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Golden Gate Empire [IC / No Longer Accepting / PG - 16]

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Saul: Cavern of Sirens

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRBvsGI5EFc&feature=iv&src_vid=zgXZh4-mUdE&annotation_id=annotation_1996560533

[spoiler= Cavern of Sirens]






Magic is a powerful thing, but it is not often found in an object that is not sentient.  In these caverns, the crystals refract a light in such a manner that they ring when they are struck by light from the sun.  The sound is unique and powerful, and often throws those inside into a daze, causing them to enter into a world that doesn’t actually exist.  Though light shines down from the surface, and the surface is visible, escaping the cavern through the holes in its ceiling is impossible.  The light refracted by the crystals in the cavern emits a powerful magic that moves the surface into a separate world, and that barrier cannot be crossed.  What is most frightening about this cavern is the creature that leaves behind these crystals.  Moving, taking, or destroying the crystals is not advised.


[spoiler= Occupants]

Indigenous Creatures Include:


Crystal Badger – A normally peaceful creature, the Crystal’s light has enlarged these beasts to six feet long and eight feet high.  They lay crystals throughout the cavern, and gain strength from them.  Their claws are enormous and razor sharp.  Not to mention their enormous mouths and heavy bodies.  These Badgers weigh more than a thousand pounds. 
Crystal Tortoise – Though it bares Siren Crystals, the Crystal Tortoise is not dangerous.  He only eats crystals, and his only prey is the Behemoth that resides inside the cavern.  Their shells are even more dense than the crystals themselves, often seeming to be so inherently black, that the shells absorb light.  At four feet tall and six hundred pounds, this adorable tortoise could actually be quite beneficial to those inside.
Crystal Ghoul – Wielding a make shift axe of crystal, the Ghoul runs on two legs, stands at five feet, and its purple skin allow sit to blend in well with the cavern itself.  They are quite aggressive, and will strike at any and every opponent, regardless of the difference in strength.
Crystal Dragon – Though they are very docile, the Dragons are not afraid to attack if threatened.  They reside mostly near the crystal lake, guarding the Egg of Life.  It is rare, but Crystal Dragons are the only breed of dragon that have not been killed off.  Mainly because of their additional resistance to magic, and their diamond hard skin, they have warded off those who would hunt them for many a millennium.  Their powerful breath magic stuns foes, and puts them into a similar confusing daze as if they were to hear the ringing of Siren Crystals.
Crystal Behemoth – The creature’s existence has been recorded three separate times.  Each time, it has revealed itself beneath the surface of the Siren’s Song Pool, in protection of the Egg of Life.  The Behemoth, to be exact, looks very similar to dragon, but has a less elongated body, in favor of a larger head, longer, more powerful horns, four legs, and powerful reflective scales.  It is invulnerable to magic, but its scaly skin is soft, and can be penetrated by a blade.  However, getting close to the Behemoth is a death wish.  It owns a ten-foot tail, dipped in magic.  Once the creature has its tail wrapped around you, your body will numb, and you will go into a trance of extreme proportions.  Your mind will wander into a utopia, and you will die a quick, painless death as the Behemoth crushes your spine.
Crystal Siren – A seaserpent with the head and torso of a woman, who’s skin is made of crystal, and whose tail is made of diamond hard scales.  They sing an intoxicating song in an attempt to lure the foolish into their waters, to feed the Behemoth.


Traps Include:


The Egg of Death – In the heart of the cavern, light radiates ever so differently, reflecting from the surface of the Siren’s Song Pool, and turning a dim purple.  Inside is a magical egg, rumored to grant anyone who devours it eternal life.
Siren Song Pool – Any creature not adapted to the magic of the Cave of Sirens will be in for a rude awakening.  Stepping in to these waters, the Sirens will only be glad.  The water is deathly cold, and will paralyze those who touch it.
Siren Crystals – Littered throughout the cavern, the Crystals can be destroyed, but doing so will enrage nearby Crystal creatures, excluding the Crystal Tortoise.  The Crystal Badger is especially alert to this, and will find the destroyed crystal wherever it may be.



Crystals are key; all creatures have been warped by them in some way, and are deeply linked to their power and presence!





The helicopter ride had been smooth the whole way; smooth enough that Saul was able to sit in peace and collect himself before the first match begun. The information provided on the caves presented a rather compelling location; one where he would need to watch his step. On the other hand, these fragile crystals and neutral beasts could prove to be rather helpful when turned on his opponent. Hopefully who he was going against is reckless enough to fall for destroying them. Saul felt gravity lose its grip on him briefly as the helicopter began to descend, before ultimately touching down.
"Saul, this is where you get off. Remember the rules, and be sure to keep an eye out for the transports when the match is over and you've survived." The pilot spoke plainly. Saul nodded, stepping forward and standing at the edge of the helicopter; hunched over from its low ceiling.
"You will see me again; don't forget it." Saul replied, leaping off the platform. The helicopter lifted off and away from the cavern. The place was dark, save for a few shafts of sunlight spilling into the stone room. Drawing his sword and lighting its heat, a faint glow illuminated the space around him as he strode through the cavern. "Now then, where is this whelp."

Dirk Rider: Sahill Cathedral

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaA9ii4tE9M

[spoiler= Sahill Cathedral]

[spoiler= Image]




Despite appearances, the Sahill Cathedral is one of the larger arenas chosen for the tournament.  It has more than eight floors, seven of which are underground and expand to about the size of a football field, per floor.  While there aren’t many dangerous animals or mythical creatures lurking about, the Cathedral is as dangerous as any other arena.  It has the most traps of any arena, and more lethal natural instances that can occur than if you were to be on a Cliffside.  If you were to lay out each floor side by side, you’d have roughly 2.5 km of land to fight on.  And with each floor being a bit of a maze, it isn’t easy getting around.  And to think, this land used to belong to an insane Dutch King who went mad with magical power, only to be betrayed by his royal guard in an effort to free the land of his curse.  Crazy, right?


[spoiler= Occupants]

Indigenous Species Include:

Cathedral Cultists – Yes, they are insane.  Yes, they are skilled close combat fighters.  Yes, they wield rusted daggers and wear black cloaks with a blood stained symbol on them.  Yes.
Bats.  They’re just bats.
Undead – It kind of varies, but there’s a good chance that, if you stroll past the third floor, you’ll start running into a variety of undead.  Skeletons, zombies of different types (ranging from carriers and mothers to the standard walking husk), and uh, one or two that may, sort of kinda be made of a couple hundred corpses molded into a twelve-foot walking terror.  Just so you know.
Traps Include:

Knowledge is. . .Death? – I wouldn’t go browsing the library, or any bookshelf for that matter.  Avoiding them is impossible because there are hundreds upon hundreds of bookcases, but there’s a good chance the next book you pick up could send you below the cathedral itself.
Knight in Rusted Armor – There’s nothing in the armor itself of course.  But the curse of the mad King still lingers.  I would avoid the big metal guys wielding giant axes and polearms.
This Little Light of Mine – There are quite a few chandeliers in the lower floors of the Cathedral.  And each one of them Is accessible with a flick of a switch.  Try to pin your opponent inside of it.  The innards of the chandelier are lined with magic, and anything that interrupts that is in for a shock.  Literally.
Collateral Cathedral – Not much of the staircases is solid in the Cathedral.  Pushing someone over the edge isn’t an idea.  It’s gonna happen.  And falling fifty feet to the next floor is gonna hurt.
Broken Stones, Broken Bones – Some chunks of the Cathedral floor are also damaged.  Watch your step.  You might think it’s just a loose pallet of stone, but it’s actually a shortcut to the next floor, with concussive proportions.
Magical Journey – At the heart of the Cathedral, on the eighth floor, there is a chamber riddled with magic.  Stepping inside of it is easy.  Leaving it is not.  There are rumors that the mad King sleeps there, and he’s not one to just excuse trespassers.





"Alright buddy, whaddya got for me here?" Dirk casually spoke to one of the pilots as they handed him a folder with the details on the battle arena. "Alright, let's see here... eight floors... no mythical creatures, yeah no duh... lethal maze... magical? Wait, what? Zombies? Dude, this is a joke, right?" Dirk pointed at the folder as he looked at the pilot with a look of disbelief, but the pilot's face was as straight as a prairie road. "Riiiiight..." Dirk said to himself with disbelief. Those had to be jokes, right? Robots and other fake stuff to give the spooks and make the place seem spookier than it actually was? Yeah that was it, it had to all be just one big fake set-up for the TV screen.
Jumping on the helicopter and combing his hair, Dirk tried his best to remember anything else about his opponent. No weapons, and dressed in what looked like a costume... how likely was it that she got that far without fighting and just hiding compared to how likely it was that she had some... supernatural tricks up her sleeve? If this cathedral nonsense isn't fake (it probably is), then what if there's something else about her as well? Well hell, Dirk can make stuff out of light; that'd look like magic to anyone else who didn't know any better. Maybe she had something else up her sleeve like that.
Regardless, the helicopter continued on to the destination of his first fight.

