Not the first she has ever seen, but it is the first she has confronted without her mother who had been so careful to make sure Rune was in protective forcefields while she watched and learned from the queen. The queen had always been enough to strike one of them down, and always did it with ease.

She is not the queen. Even as others offer reassurances, the demon's words dig in to remind Rune of that. Even her gasping-toned transformation reminds herself: "S... Summoning Princess' Tiara!" Her eyes are fixated on the claws, even as jeweled headwear appears in-hand. "The Line of Succession... tr... tr..." Heart pounding, she finishes: "Transform!"

A flash of red light engulfs her, fading just as Valeria encourages her. Magical dress and wand formed, she aims at the demon even though it hasn't completely shown its true form. "I am listening, but... we have to stop him regardless. If he leaves now, we'll lose him in Tokyo and...!" The thought cuts off as she lashes out with a trio of thin red sparkling rays from her wand!

Tuxedo Kamen basically asks her to continue the meeting despite the fight. She has only a few seconds to do so right now, but it might help offer some focus. Her voice is shaking nonetheless as she answers: "Salvation Day is next week, it's the day our world's First Queen, thousands of years ago, sealed most of the demons away. We celebrate it every year, and we wanted to make sure our return coincides with it and that you're with us, but...!" 'But', what? She sounds rattled, like there might not be a point to it now. Even as her beams ripple along the area Akashimaru's wind-wave is affecting.
Mint Chip 2015-11-29 01:04:45 16895
The not-businessman stands tall against Akashimaru's Sankyosen - but as the wind blows across him, peices of fake suit - and fake skin - fade away until only the actual form of the creature remains.

It's a towering demon, with claws on hands and feet, and it creates a spear with a jagged, steak-knife like edge in its hards. There's a malicious glare in its dark purple eyes as it stands to its full height of over nine feet tall, glaring down on even Mamoru.

The demon parries the two on-target red shots with that longspear, and points it - not at Runealy, but at Valeria. "Well, how I got here was easy... I just followed this one to this world!" it says, before it slams the spear into the ground, and the earth cracks open, large jagged spikes of purple crystals tearing thier way through the earth as the rupture pushes towards Runealy and those assembled in front of her.

"And after I'm finished with the little Princess here, the rest of us will come here and take this world too!"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-11-29 01:16:58 16896
Guardian Gao fires a shot at the demon -- no special plant magic, just a pointy arrow of energy -- then leaps to solid ground away from the ruptures. "Bramble Grasp!" he calls out, quickly firing another arrow, this time seeking to bind up the demon's limbs. The thorny vines might not immobilize it, but it should buy everyone a moment to react.

The forester Knight makes a mental note to check with his clan the next time the expeditionary force contacts Waldia -- either to see how bad the damage caused by the demon was, or to chastise them for their slip in vigilance.
Hinote Kagari 2015-11-29 01:21:02 16897
A Waldian Demon!? That's surprising. It's that what these things are!? He frowns at the Demon's words though. It followed Valeria!? Well.. certainly there was no way she could had known-- and that's what these demons do. Right? Trick people? That's what he's been told- in relation to those crystals Runealy used...

He leaps into the air to evade crystals and comes down where there aren't any, somewhere to the side maybe of the monster. The holds his sword out as he makes a sudden, and firey charge into the demon, and trying to slash the firey blade into it. He's not very happy right now.

"Tricky, I see..." he says. "But how tricky are you in an actual forward fight!?" he asks. Yes. Hino talks a lot. That's what Actors do when they fight. There's an audience to impress! Maybe. Not really. Look.

Talking just makes it easier for him to deal with this probably.
Fate T. Waldia 2015-11-29 01:22:20 16898
Fate frowns at what Rune is saying. So losing this monster in Tokyo is a bad idea? Well... "He wont outrun me. It's too late to escape, demon."

Fate overhears talk of Salvation Day. "So we're going to visit on a holiday? That sounds like fun."

Once the demon finishes its transformation, Fate focuses her attention on it. Bardiche is recording what Runealy says, and Fate is half-hearing it, but mostly she wants to finish off this fight. It's not enough to beat it. They have to make sure that it can't get away.

"Bardiche, set up a barrier."

The park around them seems to shift. Colors become slightly muted. The sky turns green. Non-magical people seem to disappear. This will keep normal people out of the fight... but more importantly, this barrier is designed to stop the demon from fleeing its borders.

