To Restore the Barrier

What was intended to be a straightforward ritual to restore Waldia's demon-sealing Barrier is anything but, as a monster that was never sealed in the first place lies in wait. Can a coalition of people from so many worlds save the day?

Date: 2015-12-05
Pose Count: 96
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-05 23:08:45 17570
Some people go to club activities after school. A few go home, even if it's considered odd. On this afternoon, Runealy stands in a forest several miles south of Tokyo in preparation of going to a very different home. She has invited many others here by phone, text, or in person. Those who could not conveniently get here on their own, especially those who might arouse suspicion if they asked parents to bring them this far outside the city, found she had hired private limo drivers to bring them here.

It's late enough in the day that even being winter means the weather isn't too cold right now, and there's still plenty of sunlight to be had. Easy for her to see those already gathered, and those arriving.

Once the group is gathered, Runealy looks tense and addresses them in a soft but serious voice: "Thank you, all of you. I tried to explain this earlier and was... 'interrupted'," by a demon having successfully tracking her down and trying to seize all the glory for himself in killing her on his own. That part goes unsaid.

"So I'll say it again now. Today is Salvation Day, my home's most important holiday. It's the day that, as far back as our history records, the people we would later know as the First Queen and the first Guardian Knights lured the vast majority of the demon army close to a huge 'void' we call the Abyss. They managed to force most of the demons in, and the First Queen created our Barrier that seals them away. It's because of that, that we even /have/ a society... up until then, they often hunted us for sport and we lived hiding in caves and forests. I think today is the best chance we have to renew our Barrier, before it runs out of power. You'll be coming with us... but you've done enough to help. We don't need an extra hand. No... the reason you're here?"

She gestures to the floating circle of blue energy beside herself. On the other side, a hazy outline of... grass and trees can be seen, it seems. "I want you to meet the people you've helped. I shouldn't be alive right now, and we should just be waiting for the Barrier to collapse because of that. Most of you have done something to help us, to make sure that didn't happen... and I'm going to make one last try at this. If it succeeds, you'll be going to the castle afterward to see everyone. You'll be given money to indulge yourselves, a parade, everything. Our history is going to know you!"

After all that, she concludes: "I only ask that you not use Earth technology in view of anyone there. We're simply not ready for ideas like electricity and cell phones. Ah... do any of you have questions before we cross over?"
Hannah Sharpe 2015-12-05 23:14:06 17571
Miss White, as is typical, pulls up in one of her unmarked sedans. After waving her Familiar goodbye, and hauling out a certain compatriot, she'd quickly be over to the Princess. She's already henshin'd and gripping her Device.

She listens, silently. There's certainly still misgivings, but a promise is a promise. Only when the call for questions comes does she go and ask the one thing that might break the hopeful mood.

"What's Plan B if this all goes south? I don't mean to rain on the victory parade, but better safe than sorry, right, Princess?" At least she's not calling her Bandit-chan any more.
Fate T. Waldia 2015-12-05 23:17:24 17572
Fate Testarossa raises a hand. "You don't want us using cell phones. Does that include other alien technology, like Bardiche?"

Fate is here in civillian clothes, though she's recognizable wether she's in or out of henshin.

"... or do things like that not matter?"

Other than that, she doesn't really have any questions. She's curious about Runaly's method for crossing into other worlds, but she'd rather see it herself than have it explained to her.
Mamoru Chiba 2015-12-05 23:24:36 17573
And Tuxedo Kamen, Miss White's aforementioned compatriot, unfolds from the sedan and flips his cape over his shoulders as he approaches the group. Runealy may find it amusing-- or possibly something else-- that after all her concerns earlier this year about Kamen's friends and associates, he's come with Miss White after all. Circumstances and the perceptions of them have changed so much since then.

He listens without speaking, and seems to have no questions. Well, at least, no questions that aren't kind of silly.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-12-05 23:25:18 17574
Gaofele Doiru stands nearby, watching the area. The forester is clad in his Waldian clothes, and if he made the effort he could easily hide among the trees.

Instead, he is staying where the others can see him, to show his support for Rune. His watchfulness is in case of an approaching interruption, as unlikely as it might be.
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-05 23:25:45 17575
Tadase Hotori is here; He got Tsukasa to do the driving, avoiding the need to be picked up by one of Rune's drivers. He's also already in henshin as Platinum Royale. He listens intently to Runealy's speech, and nods along. "I'm not coming along for glory. I just want to do what I can to make sure everything goes right, as much as I can." he says, smiling. From within him, Kiseki comments. "But a parade! We deserve a parade." Tadase does not comment on this.

When Hannah begins to talk, Platinum Royale looks at her. "Pragmatic maybe, but I am sure the Princess will do just fine. She's royalty, after all." he adds with a grin.
Hinote Kagari 2015-12-05 23:30:17 17576
Hinote Kagari deep breath. Hinote had a name for this kind of anxiety. 'Stage Fright'. This wasn't quite that, but it was similar, wasn't it? He' arrived with Runealy and the other Knights, his arms crossed and obviously keeping his thoughts to himself for the moment. He was pacing for a few moments before he stopped because pacing affects everyone, not just yourself!

He stands next to Runealy, and turns towards her as the others arrive as she talks. He waits till everything is done. He turns ot the portal then back to Runealy.

"I've asked so many questions, I think I know the script by now. But you already know that, Rune..." he says softly as he looks towards Miss White, and Fate. It's not his job to talk about a Plan B. He just shakes his head as he raises his arm in front of him, looking down at that relic braclet.

"To protect jusitce, I am Guardian Hino."

There's a magical flash. Hinote transform. He turns to regard Tuxedo Kamen and gives a respectful nod. Not much for words at all.

He takes deep breath as he mutters to Runealy. "Remember when I talked to you early on about all this Runealy?" he asks. "I mentioned Stage Fright." he says. "Well yeah." he smirks.
Valeria Barun 2015-12-05 23:33:50 17577
    Valeria is nearby as Runealy greets and addresses everyone. She smiles and offers small waves to people herself, with brighter ones for those who had assembled the previous week and helped defeat the demon that had very nearly put an end to their plans of saving Waldia.

    Then the call to stop using technology comes and with a soft sigh she retrieves her cell phone from her pocket. She removes the battery cover and retrieves the battery before replacing the cover again, quietly putting battery and phone in separate pockets. She hasn't been in Tokyo for even two weeks but she's already going to miss it.

    She turns her gaze over to Fate as asks about Bardiche and considers aloud, "Magical weapons are not unheard of in Waldia. So long as you don't explain how Bardiche functions beyond 'magic' I do not believe it will be an issue." She gives a small look to Runealy after speaking to give an easy opening to contradict her should she have spoken wrongly.

    She then turns her eyes towards Hannah as she asks her question. "Have faith and trust in our Princess," she offers softly. Secretly she's glad someone is going to ask that. She doesn't want to see it happen but she's mentally preparing herself for whatever disaster a Plan B might have to counteract.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-05 23:34:47 17578
Seishi, well... Seishi got dropped off half an hour early by a police patrol car. She was in civvies then, but by the time everyone's gathered - despite Rune's assurance that they weren't invited along for combat action - she's transformed, and stands in her scarlet samurai garb with her hands tucked into her kimono sleeves. For her, at least, the prohibition on modern technology does not look like it's going to be a problem.

She doesn't seem to have any questions, but she listens attentively to what others have to say, dark eyes flicking from one person to another in silence.
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-05 23:45:04 17579
Rune's gaze sweeps around the area as the gathering is complete. Merely seeing these people brings a lot of memories to mind. Gao was the first to cross over with her, and saved her from many mistakes that would have chased off new friends or left her wandering in the rain. Hinote happened upon them, volunteering his own efforts to save what amounted to an ideal; a world only named and described, one that would soon become a real thing for him. Valeria was bold enough to challenge the official narrative given to prevent panic, found the truth, and volunteered to help set things right.

Tuxedo Kamen and Seishi laid out the foundation for changing her mind, for convincing the alien princess to stop attacking Tokyo. Tadase was able to capitalize from there, solidifying the decision and providing a concrete way out of her mistakes.

Miss White - Rune still isn't completely sure of Hannah's full identity, despite possibly having bits and pieces of hints at it - was the first Runealy attacked, her reactions making plain just how much such tactics were hurting others. Fate was a mystery at first, but one who proved open to unusual agreements with Rune... and made good on them, swooping in to strike at those who had otherwise come very close to killing the princess.

And now some of them have questions. Miss White's strikes her as the most urgent, and it gets a very low-toned, shaken response: "Plan B? If I fail the Barrier Restoration Ritual again, we're not going to get another chance. The demons sealed behind it will get free, and our world will die. Our history records them as numbering in the thousands or more, I don't think they'll be able to be stopped. So when we get to the Shrine, I'm going to ask that people wait just outside the main room while I do the Ritual; even a slight mistake will be enough to ruin it. 'Plan B' is you run back to the portal and seal or destroy it." That White arrived with Tuxedo Kamen isn't lost on Rune; she does give the pairing a quick glance but doesn't outright comment on it.

Fate wonders about Bardiche. "Use your good sense... I did some reading, and we seem to be about on the same level as historical Europe. Bardiche is probably okay, we have polearms back home." Not talking ones that emit magic energy, but oh well.

Tadase clarifies his motives, and Rune is quick to explain herself in return. "I know that's not why you're doing this, but... I want it to happen. And if you stay out of celebrations, that's fine. I still want our historians to know who helped us, what happened, and why. I am /not/ going to censor this! A thousand years from now, people will still hear about my mistakes, and how the very people we attacked convinced us to stop before it was too late."

'Stage fright', Hino says. "I'm not going to lie, this is more like stage outright terror. But there's nothing in the way now... if the Ritual is done right, it should be fine." Gao hasn't said much now, but they spoke earlier; she has a pretty good idea how he feels, and is glad he's here. Valeria's reassurances net a soft reply: "It's fine. She should ask. Thank you for having so much faith, though."

Akashimaru, Seishi, seems to have little to ask right now. Rune has something to say nonetheless, facing her: "You've seen the Shrine already, I think. Or something pretty close to it. This time you're going to see what it's really supposed to be like."

Then she faces the blue circle hovering above the ground. "It's time. We'll need about an hour to walk to the Shrine from where we emerge, and you can take pictures if you like. The only people who will see you there are ones who already know the 'Unknown World' exists, even if they know very little about it. And everyone... thank you again."

Then she steps in to the circle. Her form wavers and turns hazy, but a few seconds later it can be seen on the other side, stepping past a wide opening that suggests the other end of the portal lies within a hollowed out tree trunk. She's moving to give others room to step through as well.
Hannah Sharpe 2015-12-05 23:50:43 17580
Tadase gets a grin from Hannah!

"Well, glad to hear the Waldians aren't the only ones with positive thoughts! Still, don't let your guard down." She advises, before turning to Valeria.

'Have faith and trust in our Princess'. There is a long, long look Valeria's way, complete with a raised brow. Sigh.

"Well, she'll keep her word." She manages, just as to not shatter everyone's morale. Near Tuxedo, she's definitely looking restless.