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[spoiler=Oxfield Scrapyard]



Everything needs a place to die.  Even machines.  But this particular scrapyard once ran trains.  And now, it runs blood.  For the longest time, after it was abandoned some century ago, bodies were dumped here.  Murders were carried out in quick succession in this backwoods, no-one-in-sight scrapyard.  The nearest town was more than eight hundred miles due north, through mountains.  And that was a shortcut.  Stretching over 100 meters, the Scrapyard was of monstrous proportions.  It was easy to get lost in piles of metal, bending and turning around every corner.  But that isn’t the dangerous part.  The dangerous part of the Scrapyard is that, every night, at exactly 7 p.m., it is brought back to life by mad men.  And the cranes aren’t the only thing they operate.

Indigenous Creatures Include:

Metalheads – Or so they call themselves.  Clad in bright yellow and steel colored armor, they often brandish crude hatchets, nail guns modified for automatic fire, or pipes and plumbing wrenches just to prove a point.  They’re not the brightest, but after a few months practice, every piece of machinery in the Oxfield Scrapyard was now operable by this group of thugs.  They aren’t exactly touch, but if they get their hands on torches, or really any piece of welding material or machine in the Scrapyard, they become a serious problem.  Try not to be on their grounds too long.

Iron Giants – No, you read that properly.  Standing at 10 feet tall, the Giants are a force to be reckoned with.  And after 7 p.m., the Iron Giants become active.  Unfortunately, they attack any and everything they come across, including the Metalheads.  Strangely enough, one particular Metalhead, clad in red armor, has never been threatened by the Iron Giants.  Special little snowflake that one is.  Things to note about the Giants.  They are sensitive to heat.  If you’ve got literal firepower, use it.  They are not sentient, but they are highly intelligent.  Trying to outsmart them is a dangerous task.  The force of their punches is equivalent to that of a car traveling 80 mph.  You should probably move.

Dogs – Owned and controlled by the Metalheads, these poor creatures are at their owners’ beck and call.  Most times, they are on long linked chains.  But these dogs, pit bulls to be precise, are nothing short of powerful.  They can and will bite.  They know the area well enough that you can’t hide from them without killing them.  Caution is advised.

Traps Include:

Running Rampant – Remember that rail we talked about?  After 7p.m. it becomes active.  Metalheads will be running that train in circles for several hours, non-stop.  The train will make a complete rotation once every 20 minutes.  Time your attempted execution carefully.
Buzzkill – The scrapyard wouldn’t be any fun if there wasn’t a working table saw on the facilities.  Find it, flip it on, use it.

Massive Dunkage – There’s a live foundry on the Scrapyard grounds.  Boiling at over 1600 degrees Fahrenheit, there is almost no chance one would survive a foundry being dumped over them.  And of course, a kill of these proportions would be a real crowd pleaser.

Death^3 – Oh come on, this one is a dead giveaway!  There’s a crusher in the scrapyard.  Turns metal into compact cubes. . . by crushing it.  Use it.

 High Traffic – A large number of cars, trucks, even semis are still on the Scrapyard grounds, not yet crushed.  They can’t be run, but with the gigantic magnet that moves them still being operable, you can move them.

Swiss Metal – Once every hour, the center of the Scrapyard becomes a master piece.  Below the enormous piles of metal, a gigantic metal blender—with thousands upon thousands of teeth—is revealed.  Rotating at more than 100,000 rpm, this shredder is the most fun to observe.  The ground opens outwards from the center, and anything above it plummets to the center, until it is grinded into a fine powder.  You’d have to be standing roughly 50 meters away to avoid it.





"7 PM, huh?" Arisu looked at her watch to look at the time. It was still 12 PM, which meant she had to stall the fight somehow if she wanted to be able to actually see the obstacles. While she didn't like that they're just scraps of technologies long-abandoned, she knew that whatever animated the complex of horror was magical, and that single clue of something magical was the one thing motivating Arisu to keep on competing right now. So she did have to stall the fight to go on as long as possible. Granted, she's not sure about who was her opponent supposed to be, but the name sound girlish so it must be one of the brats, which meant she shouldn't have that much problem in stalling. And really, the entirety of the dark, trap-laden complex was perfect for someone like her. She could use them all to her advantage, so that's another reason why she should stall.


Right now, Arisu had discarded her jacket, leaving her with her white buttoned shirt, and she changed her formal hat with an ornamented wide hat just so she could look snazzy in front of the viewers. She had also changed her short skirt with a pair of jeans, noting that the skirt would just screw her movement in a combat situation. Her Philosopher's stone, her soul, was lying on her pocket. She decided that she'd avoid direct confrontations until the complex become alive, so using her stone as a weapon from the start would be risky. Her sub-machine gun and grenades were on back, along with several packs of spare ammunition.


All in all, she believed that she's ready to rumble. Standing at the rooftop near the helicopter landing pad, Arisu waited for the rest of combatants to appear and for the helicopters to transport her to the field of triumph.




[spoiler=Decadence Forest]



The trees are heavy, and it would be difficult to cut them down.  Though, why would one cut down such beautiful trees?  They emit a powerful orange-yellow light, the same light that glows from the tree sap that leaks from these trees.  The tree sap, while lovely and delicious, isn’t meant to go into a jar or on your finger.  And the fireflies that enjoy it are only lucky.  The forest is enormous, at more than 10 thousand acres.  For the tournament however, only 1km of the forest will be available to fight in.  At the heart of the forest, at its largest tree, is the home of an elder wizard, who adores visitors, and even has cures available.  Though, they say he’s lost his touch.  

Indigenous Creatures Include:

Yugo Monkey
Orange Leopard
Wood Nymph
Blood Moth

Notes:  The only dangerous creatures are the Blood Moths and Leopards.  Blood Moths are attracted to heat.  If bitten, you’ll be infected with their blood.   If you can’t manage a cure in 15 minutes, you’ll die of blood hemorrhage.

Leopards are leopards.  Don’t piss ‘em off.

Traps Include:

Firefly Eggs – For whatever reason, these fireflies lay nests.  Particularly, they lay their nests on the ground in huge colonies, the size of a basketball.  Stepping on one, you would think “oh it’s just fireflies, they’re harmless”.  That isn’t the case.  These fireflies have developed an affinity for Black Decadence (that is, the tree sap of the forest).  It is acidic.  Your foot won’t last long stepping in that kind of doodoo.

Black Decadence – Acidic and explosive tree sap.  Don’t even think about eating it.  You’ll die in minutes.  And igniting it?  Bad idea.  You’ll take yourself and the whole damn forest out with you.  The difference being that the trees will likely survive.

Bloody Hell – Did I mention Black Decadence is explosive?  The blood moths are attracted to heat.  Attract too many of them, and you’ll call mom out of her nest.  And she ain’t as tiny as the others.



"Camille, Camille, such a girly name for a boy. It's a shame I have to overcome him this soon. Quite a sad world here, definitely." Nero hummed to himself as he watched the other combatants to arrive at the helipad. Looking at the description for his battlefield, one thing immediately come to his mind. The Black Decadence explosive sap. Theoretically speaking, he would be able to torch the entire forest down in a huge bang, but the biggest problem would be how to survive it. Even as a former demon with backup from his flowers, Nero was not sure that it would be safe for him to pull it off, but he still kept the option in mind just because it's very convenient. The moths would be a problem, but between his flowers and the flames from his sword, it shouldn't be too bad, hopefully.


Either way, things are looking to be pretty nice, but Nero would definitely like to see what the pretty boy had in store against him, with the hope that he could get entertained by his performance. Not long after, he could see the puppet of Mephy entering the area, which ruined his mood once more. Turning around to ignore his presence, the transdemon then turned his attention to the recently arriving Camille. Smiling at the fact that the boy kept on his maid outfit, Nero stayed on his position and watched the look of determination from the boy.


"Let's see the virtues of modern day human once more."


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Golden Gate Rooftops, 12:03 P.M.


More average guards began to usher over the contestants to their respectful helicopters.  Calling them over in pairs of two, the guards accompanied their pilots, preparing for takeoff.  Nero was loaded into his helicopter first, before disappearing into the air.  Camille followed closely, being escorted aboard the next helicopter.  Two more would touch down to replace the helicopters which were now taking off.  Each contestant would find a guard and a private helicopter with their names in bold red lettering over the black wing in its rear.  Arriving at their destinations would vary from one to three hours in flight time at the most, but it was the conversation the pilots and guards did or did not have with the contestants that would really change things ever so slightly.  For those that elected to do so, pilots were allowed to tell the contestants the stake of their fight.  For those passengers including Camille, Elspire, Fate, and Arisu, their pilots had chosen to reveal their stake in the fight.  This would apply to every contestant, however, regardless is they knew it or not.


And as Camille would discover aboard his flight to Decadence Forest, his pilot gave some alarming news.  After being handed a mouth piece and receiver, the pilot spoke to Camille.  "My life is riding on your victory in this sir."  The guard looked to Camille, nodding, before turning back out to view the sights.  "The same goes for my guard here, and every other guard and pilot taking on these missions of transport.  We were required to sign a contract.  And we don't come home without our passenger.  If you lose, we lose.  So give it your all, sir!" The pilot said with a trace of fear and concern in his voice.  And those who elected to tell their passengers would deliver the same message to said passengers, on their brief flights to their elected arenas.