Actual attacks from Fate will have to come later. For now she's doing the careful thing.

The ruptures on the ground don't reach her, as she's flying about fifty feet in the air, and rising, at the moment.
Valeria Barun 2015-11-29 01:31:11 16899
    "I have no intention of letting it leave." 'It', she keeps calling the demon that despite it clearly disguising itself as a man. To her the demon is little more than a monster. The 'Other', the antithesis of the world and society she knows. If it wasn't an abhorrent creature of destruction her attitude might be upsetting. "Especially now that it's heard our 'secret plan'," she adds as Runealy explains their intention to return on Salvation Day- a brief attempt to lighten the suddenly tense and heady mood.

    Akashimaru's magic blows away the creature's disguise and reveals it's true form, causing Guardian Vale's nose to wrinkle a little in disgust. The spear is pointed in her direction and she raises her shield arm in case he sends something her way. Instead of flame, darkness, or the spear itself he slings words. Her eyes widen a little, but not in fear. "Oh? Then you came here with no knowledge of this strange new world or it's magics?" She casts a sideways glance and a smile over in Tuxedo Kamen's direction before settling back on the demon, "If what I've heard is correct about these people is true you are in for a rude awakening."

    Spikes are suddenly shooting up from the ground and she lets out a quick, "Rune!" as warning before starting to move away from the Princess. Scattering isn't what she originally had in mind, but her shield isn't going to block an attack like that. Her reflexes also aren't quite up to par yet, and she's forced to jump away to avoid the onrushing fissure. It's a shallow leap that has her hitting the ground and rolling away.

    You've got to love magical clothing, she thinks as she rolls back up onto her feet, she didn't even get any grass stains on her pretty dress!

    "Princess, remember!" she calls out to Runealy, wherever she ended up, "There was no army of demons pouring from the Barrier when I saw it last. If this thing followed me here, the capital and Waldia remains safe." A brief moment later and she's looking around worried as the barrier forms around them, never having experienced one before herself, only to recognize it's one of their allies causing it.

    She begins advancing on the demon as Gao seeks to bind it and Hinote engages it frontally, trying to move towards it's side. Once she's reasonably sure she's not going to catch Hino in the crossfire she focuses, her sword crackling with energy as she aims it at the demon almost like a scepter before firing a fast bolt of lightning at it. It's isn't powerful but it's strong enough and should at least give the demon something to think about should it land.
Mamoru Chiba 2015-11-29 01:40:29 16900
The boy in formalwear sticks around just long enough to give Runealy a quick smile; he's already in the process of sidestepping back as he's watching the disintegration of the demon's disguise; he winks at Guardian Vale when she smiles at him. A muttered, "Going silent," to Akashimaru, and the next time anyone glances to see where he is, he's vanished-- but he does that. He's still nearby, watching everyone's backs, ready to intercede at split-second's notice.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-11-29 01:42:04 16901
She has just enough time to spare Tuxedo Kamen a wordless nod of acknowledgement, and then the ground quivers under her feet as the fissure opens; Akashimaru, like several of the others, springs away before it can reach her and catches herself in a three-point crouch off to the side. There's not a bit of surprise in the samurai girl's expression at the sight of the demon's true shape - no, she's seen this before, in nightmares not her own.

Time to find out what fighting one in truth is like.

"Listen to your guardians!" Akashimaru calls to Runealy. "The enemy has no reason to tell the truth if lies will serve his purpose better--"

As she speaks, she's circling off to the side, looking for an opening amidst the others' moves. She finds it after Gao's thorns unfurl, as Hino and Vale make their assaults - the Shinken snaps closed in her hand and Akashimaru lunges into motion, coming in from the side to bring the solid metal bar of the closed tessen around in a crushing blow.
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-29 01:46:16 16902
Runealy stares up in shock as she sees the full, real form of the demon before them. There were hints of it with those claws, but seeing it now looming over the group in its true guise is something far more frightening. And it deflected her attacks with ease! "What? Followed her, and now you want... Earth, too...?"

This situation is so unreal. Rune's heart pounds harder and harder. Things seem to be falling apart more and more with each passing moment!

Tuxedo Kamen had asked for more details, for her to keep talking. The jagged crystals ripping through the ground shatter her concentration just as well as they gouge shrine land, and she can't find the words.