Judging by her twitching brow, that's not the kind of Plan B she likes. Still, she nods, and mostly keeps her anxiety to herself.

"Well then. Put everything you have into it! You've got a whole world in your hands. Multiple worlds, actually. Make sure I won't regret this, Runealy."

As for the thank yous? Hannah makes a thumbs up! Really, she needs the good karma right now.

And then she follows along into the circle! She's not taking pictures, but Raging Tempest is gathering data like no one's business.
Hinote Kagari 2015-12-05 23:55:18 17581
Guardian Hino looks to the cop car and almost freaks out. Oh god. Did her mom find her!? Oh crap! Well.. he just henshined! He can lie his ass off! But it isn't it's someone else. He looks back to everyone. He gives the Princess and reassuring nod. "You can do this Princess. We'll be here with you. I promise." he says.

As she steps in he turns back to everyone. "I know the Princess basically just said all that, but... Thank you, all, again." he says.

Then he turns to the portal. Gao and Vale and the Princess all passed through here at one point or another on thier way to Earth. He's the only 'Waldian' who has never actually been to Waldia since he 'adopted' it. He takes a deep breath.

He steps into the circle along with everyone else.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-12-05 23:55:19 17582
Gaofele Doiru strides after Rune, stepping through the portal, and moments later out of the hollow tree trunk. He moves to the side, glancing around at where the forest's watchers are likely to be. "I'd better let my clan know that the others are coming," he remarks to Rune.

Taking a deep breath, the forester starts making the coded birdsongs and other noises that serves as a rough language of stealth. "Gaofele reporting here! Situation okay. Royal here! Many friendlies coming!" he signals to any watchers within earshot. It's not the best method for relaying information, but it does get across basic intel rapidly and secretively.
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-05 23:59:13 17583
Platinum Royale steps into the circle, and out of the tree trunk. He looks around. "It still looks a lot like the world I'm used to. But I guess that's not surprising, since you're a lot like us." he says, smiling to Runealy. I'm really happy to be coming home with you as an ally and a friend, rather than trying to chase you back here or fight. You too, Hino, Gao." Platinum Royale says - following closely behind the group, though occasionally Kamen-sempai and the others get glances. He's trying to make sure everyone's safe and okay, just out of habit.

"I know you can do it." he says, simply. There's not a moment of doubt in his voice, though wether that's because he's truly unshakable or if it's because he refuses to let it show is unclear.
Fate T. Waldia 2015-12-06 00:01:44 17584
Plan B is just to run away? Fate could probably manage that... but is something like that really acceptable? Just leaving an entire world to a grim fate?

Yet they might not even have a choice.

Fate walks into the circle along with the others, arriving on the other side and making room for anyone coming behind her. She's used to travelling between worlds, so that much is no surprise. The hollowed out tree trunk, though? That's pretty neat. Fate reaches out to touch the sides of it.

Bardiche has been told to keep quiet. Magic is fine. No one really needs to know about the technology part.

She quietly hangs around the outside of the group. She doesn't really know anyone here except for Runealy.
Mamoru Chiba 2015-12-06 00:04:05 17585
It's not a very good plan 'B', and Tuxedo Kamen doesn't like it any more than Miss White does, but... well, he's been thinking of contingencies ever since Runealy originally told him the whole score. He follows along into the circle, seems to have a little trouble--

--comes out the other side having to steady himself on the tree, and his usually barely-there outline of a mask has gone opaque. He pulls his hand away from the trunk as soon as he can, forcing himself upright, and defiantly moves to stay with the group.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-06 00:08:57 17586
Runealy's words to Akashimaru get a small smile and a tip of the samurai girl's head in acknowledgement. "I'm looking forward to it," she says softly; just that.

She watches the others step into the circle ahead of her, and when her turn comes, she slips her hands out of her sleeves and walks forward without hesitation. Despite her best efforts to seem composed and impassive, she can't help looking around curiously once she's on the other side - this is, after all, her first time traveling to another world. Physically, anyway.
Valeria Barun 2015-12-06 00:10:58 17587
    The plan B is explained. It makes sense. It would be wrong to let the demons out into Earth should they all manage to break free of the Barrier. Even so Valeria feels she'd have to leave that up to people of Earth themselves. Should it come down to that she'll be doing everything can to protect Runealy, as futile as that might be against such overwhelming numbers of powerful demons.

    When Hannah looks her way she meets her gaze directly, unaware how little that might mean to the blind woman. Her expression is calm and self assured, with just the hint of a smile. Only when Runealy speaks to her does she look away, "Of course, Princess."

    She'll take the portal herself in an orderly fashion, moving quickly out of the way for anyone else coming behind her. For being a Waldian she does look a little lost now that they're out here in the forest, deferring to Gao and Runealy for where they should be going. She's only been here once and truthfully she's very much a city girl. Maybe she should have changed into her traveling clothes... but then she won't have time to change back once they reach the Shrine.
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-06 00:17:04 17588
"Huh? ...Oh!" Rune hadn't thought about having to announce themselves. "Good idea." And so she lets go off to notify the forest's maintainers and protectors. "The area we're in now is called the 'Barrier Forest', supposedly because it's on the way to our Barrier Shrine... but the name is actually a bit of a trick. The way I heard it, Gaofele's 'clan' suggested renaming it that some time ago, to make sure people wouldn't guess at its real purpose... it hides our portal."

"Like us..." Rune ponders Royale's words quietly. Stepping past the tree trunk interior shatters her silence though, as a very obvious problem is revealed. The sky overhead is red. Dark red, with black clouds arcing lightning between one another. Most of these bolts don't even come close to hitting the ground, but this is not normal Earth weather. One has to look off into the extreme horizon to see even a tiny bit of typical blue sky. "'Two weeks left', the estimates said. I wonder if we even have two days, from the looks of it."

The wood is actually fairly normal, as Fate's fingers will confirm. The texture and color might not exactly match any on Earth, but they're close. This is clearly recognizable as a tree, even if it is very tall and some of the leaves, once one exits the interior of the trunk to see this, sparkle as if a bit of glitter had been sprinkled on to their ends. It also serves as a decent prop for Tuxedo to catch himself upon, sturdy enough despite the interior.

White's remarks are taken very seriously. "I know. You're right. As far as I know, our world has perhaps a million people in it. When you talk about 'other worlds', plural, at stake... suddenly it becomes million/s/," she hiss-stresses that last syllable. "Tokyo alone has millions. If I mess up, and if 'Plan B' cannot be done in time... history won't just 'hate me forever', it might not exist any more."

Which makes for some 'mood whiplash' when she then tells Akashimaru, "That's why I invited all of you here. To see something good in all this. Our home is a lot better than my first impression probably showed." A glance over-shoulder is given to Valeria, "I'd like it if you can help them with that, showing them the home you like so much that you were willing to come to the Unknown World alone, when you didn't even realize it existed, to help."

After a short walk, she brings the group to a dirt path going through the trees. "We'll be going west. About a half hour to hour walk depending on how fast we go."

Anyone bothering to check their phones from here will notice it displaying that there is absolutely no service out here. No signal of any kind, not even some random tower that would accept emergency calls piggybacking on it. The very /concept/ of a cell phone does not exist in this world, and having merely crossed an inch through the portal is enough to be out of service range. Non-call functions, anything not needing a cell tower, will still work however. There will be time to explore these limitations as Rune leads the way one footstep at a time.
Hannah Sharpe 2015-12-06 00:24:24 17589
Some of that anxiety seems to at least lessen in Hannah's face. "Good, you've got perspective on this." A long nod of approval. Still, the readings she's getting past that tree aren't anything to scoff at. This is definitely a world on the brink.

And when Tuxedo Kamen meets tree, Hannah's helpfully hauling him up if necessary! She even dusts him off. Whisper whisper.

"So how'd you like being a girl?" Griiin!

But there's traveling to be done, and Hannah is here to help. She concentrates, and a little gust of wind will appear on willing participants! They'll float, and find themselves a little faster!

"Floating Zephyr!" Intones Hannah's Device. It'll save on the ankles in the walk, at least!
Hinote Kagari 2015-12-06 00:30:26 17590
Guardian Hino is following alone with Runealy and the others as he looks around. He looks at the odd tree, then back towards the path. A forest. The air is cleaner here. It's... oddly weirdly serene. Well. Despite the red sky and dark clouds. He has his hand on his sword hilt the whole time. One demon got through somehow, right?

What if there's others waiting to attack them on the way afterall.

He looks back to Hannah and Tuxedo Kamen- what are they talking about?

He looks back and forward and---woaaaahhhh---what!?

He sort of flails.

"Well that's weird." he says at Miss White.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-12-06 00:33:11 17591
From somewhere in the nearby forest, a set of birdcalls and noises responds to Gaofele. "Fueran here; Gaofele acknowledged, Gaofele-group acknowledged. Immediate situation okay. Gaofele destination?"

"They know we're here, and they're aware that everyone's with us," Gaofele remarks to Rune, then faces back to the forest. "Gaofele-group moving to Shrine. Priority: Significant," he calls back to the watcher. A warning that the group's task is very important, but does not require reinforcements from the forester clan.

There's a pause, then a call responds. "Acknowledged. Good luck. Fueran done."

"Gaofele done," responds Gao. He looks around, frowning. "Much less animal noise than usual," he remarks. "I think most of the animals have fled from the Barrier's storm."
Mamoru Chiba 2015-12-06 00:35:36 17592
"Better than I like dimensional travel," whispers Tux back to Hannah, willing enough to hover along with her breeze when she calls it up. "Usako doesn't seem to mind, either. Oh, thanks, by the way, for helping her out. And also I'm still mad at you, but I think you're probably used to that by now." He and his unreadable eye-covering-mask and his cape definitely appreciate the lift; he's still a little pale.
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-06 00:36:01 17593
You don't need any sort of foreknowledge to know that color in the skies is a shorthand for 'bad things are happening' so Tadase doesn't mention it. His glance is truly only pulled to the beautiful blue in the distance, clear and bright. The trees that sparkle get a special notice too.

"It's very beautiful, Princess." Platinum Royale says, as he follows Runealy, walking under that strange sky. Kiseki can feel that ominous darkness as well as Hannah's device can read it, but outwardly Platinum Royale gives no sense of worry - looking for all the world like just an amazed young boy experiencing a strange newness.

"That's not surprising. We can tell something's off about that sky, so I'm sure they can too." Platinum says to Gao.
Fate T. Waldia 2015-12-06 00:37:12 17594
Fate follows along with the group as they walk, looking up at the terrible sky. "Two days...? Then we shouldn't waste any time." She's heard a lot about celebrations, and while at first she didn't really care much for being publically recongized, she's now hoping that it isn't all just wishful thinking.

The wind to her back does help a bit, especially since Fate isn't just going to fly all the way there. Fate looks up at Miss White and says, "That's a neat trick."

Fate looks up at Gao, and then looks away as he talks about the animals fleeing. "How long do you think this storm has been going on? Is it just going to get worse until the Barrier is fixed?"
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-06 00:46:07 17595
The sight of the sky brings a worried frown to Akashimaru's face. It reminds her a little too much of things she saw while trespassing in a nightmare - but then, they all know why they're here. So, like Platinum Royale, Seishi doesn't waste the breath to comment on what anyone can see is an ominous sign.