As helicopters would arrive to the arenas, guards would remind contestants of the rules, and give them the exact location of pick-up, after their passenger's victory.  "We will be in this exact position upon your victory.  Please be mindful of the arena boundaries, and we wish you luck."


The helicopters would hover for just a moment, before leaving the arena grounds, leaving their respective passengers to their whims.  Each contestant would be dropped off on complete opposite sides of the arena, so that their chances of meeting right away were slim.  "You think he can do it?" Cam's Guard asked his pilot.  The pilots shrugged.  "Who cares?  I mean, I doubt they do.  I was just gettin' it off my chest man."  The Guard remained silent for a moment, but spoke up again.  Looking down over Decadence Forest, the Guard went on.  "You don't think they care?" he directed at the Pilot, who laughed in response.  "Have they ever!?" he exclaimed in surprise at the Guard's question.  One by one, contestants were flown in to their respective arenas to their drop off points, with their opponent's merely seconds behind.

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[spoiler=The Barren City of El Dorado]


Once a haven of gold for the greediest man, El Dorado has since been scavenged, with very little of its gold remaining.  Now, the streets are flooded with markets of gold sellers, beggars, and tourists.  The rivers have run dry, and instead are traveled by foot and horseback.  More than twenty thousand have also made El Dorado their home, over populating the area and causing it to become even more run down than before.  The worst part, is that El Dorado is still incredibly valuable, but no longer in terms of gold.  The markings of the city that will be used will be twenty city blocks, roughly 1.6 km.  Citizens have been evacuated for the events about to occur.  They have also left with a warning.  “Never roam the streets of El Dorado after dark.”

Indigenous Creatures Include:
El Dorado Citizen – Unlikely to be seen in the arena, the average citizen will likely be spying on the fight from afar.  You’ll be wrecking homes and showing disregard for their property.  It will be a spectacle.
El Dorado Bandits – They never roam in groups of less than thirty.  Not three.  Not five.  Not ten.  Thirty.  And they are wicked gunmen with unrivaled marksmanship.  Brandishing pistols, shotguns, rifles, grenades, daggers, and swords, these bandits are highly skilled, and love to pick fights.  You’ll notice them from a mile away, by the sound of their horses, bullets, and whooping.
Bulls – Over the past decade, Bulls have run wild in the streets of El Dorado.  Knowing when the next stampede will occur is almost impossible.  But these wild beasts are nothing short of bullies.  They strike randomly, delivering a rush of adrenaline, and often times, the trampling or goring of a fresh corpse.
Traps Include:
Dynamic Exit – Dynamite Charges have been placed beneath the buildings of the sectioned off portion of El Dorado.  A single detonator has been placed in the exact ten by ten city block section, which would sink the entire area.  I would think about this first.
Dirty Dealings – If and when the city block has sunk, you will be moved to the sewers of the city.  They are highly unstable, and riddled with methane gas.  A single spark could ignite your immediate area and cook you and your opponent alive.  Use with caution.


"That once legendary city of El Dorado, huh?"


A white-haired youth sat inside a large helicopter, holding up a paper file containing information on his destination despite his blindness that should have prevented it from being of any use to him. Although he was but seventeen years old, the aura around this man was that of a ruler, regal, calm, and wise. Indeed, his name was Basil, which meant "King", and he was an entity born to lead the world into the light. Even the greatest, however, could fall. Such was fate. However, even though he was potentially flying towards his death, he showed little sign of tension. He didn't even move for most of his flight, however the truth was that he had sent his spirit ahead to scout the arena.


"The city of fools, unworthy of the status of legend. Quite a distasteful place, in my opinion."


The pilot, who had been silent all this time, spoke up. "Have you been there, sir?"


"Yes, once before, to witness myself the destitution and ruin wrought by rampant greed," spoke Basil, his voice turning hard. "And I suppose, you two have also come to this situation because of your own avarice? Your lives now hang on the result of a single gamble. Do you think your families would be happy to receive money from your deaths?"


The atmosphere in the helicopter turned grim. The guard glared at the white-haired man. "Aren't you here for money, too... sir?"


To this man who stared at him so coldly, Basil offered a kind smile. "I do not blame you, for it is only human to want. I am sure you each have your reasons, and... it is too late now to regret. But, release your worries, I do not intend to lose."


Below, a sprawling ancient city came into view, and Basil could only feel sad. It once represented a pinnacle of human achievement as one of the unparalleled civilizations in human history right along with the likes of Atlantis, but here it sat, all but forgotten, a result of the unending cycle of glory and ruin. However, Basil would the one to break that cycle of human destiny. Others entered this tournament for the sake of wealth, for the sake of revenge, or for the sake of survival, but Basil entered for the sake of the human race.


"Good luck," said the guard gruffly as Basil exited the helicopter onto the roof of a ruined building.


Basil stopped and turned back to him with a cheery smile. "Oh, you'd better hope so."

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Morgan made it to the roof in almost no time at all, thanks to her raptor-express. It seemed that a group had gathered here before. Stupid early birds, not like being first did anything for them. Maybe one of them was her opponent, she didn’t know, but she would find out eventually.
Apparently they had to get into a helicopter to their destination. Good, that would mean more time to sleep, perfect.

She patted Zyg on the head. She had a dog once, well she had about two dozen actually. She had seen some on a commercial and had demanded her father get her some. And Zyg was, in a way, kinda like that. “You did well, Ziggy.” Morgan said. She knew underlings loved to be praised, and it was easy to do so why not? “Make sure to win!” She said before heading over to the helicopter.

Her pilot didn’t seem very enthusiastic about her being his passenger. She was baffled as to why this could be, but then came to a conclusion that he must be gay and wanted one of the males.
Satisfied with her assessment, Morgan decided to lean back and sleep some more.

Once the pilot realized she was asleep, and hadn’t even opened up the envelope she had been given, he and the guard woke her up. She was quite unhappy with that, and made her annoyance known for the next ten minutes. Why did they care? They seemed weirdly worried about her being prepared, practically begging her to read up on the arena.
Maybe she had been mistaken, maybe they were fans. She smiled at them sweetly and decided to just go with it.

The moment she began reading the contents of the envelope, Morgan’s face lit up. And by the time she was finished she was nearly bouncing in her seat with excitement.

It was as if Gerald had made this place for her and her alone. It was amazing. It had EVERYTHING. Magic, undead, and did she mention magic? She nearly forgot about the fight in her excitement to explore this place. She could deal with her opponent later, first order of business was to have a nice long look around the cathedral.
Maybe meet this “Mad King” fellow....

Morgan was in a much better mood now, and very much awake, so she began to chatter to the pilot and guard about all the amazing things that were in the arena. She didn’t seem worried one bit about the traps, and that’s because she wasn’t. The stairs were a problem to some, she would have to fix them if she ever decided to buy this wonderful place, but with her magic she should be able to avoid them for the most part.

Once she was deposited in the arena, and after staring in awe at its obviously dark magical environment, she hopped on her broom. Sitting side-saddle as was her norm, she zoomed into the building, intent on going into the lower floors as soon as possible. Morgan quickly, instinctively, cast up a single flaming skull. Which then floated above her head and just slightly behind her as she moved. A girl had to be prepared, after all.

Camille was nervous while sitting on the helicopter. He had seen his opponent, and smiled back at him in a sign of good sportsmanship. He had even worked up enough nerve to march over to him and hold out his hand “Well, good luck, I’m...I’m not going to go easy on you!” With that declaration, Cam flushed red and hurried aboard the helicopter at first opportunity.

He was reading through the information while the pilot got everything ready for flight. Cam’s mind was sharp, and the enhancements to his reflexes and senses made sure that he was a quick study. This place was dangerous for sure. The word leopard made him shudder in terror, but those moths seemed like they could be the real threat.
And the sap...Camille looked down at his left hand, which contained his Stun Buster. It was a useful weapon but...the electrical attack could possibly ignite the sap and there was no way he could risk that. This was going to be a hard fight, but he couldn’t let himself lose here.

And then the pilot dropped his bombshell. Camille could only stare in horror as he was told the price of defeat for these poor innocent souls. A flash of anger went through Cam, how dare Gerald do something like this! It’s not as if the tournament was a friendly place, but to put the lives of these people like this...At least Cam had signed on for this and would live or die based on his own power, the pilots and guards however....
He couldn’t keep this line of thought, it would distract him too much, especially if he thought of what winning would mean for the opponent’s pilot and guard....

Cam shook off the idea as best he could as they approached the forest. It was...beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Cam stared open-mouthed in wonderment at the sight. This was...he had no idea a place like this existed...
He wordlessly stepped off the helicopter and into the forest. This place was beautiful, yes, but also deadly. And somewhere here there was a man who wanted to bring him down. Maybe kill him.