Instead, her boot wings light up as Vale warns her. "Ah!" is about as coherent an acknowledgement as Rune can manage, while she leaps up and aside from the demon's attack and lands near a stone arrangement. Beyond that, all she can manage to do verbally is confirm Fate's question: "Our most important one!" Then she takes aim again, and this time launches a pair of wand orbs. The green spheres fly one after another, new ones growing to replace the ones fired off the tip of her staff. Both of them are aimed for what she hopes will be direct hits on the demon, bursting into emerald sparkles if they make contact! Yet her aim is shaky, rattled even as Vale tries to point out reasons to doubt the demon's claims. Reason and logic don't always find purchase when emotions can create plenty of thoughts to dispute them. Akashimaru tries to pierce through that doubt, yet it persists. "You don't know what they're like!" That might not be a fair remark; Akashimaru has indeed seen them before... dream-projected versions of them, at least. "They enjoy killing!" Everything the monster is describing makes plenty of sense to her. Demons can lie, sure. But why do it if the truth might work better? So Rune's thinking goes, as she looks at this from worst-case scenario perspectives.
Mint Chip 2015-11-29 02:14:23 16903
The demon snarls as Guardian Gao fires his the arrow at him - he dodges that, but the second shot that erupts entangles him, binding his left arm - the one with the spear, thorns binding around it, and preventing the demon from being able to use the longspear appropriately as a weapon!

With Hinote coming towards him, it throws the spear - albeit clumsily - at Runealy, as Hinote comes in with the sword. The demon hisses at Hinote as it shields its body with from the flaming sword with its own forearm - but it seems like it's almost enjoying the pain, reveling in the violence of combat. Before he can club at Hinote with his now-free arm, the lightning bolts from Guardian Vale strike it, and it takes a stumble!

The demon has to leap back to avoid the strike from the Tessen smash, but in doing so actually moves into one of the shakily-fired orb from Runealy. That magic digs into him, and he hisses loudly again before making another big leap backwards.

"Oh, you know, it took some time after I found this portal to finish up business. You know what was really funny, though?" the demon continues to taunt despite its injuries, ripping at the binding vines with its other claw and freeing itself. "Even though the Barrier was shattered, the King still said 'by the barrier' as I ripped out his throat."

Having said that, the demon leaps forward again, claws at the ready, looking to attack Hinote and Akashimaru as it speeds by, going right for the Princess, hoping that emotional attack will clear the way for the physical one.
Hinote Kagari 2015-11-29 02:31:23 16905
Guardian Hino feels his sword rip through the demon- but he seems to enjoy it!? Nrg. Hopefully this isn't empowering the creature. Still. He remains stalwart. "You sure are using the singular a lot." he says, more to Runealy than the Demon. "Do you really belive that one demon could do all that!?" he calls out. "As Vale says... everything was alright when she left." he says as the demon speeds by and Hinote is blown back by claws, scraping against his form and causing him to wince out and grab himself- okay. That was fast- but more importantly.....! The Princess!?

"PRINCESS READY YOURSELF!" he calls out, saying...something, ANYTHING over what the demon says.

He raises that sword upwards..."BURNING IGNITION!...." he calls out, a blaze of fire emitting from the sword in a wave--- trying to cut through as it desceneds upon Runealy.
Fate T. Waldia 2015-11-29 02:36:51 16906
"Don't listen to what it's saying," says Fate, picking up on Rune's fear. "Only focus on the here and now. You don't have time to hesitate!"

Seeing this evil creature get inside Rune's head like that fills Fate with a sense of urgency. It has to be taken down now, not just for safety, but to show that it can be done.

~Photon Lancer~ announces Bardiche, as Fate brings around the tip of her device to aim at the demon.

"Fire," commands Fate, and four spheres of yellow energy, buzzing with electricity, fire from Bardiche. One by one they swerve in and out, making their flight pattern unpredictable while sitll rapidly approaching the demon.

Such a ferocious creature, this thing. What even is it?
Gaofele Doiru 2015-11-29 02:43:55 16907
A moment was all they got, but it gave Gao enough time to get his feet under himself. He draws an arrow, watching the movement of the melee and the demon and sizing up opportunities.

When the demon rushes forward, there's no time to summon his quarterstaff to put up a wall of plants. Instead, the forester Knight summons a burst of plants beneath his feet, launching into a horizontal, sideways dive across the demon's path of travel.