In any case, before long she has a somewhat more immediate concern to distract her as the breath of wind picks up around her to buoy her steps. "Wh--" it's a short, startled sound, and she blinks in surprise for a moment, eyes settling on Miss White. "...was that you?" It seemed like it was, at least. She's clearly not quite sure what to make of it, but, well, they're in a hurry. "...Thanks."
Valeria Barun 2015-12-06 00:48:41 17596
    Valeria looks up to the ominous sky, "It's spreading, but it isn't so much worse than it was when I saw it last," she remarks. It's still very unsettling but she's glad to see there aren't any black cloud vortexes swirling in the direction of the Barrier Shrine.

    When the wind helps her along she looks over towards Miss White and smiles, "Thank you. I was worried I might stumble and make a fool of myself in all this underbrush. The last time I was through here I was well out of sight." As if by explanation she extends her leg enough that her foot can be seen from the edge of her dress. She's wearing heels.

    She nods to Runealy then as she's spoken to, looking to the others around her. "I think you'll all find the people here very welcoming, especially once they know of your deeds. Princess Runealy may have told some of you this before but in Waldia everyone's respective trades are done with the intention of helping to protect others. A cobbler is a person who makes shoes to protect your feet, and a farmer is one who grows the food to protect you from hunger. Merchants and traders help spread these things across all of Waldia so that no one may be without." And at a tidy profit that allows them to protect their own families happiness, she doesn't add.
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-06 00:52:36 17597
"I've had 'perspective' on it every single day and night since... in five days it will have been seven months," Rune answers White. Over half a year of being away from home, facing unknown and 'impossible' things because no other option seemed to exist. "...Huh?" Wind swirls, and she goes along with it; 'wind walking' takes her only a few seconds to figure out.

"Less noise?" Rune blinks and looks around, then looks confused. "You're right. Aside from the birds," she hasn't quite realized Gao isn't the only one using 'bird chirp code', it seems, "I'm not hearing much. That's... well, I want to say it's weird, but you probably just hit on exactly why it happened. I hope we're not too late."

"Thank you, but... right now it looks horrible. I'm sorry this had to be your first sight of it," she offers to Royale, "And especially sorry it's yours." This, she says to Hino. "If we get through this, I swear you'll see it as it's supposed to be."

"Seven months," Rune repeats this length of time... but this time it's an answer to Fate's question. "Back then, it was just right over the area above the Shrine. We could hide that pretty easily by just forbidding anyone to travel here. I don't think we'll be able to hide it much longer, though. Another day or two and you'll be able to see it from the capital, I'm sure."

Valeria chimes in with some patriotic explanation, and Rune is very quick to agree with it. "That's how it is. We view ourselves as one another's 'Circle of Shields.' You're part of someone's circle, but someone is part of yours too, so you're surrounded by protection... and they can help make you happy as well. You need both, after all."

Rune's estimate of how long the march will take is accurate enough, though wind-aided travel means it's likely going to be closer to a half-hour instead of a full one. Eventually, trees give way to a paved stone path leading on to a tall marble building. Well, tall by rural standards; it is perhaps two or three 'stories' high, which is nothing compared to Tokyo's skyscrapers. On the other hand, its craftsmanship is top-rate. The path leading to this rectangular building ends in steps that bring one to a pair of huge wooden doors - close to twenty feet tall - with engraved golden handles. A red and white banner hangs above this door, with a silver shield and pink heart symbol in its center. Gold towers rise up from each corner of the building, and a blue crystal dome can be seen atop the center of an otherwise marble-and-stone roof.

Runealy approaches these doors. The handle glows in a soft red light when she touches it, and this appears to help her open the otherwise towering doors. They lead to a tiny hallway. Straight ahead is another pair of doors just like the ones she just opened. Much smaller, normal doors are to the left and right. Desks are set against the wall in this 'lobby' in case anyone wishes to leave things here, but it appears this room largely serves to separate areas from each other.

"We're here. I'd like it if you can all wait here while I finish the Ritual, it's very delicate and any distractions could ruin the entire thing. Summoning..." She lets out a deep breath, trying to hold in the urge to shiver from fright and anxiety. "Summoning Princess' Tiara!"

The gold, jeweled headwear appears in hand. "The Line of Succession..." It's passed to the other hand, which brings it to her head in the same motion. "Transform!" A flash of red, then Princess Runealy stands in full magical garb. She'll wait a moment, but if not significantly interrupted she looks ready to open the doors and go ahead.
Hannah Sharpe 2015-12-06 00:58:04 17598
Nope, Hino-chan, you're not getting a whiff of info. Tux's disguise is safe with Hanners!

The exchange from Gao is noted with a bit of fascination, but then it's back to Tux!

"I'll bring a bag if I ever teleport you." She teases, and then rolls her eyes.

"You should know by now I have a pretty big talent for that. And yeah, don't worry about it. She's a bit ditzy but she's a good kid and actually has a little talent. Should get Sailor Moon to learn a thing or two from her!" Words that one may well have never thought heard.

But Platinum Royal pulsl her attention back to the matter at hand. And she takes a moment to smell the environment.

"Mmm. No smog, no smells of the city. I like it. Hey, Rune! Get me some flowers to take home after this! They smell great around here."

To Fate, she grins. "Don't ever underestimate utility spells, kiddo! They can literally save your life if you use them right!" Similarly, there's a smile to Seishi!

"Devices are /amazing/ things!"

To Valeria, she chuckles. "See, this is why you need to get yourself a nice pair of flats! Heels are great, but they're horrible for fighting." Really, how does the Senshi do it!?

And then they're at the shrine! Hannah scans the area, and whistles at the workmanship of the place! Really, it's beautiful from the mental picture she gets.

"Wow. You guys definitely put some work into this place."

Then, she simply finds a wall to lean against as Rune transforms.

"Good luck." She offers sincerely, followed by a clap on the shoulder. Her focus, however, doesn't leave those doors even when Rune makes for them.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-12-06 01:05:40 17599
The lack of normal forest noises leaves Gao on edge for the duration of the trip, but other than that the trip is uneventful. As they arrive, the forester pulls out his bracer and slides it onto his arm, saying "To protect the lands, I am Guardian Gao!"

There's a flash of green, and Gao's Guardian Knight outfit appears. He gently claps a hand to the shoulder of Rune, giving an encouraging smile. "We know you can do it, Rune," he says. "And we're here for you."
Fate T. Waldia 2015-12-06 01:06:40 17600
Fate frowns at the answer she gets. Seven months. About as long as Fate has been on Earth, by coincidence. To think, when she was starting her quest to gather Jewel Seeds, this was happening in some other world. The thought of it sends a chill down her spine.

As Runealy henshins and heads for the doors, Fate decides to hang out near the pillar. She touches the small yellow emblem on her hand, Bardiche. Would a demon attack them here? It wouldn't surprise Fate at all, but she's also kindof hoping that it was just the one.

"Well, the building looks nice at least," she says, trying to keep her mind off of the weather.

Fate does not pat Runealy on the shoulder because she is not tall enough to reach it.
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-06 01:09:17 17601
Platinum Royale grins at Valeria. "This does sound like a wonderful place. I am very glad to provide any assistance I can." He barely prevents himself, being influenced by Kiseki, to add 'as the King of Earth' or something similar.

Once they arrive at the shrine, he looks to Runealy as she gives her "I guess this is something you need to go in there and do alone." he says, to Runealy. He does not clasp her on the back because he's not as connected to her as the Guardian Knights, but he does do so verbally. "Just remember, we all came here to support you. This little door can't block that support. We believe in you - you've had a really hard road. Now all you have to do is get to the end of it and everything's going to be great!" There may or may not be sparkles involved.
Hinote Kagari 2015-12-06 01:09:59 17602
Guardian Hino walks along for what it's worth but he wants down on the ground and he makes that happen when they get closed as some sort of building rises up. Hino marvels at it for a bit. It's quite exactly like something from one of his story books. Intricate, a blue crystal dome... golden towers. Yeah...this is it. It brings a genuine smile to his face and fills his heart with a certain obvious glee.

He lets Runealy lead them past the HUGE double doors and stops outside the door.

"Good luck Princess. You can do this." he says as he lets his cape settle around him for a change. She gets a shoulder nudge. "We'll be here when you're done." he says.
Mamoru Chiba 2015-12-06 01:16:06 17603
"I wouldn't say no. Might put a bag in my hat," Tuxedo Kamen says to Hannah, making a show of holding his hands over his stomach. Also, the hat he's not wearing. He does not AT ALL address 'Sailor Moon could stand to learn a thing or two from Usagi'; besides, they're there, and the spell sets him down.

He keeps trying to get his bearings, but something feels off, and he's left with a general underlying sense of unease instead. He tries not to let it show on his face when Runealy starts gearing herself up to go inside, and while he may not be a sparkly gold adorable bishounen like Tadase, Mamoru can at least give what encouragement he has.

It's not a shoulderpile, but once people have had their turns clapping or clasping her shoulder, he pulls a rose from inside his jacket and hands it to her. "For luck, and strength," he says gravely to the princess, "and it doubles as a really wicked dagger in a pinch."
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-06 01:22:25 17604
Akashimaru hangs back a step, not getting in anyone's way as they offer encouraging shoulder-pats or the like. She doesn't herself, hands tucked back into her sleeves again - but before the princess embarks upon her task, the samurai girl bows to her, deep and formal.

"Godspeed," she says, simply. "We are here if you need us."
Valeria Barun 2015-12-06 01:23:59 17605
    "You are very correct," Valeria responds to Miss White, "I wouldn't think of fighting in these. If it came to think I would be better off using them as weapons than shoes." The quiet walk through the forest is a little unnerving, especially as they move ever closer to the storm itself. Seeing the Barrier Shrine has an effect on her, however, and as she casts her gaze upon it she visibly calms. She rests her hand against the tall door for a moment before stepping inside.

    As Runealy and Gaofele transform she comments, "I suppose it's time." She holds her hand up into the air, her signet ring shining in the light. "To protect our future, I am Guardian Vale!" There's a brief flash of light surrounding her, and when it fades she's wearing another dress, this one of purple. She flashes a brief amused smile to Miss White as she walks up to Runealy; she has heels in this form too, though they're short ones on armored boots that clack against the stonework floor.

    "We're all with you, Rune," she says with a smile. "Remember what we talked about last night? It's finally the time that you can stop worrying and do what you've been taught to do."
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-06 01:39:16 17606
"Flowers? Ah... okay." Rune vaguely recalls there may or may not be some problems in letting plant or animal life migrate between worlds, but if White thinks it's not a problem then she'll be glad to let White take some flowers. "Chances are, someone in the capital will be glad to help you find whichever ones you want. And..." the hand-clasp and praise for the worksmanship sink in. "Thank you. This is one of the most important places on our world, so we've made sure it's fitting. The chambers for the Queen and Princess are to the left, but the guest room on the right... I guess it was originally for the Knights, but we haven't had any in centuries. The ones you see here," a nod to Gao, Hino, and Vale in turn, "Are the first in a long, long time. For now though, their room will probably hold the rest of us if it ends up being too late to go to the capital today."