Cam took a deep breath, and his vision shifted ever so slightly. A string of code ran in front of his vision, a code that he knew was for the more recent enhancement. It didn’t really do much for him, it was more a personality switch than anything, and even that it didn’t change his base personality. However it did allow him to bypass his usual opposition towards violence, to a point. He would never kill if he could help it, but he knew if he were to win this he’d have to bash a few skulls. And there was one in particular he was after today.

Camille took off at a sprint, aiming for what seemed like the center of the forest. It would be best to stay near to that wizard mentioned in the briefing. Just in case. Even if he supposedly lost his touch it would be the safest plan for now. And if the wizard could bottle the cure for transport, all the better.
He was going to win this, no matter the odds.

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A certain scantily-dressed underage girl stood on a helicopter, staring outside and memorizing the layout of the landscape from above. Millions of tons of junk had been piled high into entire mountains of useless scrap. It would serve to her advantage, she would be able to hide and strike when they least expected it. No matter what magic or defense stood in her way, her Shears would not be blocked, it was, after all, the ultimate assassin's weapon.


"I'm telling you, our lives are depending on your victory!" 


The look in Etheria's eyes as she turned to the pilot could only be described as "cool story bro".


"So you gotta win, alright? Do you have any strategies in mind?"




"Oh?! What is it?"


"I'm going to cut my enemies down with these scissors."




Etheria ignored him and looked outside. She narrowed her eyes as she caught sight of the other helicopter. It was already landing, she couldn't allow her opponent to get a head start like that. She glanced over at her pilot and guard who were still staring at her with anxious eyes. Pausing for a moment to recall what was socially appropriate to say in this moment, she smiled and said, "See ya!" before kicking open the helicopter door and jumping out.

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"So...you're going to die if I lose here? Tell me more about it." Arisu replied to the helicopter pilot's plight for her to win as the helicopter landed on the arena, with an uninterested, flat tone. The pilot had realized that the girl before him did not really care that much about what would happen to him, and his expression was that of someone that had given up on everything. That expression of despair persisted after the bluehead exited the helicopter and the craft fleeing the arena. She had observed and memorized the overall layout of the area, and was...slightly not a fan of the fact that the arena was way bigger than what she read earlier on the files, around many many times bigger even. This would turn the entire session into an ugly fest of cat-and-mouse game. It's still undecided regarding who would be the mouse and who would be the cat now, but Arisu was really intent on being the hunter in this game. However, she did realize that the vastness and the myriad points of hiding in the arena would make it easy for someone trained to sneak up on her.


Sighing, Arisu pulled up her Philosopher's stone from her pocket, and looked around to find a place to hide it. A place where no one would suspect that something was being hidden there. Seeing an indent on the wall, Arisu immediately put the scarlet gem inside of that hole, and covered it with rocks and dirt. This would serve as her respawn point. Since the opponent was in the other side of the place, they wouldn't be able to figure out her trick for quite a while at least. It would serve her interest in stalling this battle long enough until darkness rose, and the complex became alive. That time, would be the time for the illusionist to be active.


She also dropped her sub-machine gun and hid it and its ammunition boxes in a bunch of bushes not far away from her respawn point. Right now, she's going for a scouting routine to learn more about the place and potential hiding locations, and she didn't want to risk losing her biggest asset just like that. However, she still carried her ten hand grenades and two flashbang grenades with her. At least with grenades, she could attempt to take her opponent out with her if they ended up meeting each other.


One minute later, Arisu was finally satisfied on her preparations, and she then proceeded to traverse the area. Her first goal would be to locate the location of the traps and potentially hostile creatures that the files had said.


"So well, I guess it's time for the game to begin."



"Not going to go easy on me, huh? Kid got some spunk with him, it seems." Nero uttered those words to himself as he waited outside of the old man's house at the center of the forest. Getting into the place was one of his primary priorities, since even he was not going to take risks in this place, and the old man would certainly prove to be really helpful. He didn't really have planned much regarding the battle, as he'd prefer to do things on the fly instead. And mostly, he's feeling like he has to be noble here, at least while Camille showed him how much heat did he pack behind the delicate, lithe body of his. He still found his preference for maid uniforms odd, but a bit endearing in a way,


"Ah, there he is." Just as when he started to think about his opponent, the boy came towards the old shack. With a lack of a certain sense called subtlety, the transdemon walked to the open, making sure that Camille could see his presence. He was running towards the shack as fast as he could it seemed, and seeing that, the not-demon smiled in amusement. Thinking about the best line he could say to him, Nero then opened his lips when he was sure Camille was close enough to hear him


"Yo, Camille. What'cha doin'? If you want to go to the old man, do you want a temporary truce?"


....that came off worse than what I intended.

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Odette entered the helicopter, on her seat there was an envelope. The helicopter took off.


"Oh, what a lovely arena! It certainly seems an... interesting place to battle" She said looking at the picture. She saw the clouds outside and tried to contain her excitement, she liked clouds, all the weird shapes and stuff. "Oh what a lovely day, isn't it?" she said to the pilot.


Odette then started thinking about her opponent, Basil "He certainly is a magic user, the majority of us use magic. It's gonna be like the ballet, Odette versus the evil warlock. But this time, no prince is needed!" she thought.


After some time, which was spent looking at the clouds and thinking, she looked down to see a barren city. She landed. It was hot and humid, basically an oven. "Good luck" said the pilot.

"Oh, thank you mister!" Odette answered.


"Now, let's get this party started!" She said as she headed down the hill.

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She had been dreaming.  The moon was full that night, and it was cold out.  She inched around an alleyway behind this group of passerby's.  She stepped out from the alleyway, purposely, as they passed her, grabbing their attention.  It was a group of young thugs.  Eighteen, nineteen on average.  There were four of them, and they were all clad in black with hoodies.  Their leader, so she assumed, dropped his hood at the sudden sight of a cute, black haired girl  appearing from the darkness.  Placing a hand against the brick wall, he cut off Kokoro's pathway.  "Dinner time," she silently thought as she tried her hardest not to smile.  But, for some reason, the boy's face was shadowed.  She couldn't make it out.  He leaned towards Kokoro, and his face became clear.  It was covered in thorns, and there was nothing human about it.  "What the hell!?" Kokoro said jumping back.  The other thugs proceeded to follow in fashion, also dropping their hoods and displaying their entirely black, thorned faces.  Then, they opened their mouths, as they surrounded her.  A disgusting whistle came from the holes in their faces, almost as though she was being pulled into a wind tunnel.  "Get away from me!" she screeched, trying to leap away.  But she was snatched back down, and thrown to the ground.  She turned over to face her attackers, but they were already in her face.



"NO!" she screeched again.  She awoke in a cold sweat.  Eleven o' clock?  sheet.  She'd slept in.  After a late night browsing the bar, she wondered where the time went.  Shaking her head, she looked around her room.  It was perfectly dark.  The drapes were black, the carpet was purple, and the bedspread was both.  It was lovely.  Everything was comfortable.  But she wasn't here for the hotel room.  Trying to shake the fear from her odd, out of place dream, Kokoro jumped up quickly and hopped in the shower.  Not ten minutes in, her t.v. had turned itself on.  She could hear the voice of a female.  Probably that robo-jabroni that was helping out the old man.  Speaking of which--as she turned around to wash her hair--the old geezer's voice played through the television now.


"Ugh, does he ever shut up?  Christ."  Then he said something that grabbed her attention.


"Now, without further adieu.  The official tournament bracket, for the Secret Cup Tournament!"


"The bracket's up?" she wondered aloud.  Turning off the hot water and stepping out into a towel, she peered at the t.v. as Gerald prattled on.  Searching desperately for her name, she ran her eyes over the bracket dozens of times.  At last, she found it.  Drying her hair, she glanced a little bit further along the bracket to her opponent's name.  "Tyson.  Who was he again?"  There were a handful of guys in the conference room last night, but she didn't remember names.  "Meh."  Who cares?  She's gonna suck this bastard dry and walk away with one less goon to worry about.  She threw on her clothes quickly, being sure to grab some shades and her spare umbrella.  No sunlight for this Vampire.  She did happen to catch Gerald saying something about a rooftop.  "Rooftop?  More walking?  Ughhhhhhhhhhhh I'm gonna strangle that old man, I swear to G--huh?" Just as she was approaching the door to her room, a manila folder slid under her door.  It wasn't labeled, but Kokoro assumed it had something to do with her matchup.


Upon opening it, she saw a very dark picture of a grim looking castle.  "Traveling back in time?  The hell is this?  'La-Lacusta Castle'.  The hell?"  It was the arena she would be fighting in.  It had a torture room, which kind of excited Kokoro.  She'd be able to tie up this Tyson person and do whatever she pleased with him.  She also read something about a blood well.  "Tch.  Getting fresh blood is easy enough.  Who needs a well?  Lazy architects, I bet."   Memorizing the information as best she could, Kokoro tossed the folder behind her, onto the hotel bed.  She grabbed an umbrella and dashed out of her room towards the elevators.  Fortunately, she got one to herself, arriving at the rooftop only minutes later.  