As Gao passes between Rune and the demon, he releases the arrow, shouting "Pinecone Spiker!" As the arrow travels, it compresses into a spiny, softball-size pinecone, sealed with sap, but still flying as fast as it had been. Hinote's flames catch it on fire, adding to the potential injury and causing the pinecone to sizzle like the fuse on a bomb -- and with about as much explosive potential.

Gao tucks and rolls into the landing, taking some scrapes and bruises from tumbling across the ground before rolling to his knees. "All it will take is a short trip to prove your words wrong, demon!" he calls defiantly.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-11-29 02:45:21 16908
Akashimaru's breath hisses between her teeth as the demon's claws tear her sleeve and gouge into her arm, but there's no time for flinching when the monster has already broken past both herself and Hino. Fast as reflex she snaps her tessen back, the fan spreading open in her hand in the split second before she throws it after the demon.

It spins through the air like a blade-edged disc, skimming out low and fast ahead of the demon on a low, curving path. Behind it, a crimson thread unfurls in the air - a red cord, the other end gripped tightly in Akashimaru's hands, ready to pull taut even as the tessen's arc curves back on itself.
Valeria Barun 2015-11-29 02:49:54 16909
    The demon continues it's verbal and physical assault, and Guardian Vale frowns slightly. Her words of encouragement don't seem to be having near the effect of their opponent, but she has to admit to herself that were she in the Princess' shoes she doubts she could keep them from affecting herself either. Even if it's powerful and resilient enough to stand against them all at least their attacks are having an effect, proving the demon is far from invincible despite it's overbearing size.

    It leaps back twice only to charge forward, and Valeria realizes she's far out of position to be able to jump in herself in time to interpose herself between it and Runealy. She leaps anyway and shoots upwards quickly at a high arc, perpendicular to it's own path. Rather than intercepting it however her angle looks like it will put her past it. But then at the top of her jump a small pair of energy wings appear on her back, giving her control of her descent and letting her veer in a sharp angle to chase after the demon, angling down sharply to pick up speed.

    She can't beat it to Runealy, she's neither fast enough or skilled enough for that, but she can arrive immediately after. The magical wings vanish and she drops down at high speed, her sword crackling as lightning arcs over it once more as she swings it down powerfully towards the Demon's shoulder, trying to ambush it from behind before it can make it's own attack. "Thundering Smite!"
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-29 03:02:51 16910
"Ahn!?" A startled cry from Runealy, who has to encase herself in a red 'bubble' of forcefield energy to deflect the spear. She actually stays within it for a few moments even after successfully defending, one of her mother's lessons ringing in her mind even now... there could be a follow-up attack.

It ends up not being the case this time, though. At least, not in the immediate physical sense. Instead... the demon's words are what cause the shield to fall. "What!?" She can see it in her mind's eye, envisioning exactly how that happened. Runealy knows what that looks like, and seeing it again with simply a different victim is all too easy.

By the time Hino's warning jars her back to reality and Fate tries to reassure her, it's too late. The demon is already upon Rune, claw swiping from shoulder to hip. She manages to lean back ever so slightly from the attack, but this merely prevents it from being instantly lethal. It still connects cleanly, and still drives her to her knees with a pained shriek!

Then those same claws then have her seized by the neck, tears streaming from her eyes owing to both the wound she just took and the emotions pounding through her mind. Her tiara's gems light up, spraying a stream of tiny emerald sparkles up at her attacker's arm... but the effort is cut short as a flash of red light engulfs her. When it fades...

...She is in normal garb, wand and royal magical attire nowhere in sight. All Runealy can manage is a choking "Hhlk!" noise, incoherent as her vision blurs. Right now, the world is colored shapes. If the demon is currently aflame from Gao's and Hino's efforts, the flickering heat will make for an... interesting visual, merged with the monster itself and Vale's lightning crackling behind it and Akashimaru's fan flying about and Fate's own electric blasts swirl through the air. It's a wondrously confusing sight to take in all at once, in her current state.
Mint Chip 2015-11-29 03:18:23 16911
The demon is fast - remarkably so - as it gets ahole of Rune for just a moment before the sudden burst of attacks erupts on it - the tessen strikes the demon rather than cutting in before it, earning a very earnest grunt as it holds Rune aloft, and then there's an explosion of fire and energy behind it as the demon is engulfed in it - though its very body shields Runealy from any of the damage - and it somehow manages to maintain its grip.