Support pours in. From people who once swore vengeance, from people who just wanted her to stop hurting others, from friends who braved the unknown. Her head lowers in consideration, a deep breath taken, then... in the face of what may as well almost be on a shoulder-massage from how many have joined in to show that gesture, she's ready. "Right. This is something I do alone... the Queen is called upon to restore the Barrier, because only the royal line inherits the magic from the First Queen." Not that Rune is even close to being a Queen, which has so far been the crux of the problem. Vale prompts her. "I remember. Still feel scared, but once I get started there won't be time to feel that. So, I'm going to try this one last time. And I..." She's cut off by Tuxedo Kamen's offering, and takes the rose. "Thank you, I'll..." He cuts off this thought with an explanation on its other uses.

Rune protests with confusion plain to see on her face, "Huh? Luck and strength, sure, but... a dagger? What am I going to do, stab the Barrier?"

She slips the next door open, squeaking just past it and then closing it behind herself; there was hardly time to see much of what lie beyond.

Interestingly, her voice can be heard clearly in the 'lobby' even though she's past thick doors. She seems to be talking to herself. Half a minute in, Rune says: "Okay... the crystals are floating around me. Hope we gathered enough to make up for what I'm lacking... it's time to start, and..."

That thought gets cut off by her voice sounding much more alarmed, mid-sentence. "...What!?" Immediately after, something like an explosion rings out. Glass can be heard shattering, and Runealy screams.

One of the doors splinters and twists back in to the lobby, and Rune lands on her back in a heap! Now, the interior of the main Shrine room can easily be seen. A gold and crystal floor serves as the basis for stone bridges leading over small indoor water-streams, and gold-edged glass columns that flicker with tiny bits of bright red energy within. Many of them are completely empty, and what few still have energy are nearly out.

Two other things stand out. One is the back wall. Also framed in gold, it houses a red 'wall' of energy full of spiderweb cracks, regularly flickering... but its form is holding, overall. Thick stained glass near the back-center of the floor, right in front of the Barrier, shows a shield-and-heart emblem.

There is also trouble straight ahead.
Mint Chip 2015-12-06 01:48:48 17607
Standing between everyone else and the barrier wall is a massive, bulky demon - large enough that it made the one faught in the park seem small. Bulky, black flesh and massive claws, and the ground rumbles a little as it takes some steps forward. "Have you come to do what your dead mother cannot?" the demon asks, wicked glee in its eyes. "There's nothing for you here but suffering. And I will enjoy every moment of it. I might even keep you alive, just long enough for you to watch your pathetic family's barrier shatter and all of my bretheren escape to put your 'kingdom' back in its rightful place."

The demon leans forward. "But I think I'll kill the rest of these humans right here in front of you, so that their deaths pollute this shrine and serve as a reminder for what happens when you throw your lot in with such weakness." Then there's a rumbling sound like thunder - and it's coming from the demon's left arm, which it thrusts forward as a blast of black lightning erupts from it, along with a flash of 'light' that fills the entry hall with a brief moment of darkness before it hits its targets - each of the people who has come with the Princess, or the walls or ground near them.
Hannah Sharpe 2015-12-06 01:53:32 17608
More heels!? Dangit, Valeria!

Since when has cross contamination or things like laws ever stopped Hannah? They could serve as good sources of income, new flower strains! And they smell good, dangit!

Her brows rise. "Huh, so it's shrine and home base, all in one."

And then off Rune goes. Hannah even doesn't try to sneak an Area Search in. She wants to. Oh, she wants to. She's tapping her feet impatiently. Definitely recording for posterity though anything they all hear.

Whump! Shattering glass, and then Runealy is violently ejected through the doors! Hannah's on her feet, and near the door in a second.

"What went wrong, Princess?"

A demon. A bloody dyed-in-satanic-wool demon. Miss White can't help but grin just a bit. She'd hoped to find something like this, though not quite in this way.

The great creature gloats, and Hannah listens. Lives threatened, worlds threaten, she spits at the creature just in time to get hammered by that blast of black lightning!

Her Device throws up a Shield, wind crackling with the energy of the creature, before shattering and hammering her in the chest! She's shoved back several feet, one hand reaching down to steady herself.

"...Yeesh, I knew demons would be ugly, but you take the cake! Smell awful too, lay off the brimstone!" Taunts Hannah, and as wind gathers around her feet, she zips right at the creature! She'll leap into the air and aim a series of hard kicks right for the giant beast's chest, heedless as ever for danger or silly things like sanity and self-preservation!

"Now let's see what you've got!"
Fate T. Waldia 2015-12-06 02:06:43 17609
Fate waits patiently outside as Runealy goes in. This part should be easy, right? Just a simple matter of restoring the Barrier and then going off to celebrate... Fate sits on a step, looking down at the path they walked here on.

Fate listens as she hears Runealy speak on the other side of the door. She turns her head at Runealy's surprise. When the princess is knocked through the door, Fate grasps the yellow emblem on her hand and shouts, "Bardiche! Now!"

~Get Set~

Her civillian clothes are replaced, piece by piece, by her henshin outfit. Her black cape billows behind her as Bardiche becomes a scythe in her hands. When she sees the demon, she narrows her eyes.

So, an enemy is here after all.

"You should have stayed on your side of the Barrier, if you wanted to live."

As the attack comes out, Fate gives a silent mental command to Bardiche, and Bardiche deploys a spherical golden magical bubble around her. The dark light smashes against the shield, but Fate holds it steady.

Once the light passes, the shield vanishes and Fate's feet lift into the air. She speeds around the demon, swinging her scythe at the monster as she passes.
Hinote Kagari 2015-12-06 02:07:27 17610
Guardian Hino is listening, okay it sounds like everything is going okay. Then there is panic. Then Runealy is blast backwards through the door and his eyes go wider. He looks into the room and frowns. "PRINCESS!" he calls out.

Then he dives in through the busted door and his sword drawn at the same time. He doesn't shield himself, he tries to dive around the blast- he isn't a wall. (He learned this the hard way.). He doesn't have time to appreciate how beautiful the room looks right now.

He doesn't avoid the blast he gets blasted into the ground. Well. That was unpleasent and hurt a whole lot. He drags himself upwards as he raises his sword.

"That won't happen, demon..." he mutters as he watches Miss White. He raises his sword as fire dances around him.

"BURNING IGNITION!" he calls out, a blaze of fire shooting out toward's the demon.

"GAO. VALE. LET'S WORK TOGETHER." he calls out.

Gao and Hino have practiced a lot together, they can do that much at least.


He's trying to get information while fighting the old fashioned way. YELLING LIKE A JERK.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-06 02:11:38 17611
In a way, it's not surprising - disappointing, perhaps, but it wasn't out of any concern for keeping her identity hidden that Seishi came transformed. The moment after the first sounds of trouble break out from beyond the doors, just as the doors shatter outwards and Princess Runealy goes sprawling, Akashimaru reaches to yank the Shinken from her belt.

By the time the demon has finished gloating, she's ready.

A flick of her wrist snaps the tessen open, and as the black lightning surges out, Akashimaru steps to meet it, a quick collected slide of movement that places her between the downed princess and the demon with her war fan held up like a shield before her.


The tessen gleams with light as the dark blast strikes it, flashing bright like a mirror, reflecting the assault back to its source.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-12-06 02:17:09 17612
Guardian Gao dashes forward, trying to shield Rune from part of the blast. He doesn't try to block the entire thing; rather, he does what he can to reduce the number of bolts aimed at Rune.

The impact pushes him backwards, knocking him off of his feet. The forester Knight scrambles back up, bow now in his hands. "Right!" he shouts to Hinote, then draws an arrow.

"NETTLE BARRAGE!" he calls out as he fires. The arrow fragments into a swarm of narrow shafts, aimed as a cluster towards the demon's head. It might not do much damage, but it might buy the group enough time to ready and begin a counter-attack.
Mamoru Chiba 2015-12-06 02:18:32 17613
The second there's that audible moment of Not As Planned, Tuxedo Kamen is bracing; when the doors burst out and Runealy comes hurtling through the air, he pulls his cape up as a shield; when the demon appears, posturing and smarming, he's already in motion toward the princess.

"Rune-chan, we've got you--" he starts, down on one knee next to her and trying to help her up, shielding her with himself and his cape. That means he's not looking when the attack comes, but the cape wasn't just made for dramatic entrances: cape-tanking is a thing.

That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.

His mask is still opaque, so the rock forward and the grimace and sudden tension are the only evidence of the blast having actually kind of done a number on him from Rune's perspective, but he's even still a little more pale as he assists. "Come on. Everyone's going to fight for you. I'm pretty sure your priority should still be that barrier, right? Let me give you more energy--"
Valeria Barun 2015-12-06 02:22:41 17614
    As the Princess goes deeper into the shrine Guardian Vale closes her eyes. She wants to be there to witness the restoration itself but isn't about to do something that would distract her and potentially doom their world and others over it. Instead she closes her eyes and tries to think happy thoughts of Waldia with the Barrier back to full strength and Runealy able to live without the constant worry of immanent doom facing her Kingdom.

    She's startled out of her thoughts by the 'What!?' coming from the other room only to gasp as Runealy is thrown clean through the doors to the barrier. Almost immediately she's rushing to her side, kneeling down next to her, "Rune! Are you alright? What-"

    Her next question is cut off as the demon speaks up from within the Barrier room itself and her blood momentarily runs cold. As she turns her eyes towards the enormous monstrosity there is a mix of emotions. Indignation that such a monster would set foot in this place, anger that it would threaten Runealy so... and relief. For the barrier still stands, and it appears to be just one demon rather than an endless horde.

    Suddenly, lightning. Being right next to Runealy means dodging and letting the blast impact near her is out of the question. So instead she lifts her shield and bears the brunt of the assault directly. It takes the worst out of the sting out of the magical blow but that metal does conduct electricity as she quickly learns. She gets back up to her feet, now slightly sizzled. On the whole it's far less impressive than Akashimaru's technique!

    "We'll deal with this intruder, Princess. Once we're done you can continue the ritual." With that she dashes towards the barrier room and takes the demon on with her sword, arriving shortly after Gaofele's barrage of arrows. She'd prefer to tend to the Princess and see if she's hurt but it was just proven to her that being in close proximity might just put her in further danger.
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-06 02:30:16 17615
Platinum Royale doesn't get his scepter up for a defense in time, and then takes the bolt of energy straight - this sends him flying backwards into the wall with a groan. But quickly he's getting up, fighting forward, scepter poised for an attack.

"Princess!" he shouts. "Let's deal with this quickly so we can keep your world safe. We didn't come all this way to lose here." he adds. Platinum Royale knows a few things about morale, and he's not going to let this demon take it from Runealy. "HOLY JUDGEMENT!" he shouts and a blast of white energy surges forward at the demon.
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-06 02:32:09 17616
Runealy begins to pick herself up, a chill running through her as the demon makes its threats and taunts. Ones she can easily visualize. Weakness, certainly; she has shown it numerous times in the last half-year. Death... she can imagine that vividly. The idea that this monster would be cruel enough to let them watch the end of the world is entirely plausible to her.