Apparently she was late, as she watched two other helicopters take off before her own.  She wasn't sure who her opponent was, but she didn't care.  Kokoro was approached by a guard, who ushered her over a helicopter.  Opening her umbrella, Kokoro strolled over, taking her leisurely time.  Jumping in, Kokoro gave the pilot a glare.  "The hell are you waiting for?  Let's go!" she barked.  The pilot sighed to himself, as the helicopter hovered, and soon left the rooftop.




En route to Lacusta Castle, the Pilot spoke up.  "Listen, ma'am--"  "Ma'am?  How old do you think I am, dude?"  The pilot stopped.  "I'm screwing with you.  What is it?"  The pilot sighed again, as his guard turned to look at him, then back to Kokoro, then back to the sights below.  "Our lives are dependent on your victory.  If you lose, we die.  That was apart of the contract we signed to get you here.  So if you could kick this guy's ass--"


Kokoro put a hand on the pilot's shoulder.  "And what makes you think I care if you die or not?" she asked coldly.  "What makes you think I won't kill you both up here, and just jump?"  The pilot remained silent for a moment.  The guard behind him however, grew irate.  "Hey!  Look lady!  He's already got no family!  He shouldn't have to deal with your--!  No, wait--!" Kokoro jumped to the other side of the helicopter, and began to choke the guard.  "Who do you think you're talking to, guy?" she said calmly.  The pilot began to panic slightly.  "Look, don't hurt him, please.  He was just--it's fine James, don't worry about me.  I've got nothing to lose.  Dying couldn't hurt me too much right now."  The Guard, James, gasped for air.  "Let me down you psycho--jabroni!" he squealed as best he could.  Kokoro scoffed, dropping the guard back into his seat.  "Peter," James said settling down.  "You're an idiot."  Peter just shook his head, as Kokoro spoke up again.  "Just let me off over the castle.  I'll find my way in."  


"Sorry Miss.  Can't do that.  Protocol," Peter said not looking back.




Kokoro was taken directly to the far East side of the castle, the opposite of where her opponent would land.  "Good luck lady," she heard the pilot say as she stepped out of the chopper.  "Yeah?" she replied.  "Who needs it?"  Kokoro found herself staring at two identical fifty foot tall wooden doors.  The place was made of stone bricks, and everything around her gave off a nasty vibe.  Not soon after the chopper took off, Kokoro began to feel sick.  "God damn it.  What the hell's with this place?"  She pushed open the large doors as best she could, and slipped inside.  The interior was very cool, and damp.


The first thing she noticed was a long red carpet, leading to an elongated table, surrounded by chairs.  There were portraits of a rather good looking old guy and what she guess was his family.  "Still living in the stone age I see," she said to herself.  And then, the sickening feeling hit her again.  Kokoro quickly fell to a knee.  Her stomach howled, and she felt her blood boil.  "What--is this?" she said gasping.  She felt wild.  She felt insatiably angry.  She needed blood.  But not as bad as she suddenly needed to fight.  Her eyes flared to a red glow, as she sought to fight off this rage that was consuming her.  "What the hell's going on!?"


Ending Location:  Lacusta Castle, 1F

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Camille was making good progress through the forest. He was still tempted to pause and admire the scenery at times, how many chances to explore a place like this would come about? But there were more important things to deal with, and high stakes on the line. He couldn't be distracted.

Still, he had no idea what Nero was up to. Maybe he had the same idea? And if he did, was he faster than Cam? Camille couldn't let that happen, but he was going as fast as he could.

That is, until a leopard came out of nowhere and attempted to ambush him. Even with his battle mode on-going, the fear still affected him. He straight up bolted after that, going much faster than he had thought possible. Maybe it was reckless, if Nero or anyone else really was near he'd be in trouble, but it certainly got him through the forest at a faster rate.

Eventually he reached an area that could be nothing but the center. The tree was just as large as the briefing had indicated, if not larger. Cam allowed himself to slow down a bit and catch his breath, slow his heart. His body was able to recover from such long distance running quickly, but even he needed a breather now and again.

Unfortunately that's when he saw Nero. Immediately Cam went on the defensive, preparing himself for whatever tricks the man had in store for Cam. His words, however, were not what he had been expecting.


"Yo, Camille. What'cha doin'? If you want to go to the old man, do you want a temporary truce?"


So Nero did have the same idea. Cam should have known. And it appeared he was faster, that was no good. Camille's main attack strategy was to get close and hit hard, that would be difficult if he were faster.

Right now, Cam had to respond. A truce, would that be a good idea? It could be a trick. The man seemed weirdly...weird. He was much to calm and laid-back for the situation. And his wording just seemed off. But Cam didn't want either of them to die out here, so the old man's cure would be good for both of them to have.


Cam nodded. "Alright then, sir, that would be agreeable." He said slowly, carefully. His eyes constantly darted back to Nero as he made his way towards the tree. Who was this man? He seemed so relaxed, and there was something charismatic about his actions, despite the fact they were enemies.

Camille scanned the tree for an entrance of some sorts and, upon finding a spiraling walkway on the side of the tree heading towards a door, went straight for it. He made sure to keep distance between him and his opponent, and didn't look away for longer than a moment, but he eventually got to the door. Camille paused, unsure how to proceed, and then knocked lightly.

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Decadence Forest, Home of Hobbes the Arch Herald


He had sipping his honey sap tea, when he heard a hobbling outside of his home.  Hobbes hopped to his feet from his heavy wooden rocking chair, and hobbled over in his hut.  "Visitors?" he chimed to himself.  Shuffling into his slippers and setting down his special honey sap tea, Hobbes prepared two additional seats beside his coffee table.  "I wonder who could be knocking this time of evening?" he said speaking softly.  By the sound of things, Hobbes could assume that his visitors had good intentions.  The polite, gentle knocking at his door assured him of such.  Happily, Hobbes creaked open the wooden door to his home, greeting his visitors with a smile.


His initial site was that of a feminine looking boy, wearing a maid's garb.  His face was gentle, and he seemed to have a kind heart.  Hobbes' smile continued, as he stretched out a hand and shook Camille's hand.  "Well, hello!" he said with a cheery, but very deep voice.  He had the voice of an old giant, but he was about the size of the average old man.  Well, if you could call him a man.  In truth, Hobbes was what the world called a Herald.  A man who had been encompassed by the magic of nature, after becoming in tune with it after his literal life time.  On his death bed, Hobbes had been wrapped in powerful tree park, and seeds were planted on the soil from whence he was buried.  One week later, Hobbes had risen again, his former shell as a man shed, and he was now wearing the traditional mask and robe of the Heralds.


"Well, I certainly wasn't expecting you this time," he said with a laugh.  "Please, come inside," he said ushering Camille into the tree hut, and over to a chair.  Behind Camille, a darker presence resonated, as Hobbes laid eyes on Nero.  Though his species was among the most wicked and his intentions were shrouded in darkness, Hobbes did not let his smile down.  In fact, Nero was the one he was most pleased to meet.  Motioning the former demon forward, Hobbes shook Nero's hand as well.  "My, three visitors in one century.  This is such a pleasure!" he said helping Nero to a seat as well.


Hobbes' hut had a very sweet smell to it.  It was warm, as a fire  lit itself behind a magical barrier not twenty feet from his doorstep.  There were biscuits and honey sap tea just on the coffee table before Camille and Nero, for them to take at their pleasure.  "Please, try one.  They're freshly baked," Hobbes said with the same smile, pointing to the biscuits.  "The tea is a bit hot, so mind your tongue.  Now.  Why don't you boys tell ol' Hobbes what you're in for, hmm?  How may I be of the most pleasurable service?"  Hobbes sat directly across from Camille, nearest Nero.  Then, not to his surprise, a pair of blood red eyes made themselves known, appearing in the window behind Camille.  The eyes were enormous, and they were accompanied by a very strange buzzing sound.  "Tsk, tsk Palea!  Tsk!  I've got visitors right now, so you just shoo now!  Go on then!" he said swatting his hands towards the window.  "I do apologize.  The wildlife here have such a connection with me.  They often visit at some very odd times."  Taking a sip of his own tea, Hobbes relaxed in his rocking chair.

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Morgan had hopped into her chopper giving him praise and words of encouragement to fight in this death game.  His pilots weren't to thrilled about this certain passenger either.  As they lifted off the ground, Zyg gave off a cry of fright that made the pilots jump out of their skin.  "Please do not be alarmed friends....I just haven't been in the air for a long time."  The pilots paid him no mind, instead focusing their courage to fly the helicopter to the specific location that was designated in his manila folder.  


They touched down in an area that looked like a sacred temple ground.  He had seen the picture in the envelope, but in person(raptor) the place was more wondrous than his eyes had ever experienced.