But then there's a twin blast of magical lighting - Photon Lancers carve in swirling through the air to impact the demon just as Vale's lighting sword impacts, and the resulting flash of light and electrical energy forces the demon back again, as it drops the Princess to the ground, ichor-like blood seeping from the wounds onto the grass below, where it causes the plant life it touches to die.

It manifests the longspear in its hand again - breathing heavily, wounds seeping blood, and yet it seems almost... manic. It looks to Gaofele.

"Oh, I recongize you. One of the little foresters. You know, I can kill you here and end another family line! Protectors of the barrier shrine? Your family was ALMOST a challenge for my brothers, once the barrier fell. Just too many of them though - because the royal family failed."

A glare to Rune. "YOU failed." Then the longspear wielding demon is leaping at Rune yet again - now that she lacks the protection of her henshin, and it was so close to it, the demon refuses to stop now.

"The will all know me as the one who ended the royal bloodline. Varxega!" the demon calls out as it seeks to find purchase with the spear!
Hinote Kagari 2015-11-29 03:31:34 16912
Of all the things that beens blatantly made clear throughout his time with the Princess- is that she's the only one who can save her world. No one else can do it. There's... what. A handful of Guardian Knights now? Millions of Demons? On top of that of course....

Runealy's a dear friend. That's more important to anything to Hinote right now- the other stuff's important sure- but when Runealy looses her henshin.... the demon raises a spear---

Everything also becomes a blur for him. He just---races ahead. Like a perfectly cherographed scene- he just sort of slides in as the demon begins his thrust forward. He moves quicker than normal- but he also does this at the expense of readying any defense or attack which means well.

He's intending to be a wall.

Hino isn't a wall and all he can do is steel himself for the world of white he expects that comes when that spear comes down into him- rather than The Princess. He doesn't get to say anything. Nope. What's surprising is that it isn't white though.

It's red and a sharp sound in his ears. Unpleasent, Uncomfortable, Painful.

All those words don't describe this. It's much worse.
Fate T. Waldia 2015-11-29 03:41:46 16913
Fate watches in horror as Rune is slashed and then grabbed by the neck. How can this be happening? Is the demon really that scary? It's certainly fast.

Fate decides that approaching this fight from afar isn't going to work as well as she planned. She quickly drops from the sky, landing on her feet behind the Demon. As she touches down, Bardiche assumes the form of a scythe, arcing yellow energy making up the blade.

Fate comes up to Varxega from behind the demon, hoping and guessing that the demon is so focus on its prey that it wont notice an attacker from behind.

Fate swings her scythe around, getting close enough that the energy blade actually ends up in front of the demon. Like this, as the demon thrusts forward, he'll actually be throwing himself on Fate's weapon. Fate pulls the scythe towards her, trying to make the cut worse.

The energy blade isn't solid enough to actually stop the demon, but it's got enough magic in it to really hurt.
Valeria Barun 2015-11-29 03:55:19 16914
    Guardian Vale doesn't see the attack on Runealy land, her figure obscured by the enormous body of the demon as she makes her attack. She lands hard enough to have to put a hand down, but even that strong of an attack doesn't seem to slow the demon down. Almost impossibly the damage to make it all the more vicious. That would be frightening enough on it's own if her jump back away from the Demon, didn't bring Runealy into her view, untransformed and badly injured, laying almost helplessly on the ground.

    "RUNE!" She shouts, her calm shattered as sudden panic sets in,"NO!" She takes several steps back away, staggering as if struck. "This..! This can't be happening!" Even as she's left stunned by the sight of the person she's only just sworn to protect getting cut down in front of her Hino is moving into action. His action, though saving Runealy's life, makes the sight all the more grisly and gruesome.

    They warned her that fighting was difficult, and that they'd be facing Witches and Demons and worse, but nothing could have prepared Valeria for this sight. She's supposed to be protecting everyone's future together and for the first time it really hits her that there might not be one.

    Seeing that done to Runealy, she'd expect more of that hot rage she started to feel earlier, but instead all she feels is a mix of sadness and terror. "This- it can't end like this!" She sounds more like she's trying to convince herself than anyone else.