These thoughts flood her mind and are enough that she has no 'witty' retort of any kind, staring at the towering demon with wide-eyed fear. "I don't think he was ever sealed," she has enough sense to suggest this to Fate. "The First Queen sealed most, but not all of them!" This thought prompts her to add a warning to White: "Which means he probably eluded us for thousands of years, so be careful!"

She's shaky on getting back to her feet, but Tuxedo Kamen helps her back up. "Wait!" Too late; he just got struck by what could very well have finished her off, and now she finds herself trying to support him on his feet. "It's one of my priorities, but not if you get killed in the process. And I can't even try to start the ritual while he's here!"

Vale's also suggesting she stand down and let the others handle this fight, even after having been struck by lightning as well... something drawing a hurried glance to make sure Vale is okay, and Gao as well; she saw that he moved to aid Tuxedo Kamen in taking the edge off the lightning attack. They seem to be on their feet, though.

Royale calls for them to handle this problem. "It's not just my world we're here for, but... he talked about my mother just now. She didn't just teach me the ritual. Queens fight demons, and Princesses learn to become Queen...!" Gripped with this thought, Runealy slips aside from those supporting her and tries to rush into the main shrine room. She's not interested in plowing into Valflox head on, but does need some space to work... to begin running in a wide circle around the area between some pillars and a bridge, staff aimed to launch a pair of emerald orbs at this monster!
Mint Chip 2015-12-06 02:41:35 17617
The demon jumps back away from Fate's scythe, making a counter-swipe downward with a claw! "I'm not going to die, but all of you are. You all die, and Waldia dies today too!" the demon says. "Wether by the claws of Valflox..." it says, referring clearly to itself in the third person "...or by the failure of your Princess to restore the barrier!"

The claw that comes down at Fate, wether it connects or not, is ignited by Hino, and it obviously burns the flesh of the demon - but all the same, it only laughs wickedly! It's the same laughing, manic response as it suffers under rapid kicks from Hannah - while she can feel her feet doing damage, it seems like this youma only thrives on combat and pain.

There's another blast of black light as the demon crackles suddenly with electrcity, trying to drive Hannah back! The reflected burst of its own energy comes back right then though, and there's a sudden crackle as that energy field disperses, perhaps overwhelmed! Gao's arrows sink into the demon, drawing up some of that ichor like blood.

Tuxedo Kamen assists Runealy as Vale closes in on the demon, and despite all of it's wounds, it doesn't back off from her, but rather charges in, meeting sword with claw, until the blast from Tadase stuns it slightly, and Vale makes good on a cut across its chest.

"All of you are fools. On a fool's errand, fighting against reality. This barrier is an affront to the truth - that my kind rules your kind!" it shouts, before another thunderous rumble emits from the demon, and a claw swipe causes waves of black electrical energy to surge forward! "FOOLS! WEAKLINGS!" it shouts, each word preceding another swipe of energy! A much more charged last blast, though, is deflected off course into the back walls of the chamber by Rune's blast of orbs - it doesn't turn to engage her though. True to its words, it seems to be planning her for last!
Mamoru Chiba 2015-12-06 02:50:57 17618
It's always so tempting to call back insults to monsters that bluster insults, but Tuxedo Kamen can't afford it: he feels like he's running on limited energy, and everything he does in this place has to be calculated to take that into account. He steps back to cover for Runealy running around the side, unceremoniously whips a rose through the air toward the most easily visible of the demon's joints, then vaults up and up to alight on the top of the shrine and watch for openings or emergencies.
Fate T. Waldia 2015-12-06 02:52:32 17619
He didn't break through? Hearing that is a relief to Fate. The thought that demons might be slowly trickling in while they wait would've been pretty terrible. So not all demons got sealed.

On the other hand, for this one to have survived thousands of years, with capable warriors wanting to hunt it and kill it... It has to be either really strong or really good at hiding, just to not have been picked off.

Fate hopes it's the latter, though the former seems increasingly likely.

The claw comes down on Fate, and Fate holds up Bardiche's glowing yellow blade to parry it. Fate is knocked out of the air from the sheer weight of those claws, and she drops to one knee for stability. She holds Bardiche over her to protect her, even as Hino ignites the claws, but she doesn't plan on just sitting there in a defensive pose. After all, since the demon is this close...

"Arc Saber!" shouts Fate. Bardiche takes the command, firing a blast of electical magic at the demon from the edge of her scythe.

"Your lies are meaningless."
Hannah Sharpe 2015-12-06 02:54:03 17620
Hannah might be a bit nuts, but she's not dumb! Rune's words are caught amidst a kick!

"So he's an old, tough demon with a sense of cunning and subtlety! Great! Just the kind of thing to sharpen my skills on! Hey! Hat-guy! Don't you dare die over there!" Better or worse, her self confidence is hardly flagging right now.

And then the demon is laughing despite the damage they're all giving it! It's strong, and curse her, some part of her respects the crazy creature! It's an almost frightening thought. She tries to not think too much, instead, just tries to hit harder as the others pile on!

She's in no position to dodge, drawing up her arms and a shield spell keeping the worst of the damage from being done, but the combination of overload and pure proximity of her shattering wind shield tosses her back into the air, careening into a heap on the ground.

She roughly shoves herself to her feet, spitting out a bit of blood. Her Device pings.

"Tch. Like I'm going to let this muscle-bound jerk take me out!"

With Rune's blasts at least keeping the torrent of lightning from being overwhelming, Hannah has time to yell right back!

"What, you mean scum like you, ruling HUMANS!? Are you stupid!? Humans are potential, we're evolution and growth and AMBITION! I don't care how old or how strong you are, you'll fall to the potential we all have! You can't match our burning dreams!"

This time, Hannah teleports in low, her fists hammering for the creature's legs, trying to shatter them with dozens of blasts of cutting wind energy! But more importantly, she tries to cover the creature's limbs with her wind-runes, ready to activate and bind should she have to!

"Heh, still, your head will make a great souvenier!"
Valeria Barun 2015-12-06 03:01:13 17621
    Sword and claw clash several times until Platinum Royale's Holy Judgement gives Guardian Vale the opening she needs to make a swipe across Valflox' chest. Soon the claw is swiping wide instead of meeting her, however, and waves of energy blast into her. It rocks her on her feet and she goes stumbling back, crying out as the dark energy crackles over her form.

    She's forced back by the power of it, momentarily using her sword as a cane to keep her balance as she leaps away. She sees the explosions of Runealy's orbs and looks in her direction, and notices just how little offensive attention the demon is paying to her. Really, it's almost insulting.

    "Gao! Hino! The Princess has a clear shot; let's lend her our strength and show this Demon the truth power of Waldia!" A line of lavender energy extends out from Guardian Vale towards her fellow Guardian Knights, and should they follow her lead will connect with their own before another extends out from her towards Runealy.

    Is this even something that will work?
Hinote Kagari 2015-12-06 03:08:44 17622
Guardian Hino watches Tuxedo Kamen tank a hit for Runealy out of the corner of his eye. He frowns a lot----ugh. He should had...stayed back. But no, Kamen's there. He's thankful for that. That dude better not die. He'll kill himself so he can slap the jerk in the face or something, he figures for the silliness. It's only a passing silly thought of course as others call out---- Vale calls out though, that's one of the voices he's definitly keeping out for. A line connects with him....

Huh that feels tingly.

He thinks fond thoughts.... a similar line shoots out to the other knights of brilliant ORANGE before it also extends off along's near Vale's.

He's hoping whatever Vale plan is- it works horrendously well! It should! Right?
Gaofele Doiru 2015-12-06 03:12:32 17623
Guardian Gao swaps to his staff as the demon sweeps a clawful of energy towards the group. There's not enough time to summon a full Forest Wall, but a swift growth around the staff is enough to partially buffer him from the dark energy washing over the group.

The forester Knight looks at the lines of energy linking the Guardain Knights, then nods. Planting the viney quarterstaff firmly, he thinks of the fortifying strength of the forests, channeling it upward into the staff instead of down into the ground, then pours that feeling into the lines of energy.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-06 03:15:50 17624
Again and again, Akashimaru's tessen flashes brightly, meeting and bouncing back each new wave of dark energy that the demon sends her way. It's hard to tell how much she's really accomplishing, though; at a time like this, it's no good for her to take the defensive.

Especially since it looks like the Guardian Knights need a few interrupted moments to do whatever it is they're doing--

Her stance shifts, preparatory, a quick flourish of her weapon snapping the war fan closed into a twelve-inch bar of iron in her hand. "Come," she intones, "the strength that shatters iron--!"

And then she charges, red sleeves flying out like banners. Miss White's gone in low, striking for the demon's legs - Akashimaru gathers herself and springs, whirling in the air, the Shinken tracing an arc of red light as she brings it hammering down at Valflox's head. "--Sankonsen!"
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-06 03:18:21 17625
Tadase is forced to bring up his scepter to deflect the incoming onslaught - a call of HOLY CROWN rings out as the attacks are warded off by the bright golden energy. A second call of "IMPERIAL SEAL" comes out from the young would-be-King,and another tangle of energy erupts, surging towards the demon!
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-06 03:22:22 17626
Rune flinches as the second way this could end in disaster is mentioned... even winning this fight is no guarantee things will work. Yet her wand shots have apparently negated some of the demon's, so that's a tiny thing in her favor right now. "It's not a 'lie'," a comment upon Fate's defiance. "but it is ancient history. Only in the very first days of what we know did demons rule this world. The First Queen and her friends gave us a new way of life!" White's further commentary cuts off any need to say much else, however!

White spoke of potential. It's interesting to consider, as Vale and her other Knights have discovered, uninstructed by her or any other source, a variation upon the way they can combine their abilities. Energy lines flow to her tiara. Lavender, orange, and green course in, and they begin to swirl within the orb-tip on her wand.

She aims for where Tuxedo Kamen hurled a rose, trying to treat it as a beacon; something to target that should also hopefully avoid striking White or Akashimaru as they go low and high. This 'energy donation' seems to have given her some more confidence too, as eyes narrow, aim set, and... "Fall!" That may be overly optimistic; Valflox might not go down so easily. Nonetheless, what would normally be a thin red beam from her wand launches out as a much wider one, made of a swirl of four colors: the three sent her way, plus her typical red!
Mint Chip 2015-12-06 03:29:54 17627
The demon is standing pretty stable for all of the wounds its taken thusfar, even as it feels another tinge of pain as the rose sinks down into what passes for its flesh. Arc Saber too, slams into the demon, causing it to give a few more feet back before it tries to close in with Fate again. "There's no lies here, I will make every little thing I have said today come to truth! Valflox will be the one which shatters the royal line and the barrier! I will be first among my brethren!"