This wasn't the time to be in a trance.  This was a battle for his life, and his stake in the tournament.  He had no info on his opponent, but she had basically everything she needed to know on him.  He was a beast of prey with some cybernetic enhancement.  Zyg had his trump cards though.  The abilities people wouldn't even dare think a raptor would possess.  His intelligence and strength made a deadly combination.  He couldn't predict his opponent either...he couldn't ignore the fact that a young girl had gotten this far.  Her powers must be fierce.  She would not be underestimated in his book.  There was no cover in this place, it was a very open space with many small ponds and dangerous wildlife about.  He was reminded that there were maggots here who acted as landmines in a battlefield.  He was also wary of the ponds near the temple, as it was advised that he were to not go fishing in there.  Zyg made sure to make his steps quiet as he stalked his prey.  






During his ride to an unknown destination, Elspire felt his stomach knot up.  The pilots asked where his envelope was, and when he told the pilot that he must've left it in his room, the pilot gave a loud and quite depressing sigh.  He shared with Elspire the fates of the pilots who don't make it back to the hotel on account of their passengers losing.  Elspire's fist tightened up in his lap.  "So no matter the outcome...I'll have my hands stained with the blood of the innocent?  I wasn't informed of these circumstances."  If he were to win, his opponent Saul would be gravely injured and his pilots left to an unknown fate.  If he were to lose, it wasn't guaranteed that his life would be spared, and his pilots were to be disposed of afterwards.  His dragon-like teeth grit against each other.  


The tenseness turned into anticipation as they touched down outside of a dark glimmering cavern.  Elspire went into the darkness as his eyes quickly became accustomed and to it.  Light poured in through the ceiling through small holes, revealing a quite spacious cavern filled with gems and precious stones.  The light reflecting off of the gems was surely a sight to behold.  As he awed the cavern in it's beauty, he slammed his body into something hard and sturdy.  It seemed to be the shell of some creature but he had only smacked into the side of the gargantuan thing.  Making his way around the shell and towards where he though the head was, the sound of munching and crunching grew ever so slightly louder.  The creature took time away from his busy eating to spare Elspire a surprised look, as if no one had visited this place in a long time.  Elspire was also in a state of amazement, this tortoise was humongous, and it was eating the crystals that were scattered all around the floors and walls of the cave.  


He left the creature to it's meal, and headed off deeper into the mysterious cavern.  "I guess i should've read up on this place a bit huh?  Guess this ones on me...got a little too excited about this whole fight thing.  Saul sounds like a guy's name right?  So it's probably one of those guys who got out of the elevator last night.  Boy i sure hope it's that maid, maybe i could get him to surrender easier...the rest of them looked a little tougher."  Elspire's voice was bouncing all over the cave.  He covered his mouth to stop his rambling.  He needed the element of surprise, not a yellow flag pointing in his direction!  He sniffed the air.


Something smelled familiar in this cave...something he hadn't had a whiff of in a long time.  He decided to follow that scent instead of the many others that were sprouting from the cavern.  Especially the rankness that smelt like sweaty old man.  He thought it was best to avoid that smell altogether since that was probably his opponent.  He made sure to keep every smell registered to its designated area, starting with the tortoise he had met near the caves opening.  He was sure that the ecosystem in this cave was very reliant on those crystals.  He followed the familiar scent deeper into the cave, registering other smells as he passed by them.   

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Saul: Cavern of Sirens

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKJJc2VFSic


The cave was mostly quiet, and this was disconcerting. If there were as many creatures as the folder had listed, then this place should be alive with sounds; yet it was silent like the grave. Keeping his breathing steady, Saul scanned the dark cavern for any sign of movement in the shadows, taking a mental note of where each crystal was. Then, Saul's ears picked up the echo of a voice. The folder said nothing of anyone who lived there, or even frequented the caverns. The sound had to have been his opponent. Saul immediately stopped mid-step, barely spotting the obsidian colour of a crystal tortoise perched in front him; sleeping. Saul smiled as he took a mental note of where the gentle creature was; he may come in use. Climbing over a stone, Saul made his way towards where he had heard the sound.


Making his way through the cavern, Saul stopped as he spotted a humanoid figure walking around 19 meters away; blonde hair, close to 6 feet tall. Pausing to make sure there were no crystals in the way, and scanning for any nearby animals, he selected a more open space of floor, clear from any large obstacles as he squared his shoulders at his target. With his sword at his side, Saul took a deep breath, aiming his open palm at his target. Very quickly, a light grew and expanded before immediately erupted towards his target with deadly accuracy. Hoping to end this quickly, Saul had just used Razeil's Cleansing, hoping that his opponent had not noticed him yet.


Dirk Rider: Sahill Cathedral - F1/B1

BGM: http://vhsglitch.bandcamp.com/track/church-arena


Dirk whistled loudly as he approached the cathedral from the outside. "Hole-lee shyit! They must've spent a lotta money on this place! Disney Land should think about redecorating if this is their competition!" The halls were incredibly high and foreboding; like as if the place was actually a haunted cathedral sitting there for hundreds of years. Stone bricks were cracked and covered with vines as if they were actually neglected for years of any kind of cleaning or maintenance; broken walls and rubble like as if the structure had actually been deteriorating. With good ol' Dust Rider at his side, Dirk seemed to be spending more time sight-seeing than anything. This place was huge! It was gonna take a long time to find his opponent. Ah well, time was probably better spent sight-seeing at this point. Heck, this place was giving him the chills already.


Jumping at the sound of crash, Dirk whirled around with his gun at the ready; trained on the helmet of a suit of armor that rolled around the corner and into view. Aiming back up, Dirk made sure there was nothing there in his immediate vicinity. After a few seconds of silence, Dirk let out a sigh. "Jeeze, this place is really spooky. Better be careful," he whispered to himself, lowering his gun and continuing down the hallway. Spotting a corner in the hallway that looked like it might lead down a floor, Dirk shrugged. "Not like I'm gonna find much up here." Of course, Dirk jumped once again as a swarm of bats screeched down the hall, away from the passage. "Jeeze!" Dirk exclaimed as a cold sweat developed on the back of his neck.


"Let's just get this over with so I don't have to be spooked by special effects anymor-OOF!" Dirk exclaimed as he bumped into something, or someone who seemed to be floating, as he turned around the corner, forcing him to reel back and fall backwards onto a stairwell; not until catching a glimpse of his opponent that he had just bumped into. Of course, that wasn't the pressing matter at the moment, as the staircase crumbled and collapsed from underneath Dirk. "sheet!" Dirk yelled as he plummeted down to the first basement-floor of cathedral.

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Tyson Slayer 


“Either of you guys got any water on you?” Tyson addressed both the pilot, and the armed guard that was accompanying them on flight, breaking the heavy silence that had filled the helicopter since Tyson had first entered. 


The guard was the first to comply, skeptically looking at the pilot before reaching into a large backpack, and pulling out military style canteen. “Yea, here…” The man’s tone was grim as he tossed the canteen to Tyson.


Easily catching it, Tyson turned to a canteen over in his hands a few times, inspecting it. “It’s clean, right?” 


“Y-Yes sir! First time it’s been used…”


“Perfect.” Tyson flashed the guard an evil grin, before closing his eyes as if he were trying to remember something. The helicopter was once again silent, until the pilot spoke up. 


“What are you doing? Some kind of meditation?” 


There it was again. Tyson could sense legit concern in the man’s voice. Did he have money on this fight or something?


Tyson opened his eyes and shook his head, chuckling slightly as he did so. “Do I look like the kind of guy that meditates, friend?”


“I suppose not.” The pilot’s tone lightened slightly at Tyson’s humor. “So what’d you need the water for?” 



“Just a little insurance policy…” Tyson spoke as he opened the canteen and held it out in front of him. He paused a moment to gather his thoughts, be for reciting the blessing that he’d been force to memorize when he had fist begun his training as a hunter.



“God, for whom the salvation of the human race has built our greatest mysteries upon this established substance, in your kindness hear our prayers and pour down into this element the power of your blessing, prepared by many purifications. May this, your creation, become a vessel for your divine grace to dispel demons and sicknesses, so that everything, on which it is sprinkled, in the homes and buildings of the faithful, will be removed of all unclean and harmful souls. Let no pestilent spirit, no corrupting atmosphere, remain in those places: may all the schemes of the hidden enemy be dispelled. Let whatever might trouble the safety and peace of those who live in these places be put to flight by this water, so that health, gotten by calling Your Holy Name, may be made secure against all attacks. Through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, and forever, in a world without end.”




“Disgusting…” Mephisto’s voice held obvious contempt.


“Amen.” Tyson finished with a smirk, deriving slight pleasure from his partner’s annoyance.


Both the guard and the pilot were silent. Starring at the canteen as if they had expected it to suddenly illuminate with a divine light. Tyson watched this with an amused expression before lowering the canteen to his waist, and clipping it on to his belt next where he stored his spare ammo. Satisfied that the holy water would give him a significant edge in the vampire-infested castle, Tyson returned his attention to the other two men in the helicopter. “So, you two have names or what?”



Lacusta Castle, 1F


“You guys will be fine!” Tyson shouted over his shoulder as he watched the helicopter enter the air once more, leaving him alone at the castle’s west entrance. After two hours of conversation, the men in the helicopter had chosen to explain to him their situation. Personally, Tyson thought it was a tad excessive to kill the pilot and crew if the contestant lost, but hey, at least he knew his escort had nothing to worry about! His opponent, Kokoro probably new nothing about combating the undead, and would more then likely end up as one of the bloodsucker’s lunch if he didn’t manage to find her within the hour. 