    Suddenly there's a yellow streak as Fate comes rushing in with Bardiche's scythe, and it kick starts her mind. There's no sudden movement from her as she comes back to grips with the fact this is still a fight. Instead she is very still, closing her eyes, and gathering as much magic as she can. She puts her sword away as lightning begins to arc around her, holding her arm out towards the demon, hopefully caught upon Fate's weapon.

    "Lightning! Blazer!" Another lightning bolt is fired, this time from her hand. It's much larger than the last one however, and rather than a single flash of lightning that quickly fades it's a long, sustained blast of it that arcs and sizzles. And Guardian Vale is trying to put it straight through Demon, in one side and out the other, right through where it's heart might be on a human and pouring as much magic as she has into it, trying to fry the evil monster to death here and now.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-11-29 03:56:05 16915
Guardian Gao glares at the demon, but there's no time to protect Rune. The demon was even faster than he expected, speeding past while he had been in midair. No time to summon a Forest Wall, not even enough time to fire another arrow.

Then Hinote steps in, taking the blow of the spear himself.

The forester Knight's jaw drops in surprise, then his eyes narrow in determination. He summons his viney quarterstaff, impaling the end of it into the ground with a focus as strong as when he fires his Verdant Explosion.

"TIMBER LANCE!" he shouts, and there's a moment's pause as magic flows from the staff into the ground... then a leafless tree, each branch like a sharpened, angular spear, erupts from the ground beneath Varxega! Gao's fury propels the growth of the tree, each branch sharpening in response to his anger at the demon for threatening his homes, his family, his friends.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-11-29 04:17:45 16916
"Tch--!" Too slow, timing's off; Akashimaru makes a sharp sound of frustration as she yanks that red cord and brings the Shinken sailing back to her hand. Everything happens so quickly, before she can take any decisive action - the demon seizing Runealy, the princess down and vulnerable, the spear striking out and Hino standing in its way.

And then all hell breaking loose as everyone else unloads.

She's in the way. Akashimaru feels it strongly. As much as she wants to help bring the demon down, there is nothing she can do in this moment that wouldn't just get in the way of everyone else's powers. She does what she can do, instead; shoving the tessen into her belt, she bolts past the demon to Rune and Hino, because once the demon's down, the Guardian will need help... and if by some slim chance everything that Fate and the other two Guardians are unleashing doesn't end the creature, they damn well can't afford to allow it another shot at the princess.
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-29 04:21:01 16917
The untransformed princess winces as she falls to the ground, landing limp on her back. It lets her stare up at the sky, up at color-blurs she knows are friends... up at the color-blur looming over her, and her peripheral vision can see the wound-drip and immediate withering of grass beside her. ...So that's what was going on inside her as she used dark crystals as a shortcut to power? A moment's mental clarity dwells on that, before Varxega's words demand her attention.

She failed? ...She did. Repeatedly. The spear is ready, plunging toward her. She has enough time for her thoughts to run through her mistakes in 'fast forward'. Failing on 'that morning', where if she had just cared a little more and shown up a little earlier at her mother's room...

Failing at the Barrier Shrine, time and time again. Failing morally, upon deciding to bring her friends here to attack innocent people. Many of who had forgiven her, but she still wondered...

Failing on Earth, many times. Enough times that she compounded that failure by resorting to a cheap route to false power, hurting even more people in the process.

And now she's going to fail one last time, unable to do more than twitch in a useless attempt to roll away from the attack. Her body refuses to move more than a few centimeters.

...And then Hino puts himself between her and the spear. "N-" She's trying to protest this, but her mouth barely opens.

The blow lands, and she's stuck in frozen terror as she gets to watch, up close, as Hino is struck full on. Will ths be one more failure still?

She has to hope it isn't, even as energy-scythe, lightning, and tree strike out, and Akashimaru moves with perhaps a similar hope in mind.
Mint Chip 2015-11-29 04:57:18 16918
The spear sinks into... Hinote. Not the result the demon was expecting, but an acceptable one. But the demon also has no time to cheer itself on for its success, because in doing so it also recieved a vicious puncture from Fate's Bardiche blade. There's another hiss of pain from it, and it's likely the injury stopped the demon from doing as much damage as it would've otherwise. It looks at Hinote.

"I'll end your line too, Guardian. Your parents were weak - they begged for their lives as demons tore them apart." the demons says to Guardian Hino, its eyes full of malice. "Everything you loved, your whole world is dead!"