But before he can get a claw on Fate, Hannah's there again. Fists are slamming into the creature - and if it was a normal being, the damage she's doing might have crumpled it there! Instead, though, it reaches down, grabbing Hannah's hand in one of its massive claws and flinging her away unceremoniously, as though the champion kickboxer were but a rag doll, towards a pillar in the back with massive force! "Let me show you how little your human potential really means!" it shouts as it does so.

But this means the creature is turned away as Akashimaru drives forward. It turns back to her just in time, and intends to meet her with claw - before the Imperial Seal strikes it, pulling the youma's hand away and binding it to its side, and allowing Akashimaru's Sankonsen an incredibly clear hit that resounds through the room (and likely would've damaged Hannah's intended trophy, were the head not belonging to a demon.) Though the demon snarls back at Akashimaru, it's this moment that exposes the wound from the rose (which has turned black and wilted significantly from being in contact with this demon's blood) - and exposes the youma to the multicolored burst of energy - and that burst strikes home, due as much to the group's combined efforts as anything else!

The demon lets out a horrific snarl, but it doesn't fall - though somewhat dramatically the damage does force it to one knee. This, however, seems to have upset it someone a lot.

"You humans will never rule over my kind! BUT YOU WON'T LIVE TO SEE IT BECAUSE I WILL TASTE YOUR PRINCESS' HEART!" The demon moves in an enraged bloodlust at Rune, both claws coming in, gleaming in their black sheen, crackling with black electrical energy.
Hinote Kagari 2015-12-06 03:44:25 17628
Guardian Hino opens his eyes wide, another demon... rushing for the Princess! No---that can't happen! TWO DAYS! That's what Runealy said---Hino is smarter this time though because he isn't going to try to tank another hit for the Princess. What he is going to do is rush forward, and try to check the massive demon in the side as his sword lights on fire-----he lifts his sword up and with as much power as he can muster tries to clash into the demon with a vigrous burst of power.


He calls out, the swing hopefully connecting.

BLAZER!" he finishes, a sudden combustion of flame shooting outwards and hopefully onto and into the demon all at once!?

They got it to it's knee. It's clawing at Runealy- it must be desperate it must almost be dead, right!?
Mamoru Chiba 2015-12-06 03:45:24 17629
Dropping down off the top, Tuxedo Kamen slips into the area with everyone else again, watching, silent and eerily focused behind the opaque mask. He's almost part of the shadows but for the white shirtfront and mask. The fight continues, damage is done, things are shouted; Runealy manages to split the thing open where his rose had hit--

There's a moment of deep satisfaction as the demon's driven to its knee, but then it's roaring up and goes to charge Runealy! A white-gloved hand appears from the depths of his midnight cloak once more, but this time it's not a rose it throws. From nowhere, it's produced a black silk top hat; through the flickering red light of the room, the thing spins through the air after it's thrown, aimed for the demon's face.
Hannah Sharpe 2015-12-06 03:45:41 17630
Oh god. She's grabbed! The highschooler is whipped around like a doll, her eyes going all swirly-eyed in the process, and then she's launched like a stone from a sling! There's an awful crunching sound as neither multiple shields nor barrier jacket saves her from the pain of meeting the ceiling, making a lovely hole in it, and then falling back down from the wreckage right on her face.

Coughing weakly, cursing the beast, she tries to push herself to her feet. But her head swims, and all she manages to do is roll over onto her back like a half-dead fish.

But her Device pings her desperately. Hand trembling as the others open up on it, she activates the wind runes!

"Binding mode, Active!" She'll try to manifest wind-chains around the creature's legs, hoping to bind and trip, or at least slow up the mad charge for Runealy!
Valeria Barun 2015-12-06 03:50:10 17631
    The energy offering leaves Guardian Vale somewhat off guard as she focuses, but luckily for her the Demon doesn't come charging her way. Unluckily it does go charging towards Runealy, which in many ways is far worse! The last time she saw something like this she jumped after and attacked with an overhead slash with her sword. That ended poorly however.

    This time she instead aims her sword at the demon like a wand, firing off a bolt of lightning in a yellow flash towards it's center in a snap shot. If it finds purchase it might just cause enough of a spasm to buy Runealy needed time. She starts advancing on the demon afterwards, "That is perfectly fine by me. I don't want to rule over your kind, I want to destroy it."
Gaofele Doiru 2015-12-06 03:55:41 17632
Guardian Gao grins fiercely as the beam slams into the demon -- a grin that fades into an expression of horror as Valflox rushes towards Rune. There's no time to bring up a plant in the demon's path; there's no good angle to interpose himself between Rune and the demon.

But there is fire, and that means there's a way to deflect him.

"PINECONE SPIKER!" the forester Knight shouts, re-summoning his bow and firing an arrow in one fluid motion. The arrow compresses into a softball-sized pinecone, laden with sap, which ignites as it passes through the flames of Hinote's Fire Blazer. The burning pinecone should hit Valflox in the side of the head -- and concussively explode soon after impact!
Fate T. Waldia 2015-12-06 03:56:46 17633
"Maybe it was true in the past, but it's not true now," says Fate, partially responding to Runealy, but mostly addressing the demon, "You may have forced the Princess's people into caves at one point in the past, that much I can't deny, but times have changed. You want to say that this is the end for us, but we're not finished yet. I say you're lying, because we're going to make a liar of you!"

Fate braces for another impact as Valflox starts coming at her... only to have the demon be interrupted by Hannah. This gives Fate a moment to prepare her next attack.

Bardiche transforms, taking on its axe-like staff mode. Fate raises her staff into the air and brings it down level at the demon. "Photon Lancer!" Four orbs of yellow magic fly from the tip of her staff, each one headed for the demon, curving their flight arc to come in front of him as he charges towards Runealy, spaced out ot hit him one after another isntead of all at once.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-06 04:11:54 17634
It may not have been enough to put Valflox down, but Akashimaru's strike did what it was meant to do, and the crack of impact with the demon's head was a satisfying one. The samurai girl rebounds, kicking off of the creature's shoulder to throw herself clear and out of the others' way so that Rune and her Guardians can do what they need to.

And still, the demon rages.

"Stubborn bastard," Akashimaru murmurs through gritted teeth. A quick gesture flips the tessen in her hand, still closed; she straightens into an archer's stance, the fingers of her other hand finding the red string out of thin air as the arc of a bow curves out with the Shinken as its grip.

A heavy black arrow settles into place against the bow, and she draws back, sighting for the joint of Valflox's shoulder - and fires.
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-06 04:14:03 17635
Rune silently wonders if 'first to end the royal line' is a recurring motive, some kind of sick competition, shared among demons. She's jarred from this thought as Valflox lashes out at White, startling the princess. "Ah!? Are you alri--" 'Alright' may be a generous description. Yet White is doing /something/ and that is a positive sign.

Yet Valflox defies her, even after the shared-energy beam. "We don't want to rule over you, we want you to just go away! ... hnn!?" Boot wings lighting up with silver light, Rune leaps aside from one claw... then the second, but the lightning arcing from them manages to catch her. Dark-lightning shocks arc over her, sending Rune twitching and stumbling to the railing of a bridge... and falling in with a splash!

She hooks her wand against the very railing that she just tripped over, and Runealy uses this to pull herself back up pretty quickly despite now being dripping-wet. "Why can't you just leave us alone!?" Her tiara gems light up, spraying a stream of tiny emerald sparkles up at Valflox. She's not aiming very precisely, just hoping for something to buy her a moment to get stable on her feet. Any more telling blow will have to be the domain of her Knights, of Fate and Akashimaru and Royale, or perhaps even Tuxedo Kamen in his own way.

While she doesn't comment on it outright, Fate's words ring in her mind. 'Make a liar out of' a demon...? Interesting idea, though Rune isn't sure how to make it happen.
Mint Chip 2015-12-06 04:23:22 17636
The demon is barring down on Runealy, but before it can get there, Hannah activates her magic, and its legs lock - which means its not in a position to dodge the surprisingly dangerous hat which gives it another blow upon the head, and keeps it too busy to defend against Guardian Hino's attack!

The swing connects, and the shout of BLAZER causes the demon to be cloaked and blasted in fire! The howl it lets out still manages to sound less like agony and more like the laughings of a pscyhopath, though.

It finally breaks through Hannah's bonds, overpowering them with sheer power and dark energy, and still singed and gasping it pushes forwards, STILL headed towards Runealy!

It's the blast of energy from Guardian Vale that keeps it from closing in, though, and before it can start up again, Pinecone Spiker connects - and detonates - and the demon's knocked well off course. There's a massive roar... and the sound of thunder that fills the room.

It's channeling for another barrage of lighting - when Photon Lancer interrupts it, preventing the demon from making much outr of that, either. So it turns, and tries to leap onto Fate - only for Akashimaru's arrow to strike it in mind jump and cause it to miss Fate wide, claws slamming into the ground. And it tries to round onto Akashimaru in its bloodlust rage, but is disoriented by the sparkles. It wants to turn around and drive for Rune again - and its body is crackling with energy once more - but its obvious no matter how much it's corrupted mind and anger may be driving it forward, there's not a lot of strength left in the creature's body. Its movements are stuttery and pained, and it just looks like its own the ropes, even as it shouts out.

"You CAN'T succeed!" the creature shouts. "I know what the little Princess was trying to do - to bring energy to shore up her weakness! BUT THOSE CRYSTALS ARE BROKEN NOW! Shattered, destroyed on the ground. Even if you fell me, I have done it! The barrier will fall!" the creature snarls as it still tries to move in towards Rune, body shaking. "I HAVE ENDED OUR IMPRISONMENT!"
Hannah Sharpe 2015-12-06 04:35:09 17637
Hannah does her best to ignore the feeling of her everything being broken right now, and manages to pull herself to her feet while the others use her distraction to lay right on! Coughing, RT doesn't even bother asking after her health. She's hit hard, and they both know it. But there's a job to finish.

A single brow raises.

"...Hey. Good job breaking the little mana-siphons. But you should really learn math, demon-kun." What is she talking about!? The smirk might hint to a plan if all else goes wrong!

But the creature is still charging, but it's stuttering and weak!

Hannah uses a burst of wind magic to leap to the ceiling, the momentum holding her there long enough as she waits for the others to attack! Grinning, her Device gathers magic, and the pair speak as one!

"Wind Burst!" Her legs glow green, and then launch her from the ceiling right down towards the demon from above, aiming right for its back! One arm moves to the right, and tornado-strength winds form and tighten into a rotating blade around her right arm! Using one more burst of wind, she's a crashing missile for the creature! The impact might hurt her, but there's no time for safety!

"Wind Blade!" True to her word, she'll try to swipe at the creature's neck with a full-force wind-blade!
Fate T. Waldia 2015-12-06 04:35:59 17638
Fate's eyes widen. Sure, having a big scary demon show up at the last minute to stop them... that was almost expected. To think that the demon has actually destroyed something necesary for the ritual.

She turns to Runealy asking, "The crystals? What does he mean by that?"

Fate's confidence seems to have been shaken by this... but no, even if it's true, this is just another effort by the demon to distract them from their real goal.

"Whatever it is, we still have a couple of days to solve it."

They can actually solve it, right?

"Besides... even if you've done such a thing, it wont save your life."