“I’m gonna pissed if they flew me out here for now reason…” The hunter mumbled to himself before taking his first step into the castle. The entire placed reeked of death, and it only took a few seconds for Tyson to sense a sudden spike in his own aggression. “Must be the curse…” His tone grew dark, as he flexed his hand in front of his face. This definitely wasn’t the first time he had dealt with this kind magic, but he’d never seen it take effect so quickly. Whoever, or whatever had cast it must have been quite powerful…


“Shall I attempt to shield your mind from the magic?” Mephisto chimed in.


“Don’t bother. Just work on finding out where the welcoming comity’s hiding…” Tyson spoke with authority, as he began traveling further into the castles massive entrance hall. 


“Very well.” The demon voice seem to grow distant as it began using it’s sensory abilities to comb the massive structure for any signs of movement, or sources of magic.



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Elspire Ferdinand


Although he was trying to make his way a long ways away from the stench of his opponent, it seemed to creep on him at an extremely fast rate.  Mere moments later the smell was upon him.  "Whoah...his smell was so far off when i entered this place!  This guy must be quick on his feet!"


A glimmer was caught in the corner of his eye.  He caught the reflection of a crystal on the wall, as a beam of light was following him from behind.  He pulsed electricity into his leg muscles to launch him in an adjacent direction, strafing to the side to avoid the sneak attack.  During his leap, he twisted to see a giant silver haired man, with his palms flat against the air with a beam of light protruding from them.  The beam had yet to dissipate either.  Elspire kept his guard up.  


"So you're my opponent?  A big guy with some fancy tricks?"  It was at this time that Elspire noticed a blade in it's holster next to the giant's side.  The blade must've been magical as well.  Elspire had dealt with the occasional Hunter in his life.  They boasted magic, but their sizes varied.  This guy was the biggest of them yet.  "Listen pal, as much as i'd like to settle this fight, there's something i gotta see for myself.  So bare with me and shoo why don't you?"  With no signs of wavering in the mans eyes Elspire sighed.   "Fine..have a parting gift at least?"  Elspire breathed in deeply.


"ROAR OF THE LIGHTNING DRAGON!"  With that Elspire released a straight beam of electrical energy, aimed at the feet of Saul.  It had enough force to blow up some of the ground in front of Saul, but it had knocked up dirt into the air of the Area.  "That should distract him...now where was i?"  Elspire wasn't going to stay in this area, so, again, he boosted his leg muscles with electrical stimulation, as he pushed off the ground to jump farther and farther into the cave.  He tracked the scent that he was searching for in the beginning of this whole mess.  "I've gotta find the source of this smell...it's just....so familiar?"  As Elspire had made some distance from Saul, he decided to stop bouncing around and start running deep into the cavern.  

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Morgan had needed to roast a swarm of bats on her way, which thinking about it throwing an explosive fireball skull at mere bats may have been slight overkill, but other than that the first minutes of her exploration hadn’t turned up much exciting. She took it upon herself to go lower. Surely there was more fun things at the bottom right? The King was down there for one, and that was someone she just had to meet.

She had paused in her flight for a short while, getting her bearings and making sure her hat was on at the perfect slightly crooked angle when she got bumped into. “Rude.” She muttered as she turned to see who had done that. Oh, the cheesy action movie guy. Morgan smiled widely, and slightly disturbingly, at the realization.

This one shouldn’t be a problem, and he could prove to be some fun. If he was anything like the stereotypical action star that he resembled he would certain stumble upon something interesting during all this.
Morgan let out a giggle as the man fell down the hole that appeared when the stairs crumbled. “Whoopsie-daisy~” She said, happily, before following him down on her broom. Due to the limitations of her magic she couldn’t fly straight down but had to follow the remnants of the stairs. However she was able to get down fast enough.

Now, a dilemma. Obviously her opponent was in a perfect position for her to finish him off, and yet...where’s the fun in that? She wouldn’t have a chance to explore more of this wonderful place. And so, she came to a decision.

Morgan cast yet another spell and, near where the man had fallen, her “pet” formed. A swirl of dust and bone rose up, seemingly out of thin air, and swiftly took shape. A giant, 12 foot tall, skeleton. In its hand was what appeared to be a large femur. An object the behemoth used as a club. She loved this thing so very much, and had become quite attached to it.

“Mr. Bonejangles, if you would be so kind, kill that man.” She gestured lazily at her opponent and then immediately left to head towards the lower floors.
Her Skeleton wasn’t as powerful if she was not around to give it strength, and it would eventually crumble on its own, but it would be perfect for distracting the man for a while. And the ruckus it would make would most likely attract all kind of attention. Morgan was smiling even wider than ever.
This was oh so much FUN.

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Saul: Cavern of Sirens

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKJJc2VFSic

The boy had taken a different course of action, dodging Saul's attack and countering with his own. So, this was going to waste more of Saul's time. So be it. Crouching down and springing off of the stone, Elspire's attack impacted against the cave surface with a loud boom; showering the area with bits of stone and debris. So the boy had magical powers. Thousands of years ago mythical creatures and races ran rampant, but were now a complete rarity. If this welp had the gift, then he was linked to creatures long lost. Another trophy for Gerald to collect without a doubt. Then it was time to save this boy from a fate worse than death. Landing several meters ahead of where he was, Saul spotted that the kid was beginning to leap and run away. Saul growled under his breath.

"You do not run away from me, BOY!" Saul roared, unsheathing his blade in a blur of white-hot anger; slamming it down in front of him. The blade shattered the stone, and a whirl-wind of flames erupted in front of Saul as he invoked Michael's Rage. The whirling pillar of flames expanded to a three-meter size instantaneously; tearing through the cavern's environment as it made its way swiftly towards Elspire. Saul also used this great pillar of flames as a cover; running behind it full-tilt to catch up this boy unaware with his own blade whether the pillar hit or not.

Dirk Rider: Sahill Cathedral - F1/B1

BGM: http://vhsglitch.bandcamp.com/track/church-arena

Standing up and brushing himself off, Dirk combed his hair back into position before he spotted his opponent hovering in place a few feet away. Did they invent some sort of anti-gravity thing? Whatever. Gripping his fire-arm and pointing it straight at the girl, Dirk smirked. "Sorry tuts, but nothing personal. Just a whole lotta money on the line, y'know?" Of course, what happened next wasn't something Dirk ever expected as a giant skeleton seemed to materialize out of nowhere. Dirk blinked a couple times. "Dang, these special effects are getting a little too real for me. What is that, some big robot HEY WHERE YOU GOING?" Morgan had already fled. Jeeze, this is going to be a pain. "Well, guess I'll deal with this thing first."


The skeleton made a move with its club; aiming to smash Dirk right beneath. "Whoop!" Dirk yelled as he rolled to his left.  Aiming the Dust Rider, Dirk pulled off two shots; one aimed at the mid-torso and the other right near the head. The large hand-cannon let off two loud bangs, followed by the quick ignition of the ammunition's own propulsion. Two thin jet-streams marked where the bullets had flown; both aimed right at the skeleton and ready to make a bang.

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Noya Jones


She too had slept in.  Had it not been for a very disturbing presence that shook her from her bed, Noya would have likely slept longer.  As she awoke, fireworks exploded just outside her bedroom window.  "Guess it's about time," she said sitting up, wiping the sleep from her face.  Jumping up, Noya looked to the bedside digital clock that had been left for her.  Eleven o' clock, a.m..  That was quite a rest, to say she had slept in.  She quickly got dressed, having slept in only a t-shirt, so things were easy to get in to.  Her shoes were on the other side of the room, as she recalled kicking them off.  Being the lazy psychic that she was, a little telekinesis allowed her to assist herself and pick up her shoes without actually having to go and get them.  Tying her shoes, Noya heard the television click on, as Gerald's assistant appeared.  Ignoring it for the time being, Noya double checked to see if her eye patch had fallen off.  Tapping it twice, she reassured herself, nodding to no one, as Gerald now appeared on the television.  "Good morning old guy," she said to herself.  Still being half asleep, she didn't quite make out what Gerald was saying, until the tournament bracket appeared on her screen.


"Wuzzat?" she asked aloud to no one.  Yawning, Noya approached the television just a bit more, to get a closer look.  "Huh.  It's the bracket," she said slightly confused.  "THE BRACKET!  Where do we go for our fights!?" Noya said now realizing how late she was.  Just then, a manila folder was slid under her room door, bumping into her foot.  She quickly snatched it up, when she realized it was information for her upcoming brawl.  "Yes!  Okay!  But where do I go!?"  she squealed to herself.  Gerald reappeared on the t.v., as Noya nervously bounced up and down on her tip toes.  Then she caught it.