Then, all at the same time, the two Guardians Gao and Vale strike down - there's a bolt of lightning that forces the demon to release the longspear and shout in agony as it courses through him, and then suddenly a leafless tree, like a rising punji grap, shoots up from underneath the wounded monstrosity.

The demon glares down at Rune, even as it leaks that black blood all over the tree Gao created. "It's too late, Princess." And before it can finish its final curse, there's an explosion of black energy that cracks the tree down the middle from its force, before the body of the demon begins to fall apart into dust that slides down the edges of the tree like sand from an hourglass.
Hinote Kagari 2015-11-29 05:10:56 16919
Guardian Hino is spoken to, word's barely register because there's just that ear ringing and red. At some point the red relents into figures- he hears some words. Really he all he can think about is the pain but----

The Princess is alright and when there's a big huge flashes that are attacks in his vision and the figure of the fowl thing distengrates- so does the spear.

Then he falls down because he's too weakend to say anything and the spear isn't there anymore. He might be bleeding a little. Well. Maybe more than a little. He was stabbed very hard.

He's not moving. He is breathing. So. He's alive. There's that.

For now at least. He's unconcious it seems.
Fate T. Waldia 2015-11-29 05:14:08 16920
Fate pulls Bardiche away from the demon as it crumbles to dust. She steps away from the now apparently-slain demon, and then turns her attention to Runealy. Running up to the wounded princess, Fate looks down at Runealy.

It really doesn't look good. Fate clutches the edge of her black cape, holding it tightly. What should she even do? She doesn't know any healing spells. Hino is down, too. How could this have happened?

"Why did you lower your guard?" Her tone is pleading, rather than accusatory. "You let him get to you... why?"

The little girl gets increasingly mad at the now-dead demon. How dare it! What a monster!
Gaofele Doiru 2015-11-29 05:19:56 16921
As the demon falls apart into dust, Gao releases the energy holding the tree there; it fades away as well, leaving only the occasional trace of demon-scorched residue to join the piles of demondust.

The forester Knight walks over to the other Waldians, both native and adopted, then looks to the other magical folk. "Get them to the healers," he states, then holds up a hand to forestall Rune. "That includes you, Rune. You're injured,and need to recover. I'll go to the portal and bring word from home; that demon was a liar, but proof will defeat doubt."
Valeria Barun 2015-11-29 05:23:09 16922
    Energy blade, lightning, and the rending growth of a viciously sharp tree end the life of the Demon. It has the gall to spew more taunting lies even as it disintegrates, but Guardian Vale doesn't have time to think them over just yet. She also doesn't have time to celebrate 'victory'. It's not like this feels like one anyway. Instead as soon as it seems safe she rushes over to Runealy's side, dropping to her knees and almost sliding to a stop as she looks over her.

    It's looks bad- really bad. 'A few inches closer and instantly fatal' bad. That said Valeria hasn't actually seen the kinds of wounds Magical Girls have taken and survived; it could look worse than it actually is. That's of little consolation to her however as she looks down at the stricken Princess. "Rune! You- you're going to be okay, alright? You're going to be fine! And next week we're going to Waldia and saving everyone!" Again she's so panicky it likely isn't much comfort.

    She starts fumbling around, not really knowing what she's doing, trying to get a better look at the wounds. She knows there is a building of 'healers' in the city somewhere, but not where it is. She doesn't know what to do. It gets to the point where she's just looking over Runealy's injuries, desperately wishing they weren't there, willing them to go away-- and then they do.

    Or rather, they start to, very slowly. A soft glow shines from her hand, easing the pain and gently repairing the worst of the damage. Her eyes widen a little when she realizes what's happening, unused to this magic and simply willing it to continue, to heal the Princess as much as she can. She does, for about half a minute- enough help fix some of the worst of the damage to at least stabilize her.

    And then in a flash of light her henshin falls away from her. That lightning attack used most of her energy, and the healing took what little was left. She slumps back onto her heels and breaths heavily, almost gasping for air. "I'm sorry. I- I can't do any more." Who is she apologizing to? Runealy? Her fellow Guardian Knights? The others? Herself? She doesn't even know the answer.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-11-29 05:33:31 16923
"To protect what he promised to protect." Akashimaru's voice is steady as she answers Fate, but her movements are quick and sharp. Even as she speaks, while Vale tends to Runealy, the samurai girl goes to Hino, reaching up to yank free the red cord that ties back her hair; with it, her whole transformation comes apart, a flurry of red ribbons that leaves behind everyday Seishi Tamashige in her usual jeans-and-teeshirt attire. This is no time to be fussy about protecting her identity, even if there weren't one or two key people here who already knew.