Bardiche goes into Scythe Mode again, and Fate leaps above the demon, holding her scythe up high as she falls, bringing the energy blade down towards the demon.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-06 04:38:05 17639
"Will you SHUT THE HELL UP!?" The bow in Akashimaru's hands dissolved into black fragments and becomes a fan again as she shouts, voice ringing out loud and rough with supreme irritation. "Nothing is over until we say!

The still-closed war fan whirls in her hand as she rounds on the demon, trailing red light. It surges up around her, a fiery glow like a sunrise.

"Come, the light that shatters the darkness!" the samurai girl declares - and as Miss White comes in from one side, Fate from above, Akashimaru bolts into motion as well, a blur of red coming headlong from the other side of Valflox to hammer at the demon with the full force of her Shinken. "NIGHTMARE BREAKER!"
Hinote Kagari 2015-12-06 04:39:19 17641
Guardian Hino hehs. "Demon..." he says. "My friends have told me stories----and you.. demons. Sure love to talk about the royal line and be mad at this first queen..." he says as he charges forward again. "But you seem to forget that one part of the story..." he says where his blade lights up again.


Once again, he tries to stab into the demon calling out. "COMBUSTION!" he calls out, the sword exploding forth in flame, though not as powerful as his last strike- still hopefully powerful enough to have some sort of effect if he even hits.
Mamoru Chiba 2015-12-06 04:50:12 17643
"You *&@#$!!" finally yells Tuxedo Kamen, outraged, "that's as bad as crashing a blood drive truck!"

And then he's not attacking-- he's just explaining earnestly to Fate, to anyone who's actually looking concerned. "Except even more petty and pointless-- it's only a waste, it's not a defeat at all. It'll be fine: we can still help, we can replace that energy! It'd probably even work better if it's freely given!"

Then he points a white-gloved finger at the demon and holds his other hand up, deep red rose sleight-of-handed into existence in it, poised and ready to be thrown, and the high-schooler calls out in a ringing voice, "Foul and foolish demon, know that those who waste the effort and energy of good people who seek to prevent devastation will not be tolerated! Furthermore, those who attempt to crush the dreams of princesses who wish to protect their people ARE UNFORGIVABLE! We would not walk out on Princess Runealy if she sang out of tune! You will never win, because she will always have that which Guardian Hino has named so eloquently!"

Then he throws the rose, and crackling red lightning follows it; it doesn't even matter where it's aimed, but it's still sharper than throwing his shoe.

Which he did once.
Valeria Barun 2015-12-06 04:52:42 17644
    Guardian Vale's advance is cut short as Runealy splashes down into the water. "Rune!" she calls out, turning and sprinting towards the bridge. She looks relieved when the Princess manages to pull herself back up out of the water. She doesn't slow down, however, realizing how precarious of a situation she's in.

    Sheathing her sword as she approaches she stops in front of Runeally and offers an apologetic smile, "Sorry about this." Not having been properly introduced to the Princess Carry she reaches out and takes her under the arms, having to half hug her due to the shield strapped to her left arm, and leaps into the air.

    The demon might have switched targets and begun rampaging incoherently, but she didn't want to leave Rune open to attack with no room to dodge with poor footing and soaked shoes. As she reaches the height of her jump small lavender energy wings appear at her back and she glides around in a circle, the fight continuing below, before landing in a safe spot- right in the center of the heart-in-shield symbol, setting her down.

    "I must find a way to dismiss my shield; it is useful but cumbersome at times." A lighthearted comment amidst a heavy situation. She curtsies to Runealy, "Pay no heed to that creature's word, Princess. We'll find a way." And with that she's up in the air again, wings forming once more so that she can angle around in behind the demon. While Hannah and Akashimaru come in from the sides and Fate comes in with her scythe from above she swings a powerful underhand blow that has her sword crackling with electricity, leaping to try and carve it down the center from stern to stem. "Thundering Smite!"
Gaofele Doiru 2015-12-06 04:54:08 17645
Guardian Gao circles around, aiming an arrow towards the demon's arm. "We'll figure something out!" Gao declares, loosing the arrow. "Bramble Grasp!"

As the arrow flies through the air, it splits into a spider-like tangle of thorned vines, trying to further bind Valflox's limbs and further wear down the demon.
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-06 05:00:01 17647
Platinum Royale moves up to the fight again, leveling his scepter at the demon as attacks crash in and around him. "There's not a chance that we'll back down to you, no matter what you think, monster. You only come to spread suffering - and we come to stop that. So even if we have to rebuild everything bit by bit, that's what we'll do. No matter what, we'll stop you."

Then Platinum Royale levels a second blast at the demon - joining in with everyone else to fell it. "HOLY JUGEMENT" the call goes out again, and another bright golden blast follows.
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-06 05:03:54 17648
Rune winces as lightning flashes through the area once more, though Fate has thankfully interrupted it before things got too far. "The crystals we used to steal energy from others," Runealy answers to Bardiche's wielder. "I'll tell you about it before..." This thought trails off, as Vale hauls her over the railing and brings her toward an important symbol. "Your shield is fine. It's totally fine!"

Friends bought time for her to be brought there. A friend has brought her to the shield-and-heart symbol in the glass. And this seems to stir some idea within the princess. An odd one. She begins dancing, even as tears begin to fall as Valflox points out her flaws and the damage he has inflicted on her plan.

His words sting, as she fears he is right. Yet she doesn't want to listen to it any more, pretty well at her emotional breaking point. "That's enough! Just... just stop it!" Yet encouragement continues to flow from so many others, and the dance goes on. Rune uses this motion to fuel spinning her wand, tracing a white line circle in the air.

"Words punctuated by sobbing, she shouts: "Wardliiight...!" The circle becomes a semi-transparent dome, expanding wider and wider until it's possibly large enough to trap Valflox within.

"Epilogue!" This shout launches the dome. Should it land atop the demon, a gold light begins to grow within it. And if the dome manages to fill with this light, it will eventually burst! Notably, the dome's sealing is one-way only; anyone else's attacks will be able to pass right through it, things can go in but not out. It also seems to only have the potential to seal its target within; those who wish to dart in to strike with fist, feet, fan, or blade may do so and then withdraw if they desire.
Mint Chip 2015-12-06 05:16:32 17649
It's all too much for the demon, even with his rage-addled state, to handle at once. Hannah's Wind Blade crashes into the demon and drives it physically back - while it doesn't sever the head, the damage it does is clear, as it's not even moving for a moment except to breathe gaspingly, trying to, quite literally, hold itself together.

Guardian Hino and Fate drive into the creature from either side - flaming sword and energy slice cutting through the air and through the demon, as they too carve into it before getting clear of its poorly-aimed, flailing counter attacks.

Another staggering attempt at forward movement from the demon is arrested by a rose, charged with crackling red energy striking into it, hitting the demon dead center with a flash of right energy - the rose is then followed up by the burst of golden energy from Holy Judgement as the dome from Wardlight Epilogue begins to form.

Almost as if it senses its impending doom, it still tries to press out of the dome, but the energy it would use to try to break free is lost when Akashimaru and Guardian Vale, who have no such restrictions on movement, assault it with thundering blade and forceful shinken! Back in the center of the dome, the tangling burst of Guardian Gao's attack holds them demon fast, and the light grows to a blinding degree before it bursts out, filling the room with the brightness like the sun!

And yet, the demon still stands.

But only for a moment, as there's a burst of dark energy as the fell forces that give the demon life can no longer hold on, and the body that energy inhabited simply slides away, now only dust and sand.
Hannah Sharpe 2015-12-06 05:24:37 17650
Hannah lands, and gets out of dodge as the others shout encouragement, and generally make the demon have a bad day! The dome of doom closes, and the creature falls to dust, and then Miss White's on her knees.

"...I really wanted that head." /Sigh/. She'll have to hit up Rune for some magic weapons later.

Right, business. She looks to Rune and everyone.

"Anybody about to kick the bucket?" She calls out, first, leaning up against a nearby wall.

Then back to Rune. "What's it going to take to seal up the gate now, Princess?" A smirk.

"I don't know about you guys, but if I have to throw all my magic at it to make sure my dreams and loved ones are okay, I'll do it. What's the plan, Rune?"
Fate T. Waldia 2015-12-06 05:25:20 17651
Fate listens to Kamen's explaination. "Wait... so that's just energy? You mean like ...?" She doesn't say it, but she means 'what I was gathering the other day?'

She gives Runealy a confused look, but then she understands after a moment of thinking about it, "Oh I see... Well, that explains why you took it so seriously the other day."

Fate thinks it over for a moment, as the demon turns into dust, considering the irony of the situation she now finds herself in. "I guess it's no less than I deserve. I'll give you some energy. I don't have what that girl gave me, but I can give you my own."

It's not really a choice, is it? Fate doesn't really belong to either Earth or Waldia, but she can't just abandon entire worlds to a terrible end. If all it takes is one personal sacrifice to stop it, well, why not?
Mamoru Chiba 2015-12-06 05:31:48 17652
"Offer's still open here, too, no more strings attached," Tuxedo Kamen says quietly, dusting his hands off. His mask is still opaque, but at least he seems to have gotten something resembling equilibrium back. Guess the guy really DOESN'T like teleporting.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-12-06 05:34:43 17653
Guardian Gao steps up. "You can always count on us, Rune," he smiles at his long-time friend. "Whatever you need of us, we'll do what we can. For you, and for Waldia."
Hinote Kagari 2015-12-06 05:34:58 17654
Guardian Hino comes to a stop---how is this thing still standing!?... he draws his sword up, tiredly. He'll fight all night if he has to.

Oh. Then the thing turns to dust. He lowers his sword and takes a deep breath. "Okay." he begins looking around the room. He can finally notice how stunning and beautiful it is.... and he closes his eyes just a moment.

Then he reopens them.

He begins walking around a bit, waiting... watching....

"Nothing. That had to be it." he stands up and begins to walk over back to Runealy as he frowns, as he looks to those gathered and back to the Princess. Then back to the barrier.

"So..." he says. "That's the barrier..." he says silently. Yeah that.. doesn't look good. He turns around.

"Princess. How can we help." he asks softly. He nods over to Gao.
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-06 05:39:26 17655
Platinum Royale's henshin breaks with a -pop- seperating him from Kiseki. But even still - and even though he looks a bit tired himself, he walks over to Rune (and Kiseki floats nearby.) "Like I said, I didn't come here for glory. I came here to help. And that's still true."

"We'll help however we can." The fact that someone said this is not particularly surprising, but the fact that Kiseki said it, very much is. Including to Tadase.
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-06 05:41:07 17656
Akashimaru takes a long, slow breath in the wake of the demon's demise, and slips the Shinken back into her belt. But the real crisis, she knows, is not over. Once more tucking her hands into her sleeves, she moves to join the others - to join Runealy, specifically, her dark eyes steady on the princess.