Hunkering down next to Hino, she digs out her cell phone and a slightly crumpled handkerchief; with her left hand she presses the cloth to the wound, applying pressure, and with the right she finds the number that Mamoru gave her for the magical girl clinic. "Well done," she tells Hino, whether or not he can hear her. The words are steady and sincere, but there's a note of urgency under that apparent calm. "Next time, block with something other than your body. I'm calling a medic." This last she says a bit more loudly, to everyone in earshot.
Runealy Waldia 2015-11-29 05:36:00 16924
Everything unfolding has a vague, unreal quality to the princess' dazed mind. She can basically comprehend that things are happening, but isn't able to really filter what any of them mean and takes everything at its most obvious, literal value. Talk of ruined worlds, dead people... it all sinks in, accepted as some kind of surreal truth that only renews her tears.

Tears only slightly relieved by noticing that Hinote is breathing. Somehow she's able to pick up on that detail with tunnel-vision focus, interrupted only by Fate's question. "That's what I do," she manages to answer between choked crying noises.

Gaofele knows her well. In some cases, Rune has protested rest. Part of her mind is screaming at her to do so in this case, to reject it, to get up and go back home right now and witness the carnage... or attempt the Barrier Restoration Ritual right then and there, if it somehow hasn't fallen. Some small spark of her wants to do that, but in this case... everything else in her overrides it. Her body is saying 'no', and her urge to really fight or do much else right now is pretty well crushed. So this time, him trying to keep her from running off is actually unnecessary. She just makes a weak nod to him. She's barely even processing his words, merely the emotion that he's objecting to her charging off. She's in no shape to even pretend to do it.

Valeria's plea for her to confirm those plans for the future is met with a blank-eyed gaze, but also a nod. Coherency returns, slightly, as Valeria's light brings Rune back from the brink. "Think you did plenty... just hope we actually have time."

She notices Seishi up to something in her peripheral vision, looking over ruined grass to see the dream-protector tending to Hinote. This is registering more clearly now that Valeria has helped out, and nets a quiet-toned "Thank you..."
Hinote Kagari 2015-11-29 05:42:52 16925
Guardian Hino is breathing shallow, he doesn't really say much of anything because he's well and full unconcious. The bleeding is being stemed off by the pressure, at least now so he won't die of some sort of horrible blood loss. So there's that.

Yeah he isn't hearing a damn thing right now.

He'll make a witty, coyish remark later when he's awake about tanking hits.

He'll be fine! Just not right now.

Oh god how is he going to explain this one to his parents.
Fate T. Waldia 2015-11-29 05:46:16 16926
The answers that Fate gets don't immediately make sense to her, but people are getting healed, or taken to places where they will be healed, and even though things are awful she's starting to think that everything will turn out alright. It at least makes her feel a little better.

"I'm going to stay here until help arrives... just in case something else shows up."
Gaofele Doiru 2015-11-29 05:53:08 16927
"Stay safe," Gao nods to the others, then summons a burst of plants beneath his feet to start launching him off towards the city limits and beyond. Even with magical jumping, it'll take a while for him to reach the portal, but it's faster than waiting for the limo the Waldians have on retainer, and better able to react in case of sudden danger.
Valeria Barun 2015-11-29 05:58:21 16928
    Valeria nods back to Runealy as she starts to catch her breath. She knows she'll still need more healing, but she's also fairly sure she'll be alright until she gets it. "We will have time. That demon," she says it more like an descriptor than a technical term, "was a fork-tongued liar." She doesn't go into specifics for how she knows it. Instead she stays close by Runealy as they wait for whatever healers are on their way to arrive.

    Now that she's not frantic and panicking herself she looks to Seishi and Fate, "Thank you, both of you. I would not like to think about what might have happened had you not been here to help us." Gao elicits a, "And you as well," before he bounds off to the portal. She says nothing to Hinote since he can't hear her, looking the brown haired boy over instead and hoping his wound will heal.

    Has this been what Runealy, Hinote, and Gaofele have been going through the past seven months?