"I volunteered my energy before," she agrees, chiming in to the chorus of support. "I've always been prepared to do it again. Whatever you need."
Valeria Barun 2015-12-06 05:42:36 17657
    Guardian Vale's final jump takes her out of the dome and away from the Demon, landing some ways away just in time to see it crumbling to dust. "I am tempted to sweep that up and get it out of here right now," she comments with a huff, "but we have more important matters to attend to." she walks over to Runealy's side, wishing for a moment she had a handkerchief to hand her. Instead she offers words instead, "That technique was incredible, Rune. It didn't have a chance once you had it trapped."

    Hearing the way the people around her are thinking she looks curiously towards Runealy. "Could it work? Instead of drawing energy from crystals, could you draw it directly from us?" A soft smile, "You know that I would be willing to give as much as you can use."
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-06 05:44:05 17658
"Impossible!? You're still going?" ...No. Runealy quickly sees that Valflox has indeed fallen. This just leaves the ultimate goal, otherwise the victory over him is pointless. "We did it! But... there's just one last thing. Restoring the Barrier," she starts to respond to White and others asking her about this, "Requires a ritual! I'm going to start in just a moment!" Not right this instant, as a few things need to be clarified and she needs a second to rest after having been battered around so much by the demon. "And yes, that's precisely why I felt so strongly about it... but don't talk about what you 'deserve' like that, okay? That's just..." ...Deeply unsettling, but Rune can't finish those words to Fate.

"You've already helped," she notes to Hino. "All of you are why I'm even here, right now, in position to give this one last try!"

Any further rest or explanation won't be allowed though, as cracks suddenly spread anew through the Barrier. Worse... holes appear. Small ones, but they're just wide enough that glowing yellow eyes can be seen, and in a few cases the gaps are such that a clawed hand or jagged-edged weapon is poked through, rattling at the edges of the energy field like they were bars to a jail cell.

Runealy stares at that with a gasp and wide-open, terrified eyes. Talk of donations and elaborate solutions are quickly dismissed. "Nevermind, I have to start right now!" Already within the shield-and-heart glass emblem thanks to Vale bringing her there earlier, Rune begins to sway, kick, spin... it's a hurried version of the dance she intended to do, wand once again twirling to draw circles in the air.

This time, the circles turn into lines of energy. One per pillar within the Shrine, each flowing to their designated recepticle. Small gems on the pillars light up; those 'in the know' might suspect these are replacements from the castle vault, placed by insiders after the original set were detached to be used for the energy-draining plan on Earth. They appear to be ready to receive energy, as the lines connect to them...

...And connect and push and push, and nothing seems to be happening even though Runealy's face strains as though she were trying to lift something fifty times her own weight. Tears stream anew as she frightfully realizes aloud: "No, no-no-no-no-no...! I'm losing it...!" The lines she has created begin to flicker and waver, starting to fade.
Gaofele Doiru 2015-12-06 05:51:07 17659
Guardian Gao looks hopeful as Rune starts the ritual. The gems glow, lines of energy appear...

...and Rune still cannot get the energy to flow further.

Gao looks to Hinote and Valeria worriedly, then an idea comes to mind. "Hino! Vale! MORE ENERGY!" the forester Knight shouts, summoning his quarterstaff and slamming the end of it into the ground, focusing and sending fortifying energy like he did during the fight.
Hinote Kagari 2015-12-06 05:52:41 17660
Guardian Hino looks to the barrier with wide eyes, well. That's horrid. He watches as Runealy begins the ritual and she's... loosing it? Was this how it was everytime. He watches those motions, the circles, the lines and there's a dance. Hino can dance, but he doesn't feel like that that's what to do. But he does feel... something.

He raises his sword in the air and the red-orange gem lights up on it with fire, causing..something orange-red and flow upwards---before it slams backdown into the gem and then fires off into a line of energy toward's Runealy---

"Everyone... choose one of us and focus energy on us..." he just mutters.

He doesn't know why he just said that. It felt like it should work.

Magical Intuitions are weird.
Valeria Barun 2015-12-06 05:57:42 17661
    Guardian Vale gasps and takes a step back as the holes begin to appear in the barrier, looking on nervously as Runealy begins her dance. The thing she had wanted to see and enjoy earlier is now watched with trepidation. Then things start to go wrong, but Gao's words spur her to action.

    She puts the point of her sword onto the ground and sets both of her hands on it, releasing her left hand from her shield. She closes her eyes as a lavender line of energy emerges from her and connects to Runealy.

    After a moment her features tighten and tense, and she struggles a bit on her feet, "Please..! Everyone... help us if you can! This is for... everything." Anyone who chooses to steps up to help her will find their own line of magical energy connecting to her, bolstering her and in turn causing her own magical connection to Runealy brightening and strengthening, their own magical color intertwined.
Hannah Sharpe 2015-12-06 06:01:46 17662
Never let it be said that Hannah isn't an opportunist. She promises a souvenier, and she's getting one! As a hand and blade pokes out? One more wind blade, and she's there, slicing and stabbing and putting them in the Magical Girl Hammer Space that is the suit jacket of her henshin. After a few moments, though, she'll back off.

She fully studies the dance and the ritual, gathering magical data like any proper greedy Eclipse-ite. Still, she more than realizes it's failing even before Rune strains and cries out.

And her Knights too cry out, and Miss White staggers over to the side of Vale. One hand clenches that sword hilt, while the other both leans and supports Vale with a shoulder.

"Mana Circuit complete! Engaging transfer mode!" Comes Hannah's Device, as wind sweeps the two and the weight and hunger of her magic and ambitions shore up the lines of magic that Runealy and the others are creating!

"This is for everyone's world! For the sake of the dreams of so many people, don't you dare back down now, Princess! You can do it if you give your all!"
Mamoru Chiba 2015-12-06 06:03:43 17663
Tuxedo Kamen immediately steps forward when they're all asked to pick someone and lend energy; he takes off a glove and places his hand on top of Hino's, over the hilt of the sword. Instantly, that golden energy Hinote had once taken is there in force, flowing without pain, freely given and unrestrained.
Tadase Hotori 2015-12-06 06:06:36 17664
Tadase hardly needed to be asked - he was moving only slightly behind the Knights, stepping forward and lending energy to Gaofele, his energy is also a gold (though, to be fair, less warm and more LOUD AND HERE I AM than Tuxedo Kamen's is by its nature) - there's not even a hint of concern in his face, nor is he holding anything back. "Not a chance we're letting those demons win, Princess. We're all with you, and you can do this."
Seishi Tamashige 2015-12-06 06:10:25 17665
When the Guardians call out, Akashimaru understands, and she too moves to action. Not to touch - oh, she probably could, but it doesn't seem like the proper thing for her to do. Instead she draws her tessen once more, snaps it open with a quick gesture before lifting the spread fan high over her own head.

"Raise the banner of perseverance!"

It's doubtful anyone is looking at her right now, not with everyone focusing their own efforts. If someone were looking, they might for a moment see the phantom image of an old-fashioned banner aloft behind her, a profusion of translucent red spider lilies apreading around her feet. She fixes her concentration on Hino, willing the strength and determination to pass from her to him... and the threat of energy leaps outward, scarlet like her bowstring, like the cord that binds her hair, like the thread of fate.
Fate T. Waldia 2015-12-06 06:22:45 17666
Fate doesn't comment on what she does or does not deserve, as the freaky things coming out of the Barrier demand her immediate attention.

Runealy's attempts make Fate worry visibly. One demon was hard enough to take down. There are endless swarms on the other side of that wall, or at least that's what Fate is starting to believe. When the Guardian Knights step up to assist Runealy, and offer the others a chance to join in, Fate steps up behind Vale.

"You also use lightning so... maybe you'll have an easier time with my energy?" It makes enough sense to her, at least.

Fate floats into the air and places her hand on Vale's back, donating the promised energy. She doesn't hold back a bit of it, and she half-expects to be drained beyond the ability to move after this ritual.
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-06 06:26:33 17667
Energy flows from so many sources, relayed to Knights... and from there, to Rune. She's puzzled as their lines connect to her tiara, but this link causes her own lines to the pillars to stabilize. "What? Is that even right? I'm supposed to..." ...To what? Follow the traditions exactly, when it's clear she's not capable of that yet? That she is not equal to a Queen's duties on her own, at this point in her life and in her current condition?

She could follow the rules precisely, and carry out the Ritual alone. This world would almost certainly die for the sake of such pride, with Earth possibly to follow from there once the demon horde got sufficiently bored with ruining Waldia.

And so she embraces this strange turn of events, continuing to dance and wand-trace to guide the influx to various destinations. The link-lines widen, and this time...

...they turn red, pushing through the pillar crystals and into the recepticles themselves. The cylinders begin to fill. A little bit at first, then they rapidly begin rising like water flooding in to them. Cracks in the Barrier begin to smooth over, holes shrink. Some of the smallest of them seal back up, causing extended demon weapons or appendages to be struck to useless dust just as Valflox's body had been.

"Barrier, established by our First Queen, the protection that allows our society to exist, to let us seek happiness... be renewed, restored that we shall still live!" The area is engulfed in a huge flash of red light as she finishes this shout.

When it fades, the Barrier is completely smoothed over. The pillars are full. Runealy stumble-spins to face everyone. "Th... thank you..."

And then seven months of trials upon heart, mind, and body come to an end. She has no more to give, pitching over face-first onto the ground and lying unmoving... instantly unconscious.

Unconscious, not dead. She is breathing, but a red light flows around her and magical garb disappears to leave her in normal dress. Some may be interested in rushing to check on her. They will certainly be able to do so. However, they will not be alone.
Runealy Waldia 2015-12-06 06:26:46 17668
Several moments after Rune falls, men and women in medieval armor sprint in. Theirs are not as fancy as that of a Guardian Knight, nor are their weapons. They seem to have no obvious magic. Yet they fan out, looking to secure the room... and see there is truly little to confront, though they DO stare at the newcomers; only a few of them are recognizable to these guards.

"Runealy!?" A man's voice shouts from the door, as he sprints in right behind the guards. Appearing to be in his 30s with short brown hair, average physique, jeweled headwear, and a red cloak with white-fur lining to his attire, his position as king is plain to see. Yet his immediate concern is not one of royal duties... he rushes to hold her tight as a father, astonished. "By the Barrier... I have no idea who most of you are, but... once the healers tend to her and to you, I would very much like you to come with me to the castle. I think we all have much to discuss."

This is as formal and 'in command' as his emotions will allow right now. Seeing his daughter collapsed on the floor, and this is the first he has seen of her in over half a year... his first concern is Rune, and sorting out this event will come once everyone has had time to calm down. Much will emerge from him in those discussions. Shock at the flow of events, dismay at the challenges and traumas faced, relief that it's over... and deep gratitude that relatives, known friends of the Princess, and wholly new friends - as well as utter strangers - have all done so much that has brought things to this point: A Barrier restored, life as they know it saved, and a daughter still alive when she should by all rights be dead so many times over.

There will be further challenges in the future, yes. Yet today they have ensured there will /be/ a future. That counts for a lot. When people eventually step outside for the journey to the capital, they'll see the sky is rapidly becoming properly blue; the spreading red 'demon storm' blight is quickly fading and will be gone, rather than all-pervasive, within the one to two days Rune spoke of earlier.