"The rooftop!"  Mimicking Gerald almost immediately after he said it.  She bolted out of her room, slammed the door behind her, and sprinted towards the elevator.  Noya pressed the up button rapidly, anxious to get to the roof.  "Come oooooooooon!  Come on!"   It arrived finally, and she turned around quickly inside, and rushed to close the doors.  Her manila folder had all kinds of information about her upcoming battle.  It was tucked safely under her right arm, and she mentally--though impatiently--went over the data in her mind.  "Robert.  Who the hell is he again?"  She shook her head, knowing she wouldn't remember.  "I'll figure that out as we fight.  But this arena will be tricky.  Poison?  Snakes?  Whirlpools?  What the heck, man?  How am I gonna play around this?  Wait, what am I saying?  I'm psychic," she said mumbling to herself suddenly.  The elevator dinged, and one of the last two helicopters was touching down.  "Nice," Noya said turning to her wrist watch.  "Noon!?  Holy crap!" she said now darting towards the helicopter.  Over the course of getting dressed, going over her manila folder, and getting to the rooftop, she had burned an hour.  Including travel time, there's no telling what time she would arrive at the arena.


The helicopter Guard approached Noya as she darted towards him.  He quickly stepped aside to let Noya in, and jumped back into the passenger seat up front.  Giving his pilot a thumbs up, Noya's helicopter began to take off right away.  







Cavern of Sirens, IGT:  4:06 p.m.


How loud.  How . . .reckless.  Much of the wildlife in the Cavern was docile, save for one or two creatures.  And one of those two was being disturbed.  The sound of cracking rock, noisy screams, and explosions of magic and dust stirred them from their sleep.  They growled softly, glaring at each other, blaming one another for the ruckus.  One, two, three.  Five, six seven.  Ten, eleven, twelve.  They awoke in groups, until stupidly enough, they realized they weren't being awoken by each other, but by a disturbance in the Caverns.  Some of them remained sleeping, not wanting to take part in the riot.  The others, taking up their crude axes, they cloaked themselves against the Cave walls in a fading purple-blue stone, and vanished towards the presence that entered their home.  Dumb as these things were, they weren't complete idiots.  A presence was approaching at high speed, jumping, dodging, bobbing weaving.  Whatever this scaly looking thing was, it was quite strange to see something new in their home.  Sneakily, three broke away from the pack, and followed the bouncing yellow  oddity.  The others turned down the corridor from whence the strange person came, one at a time.  Unfortunately, three of them met an untimely death at the hands of a powerful blaze, running into the pillar of flames face first.


The others carefully watched as their allies were burned to a crisp, and slammed their axes to the ground.  The flames had passed, and now was the time for revenge.  Uncloaking themselves, the ghouls charged forward as six.  The opposition was tall, and brandished a fiendish looking sword.  But they didn't care.  They were here for blood.  Blood for their comrades.  Blood for their trespasser.  Food for the night.  Howling, spitting, growling, and swinging wildly about, the Ghouls jumped Saul, and went to hack at his legs and chest.


Meanwhile, Elspire would soon find he was not alone.  He would hear the sound of metal scraping against stone, and turn around to see only one ghoul uncloaking itself from beside a cavern wall.   And before he could react, two more would approach from his left and right respectively.  He was surrounded by some of the cavern's many gate keepers.  One of the ghouls, far right of Elspire, banged his axe on the cold stone ground beneath it, roaring viciously, but not moving.  It was if the ghoul was waiting for something.  Its brothers however, moved in, charging Elspire.







Sahill Cathedral, IGT:  5:06 p.m.






"Eyaaaaaaaaaaah!" they screeched at one another.  One shattered another, watching it fall into a pile of bones.  They laughed hideously, as the fallen skeleton reassembled itself.  Then, their fun was interrupted as a witch flew past their heads, heading towards a staircase.  "Eh?"  "Eh."  "Nyeh!"  "Nyeh!"  "Yaaaaaaaaaaa!"  They rambled towards her, despite the speed difference, leaving trails of magic wherever they went.  These skeltons who chased Morgan were pretty boneheaded, and had no idea what they were doing.  The only thing they understood was that another presence has ruined their game of "Die and Rebuild", and she was going to pay for breaking the rules.  As they passed by, the skeletons dragged behind them rusted swords and scraped them along the brick sides of the Cathedral.  Some of them disturbed bookcases, spilling over magical entries and causing spells to seep into the brick below.


Others alerted more sinister presences in the Cathedral.  For example, a crimson and black robed figure which had just recently ducked out of Morgan's way.  It turned its face to the shadows behind it, whispering, "They're here," to what appeared to be nothing.  But a shuffling sound of dozens of feet scrambled, and made not a noise.


And upstairs, where Morgan had left her magical, more brutish and much larger Skeleton, a disturbance was not pleasant.  This femur wielding monster had a magic aura surrounding it, and began to disturb the dead around it.  Dirk, unknowing and soon to be unwilling, would see before him, a swirling pool of what appeared to be mud, seep from the cracks in the floor of the Cathedral, and begin to take shape.  It was slow, but legs and feet had already taken shape before him.  He could attempt to run from this, but doing so would only draw more undead presences.  He could choose to fight here, but what await him was unknown.  And to top it off, he had a third presence to deal with, in Morgan's Skeleton bodyguard.  What a mess, one would say.


Morgan however, was not without her own troubles.  She may have been on a broom, but the cloaked fiends that knew the Cathedral knew it better than she.  As she approached a staircase, her broom was swept from beneath her, as Morgan flew into a suddenly appearing net, knocking her off of her broom.  Her broom slid, and toppled down the next flight of stairs, and down to the third floor.  Tieing the net, Morgan would be greeted by four cultists, who's tattooed faces, forked tongues, and rusty daggers gave off a rather gross feeling.  "Take her to the boilun' room," one of them said to the others.  "If she's flyun' that broom, I bet she's a witch, I do," he said again.  "Let's find out what kinda magic she's got," the leader said with a creepy smile, licking his lips.  The three remaining cultists were about to move, and take Morgan was losing frequent flyer miles.







Lacusta Castle, IGT:  5:06 p.m.


The smell of flesh.  How potent this smell was, even from afar.  As they clung to the ceiling with their talons latched into stone, one of them had their eyes spring open in reaction to the sudden change in atmosphere.  Flesh?  Magic?  And. . . something else.  Something disgusting.  Spreading its wings, it flipped over, crashing to the floor as it landed on its feet.  The stench--no.  The hunger awoke it.  "Wake up, you stupid lot!" the first woken breed barked.  "Hmm?  Ack!" screeched a second.  A third and fourth gracefully flipped over and landed on their talons on the floor below.  "Oh, what is it Brendan?  Every time you get hungry, you wake us to go hunting with you.  Can't you do it--" a yawn escaped her lips.  "Can't you do this yourself?" the female breed asked.  Stretching her wings, she scratched at her head,  Her sister beside her placed her claws on her hips.  "Brendan, is everything alright?" she asked concerned.  The two sisters  were slightly smaller than their male counterparts.  The eldest sister was the taller of the two.  Of course, none of the vampires wore clothing, and so the breasts of the females were bare.  


The older female (about five feet, eight inches) had all black hair, which stretched to about the nape of her neck.  Her ears were pointed, always straight up.  Her lips were purple, and somewhat full.  She was slender, and her breasts were perkier than her sisters.  She had painted her nails black, having stolen polish from some poor tourist some time ago.  She had a three foot tail, forked at the end.  Her skin, like her brothers' and sisters', was maroon red, from her face to her feet.  She had no other body hair besides what was on her head.


The younger sister (about five feet, four inches), had longer, red hair.  It reached down to her bottom.  Her eyes were an emerald green, and her ears were slightly flapped, not pointed up like her sisters'.  She had a slightly bigger bust, by about two sizes, and her breasts were just a tiny bit more saggy.  Her fingers were unpainted, and her tail was about two feet longer than her sisters'.  Unlike males, these female vampires did not sport horns.  She had no other body hair, save for what was on her head.


A stronger male stood before them.  He was somewhat muscular, built like an athlete.  His horns were curled in, appearing like that of a ram.  His eyes were emerald green like his youngest sisters', but the shape of his eyes was sharp, like a cat's.  He was about six feet and four inches tall, with a four foot tail.  He had longer nails, even compared to his sisters'.  His talons were about the same length, but also sharpened.  He is bald.


Finally, the younger brother.  You would think, as the younger brother, he wouldn't be as intimidating as his older brother.  You'd be correct.  However, he is very aggressive.  This one--six feet exactly--was quite arrogant too.  To be more like his brother, he has shaved his head.  He also has a very submissive complex towards his brother, never disobeying him.  His voice is slightly high pitched, and his eyes are a bit more dull.  His horns are odd, having one pointed straight up, and the other cut off at the root.  The strangest thing about this one, is his tail length.  His tail is approximately seven feet long, and has a nasty, pointed end.  His talons are equally sharp, but his claws are neatly trimmed.  He prefers to fight with his fists, rather than scratching.


The spoken one, Brendan, stretched out a claw.  "How long's it been?" he said in a very commanding tone.  "Since what, brother?" said the second male.  "Since we've smelled that," Brendan said pointing a finger to the ceiling above him.  The others began to sniff the air.  It was rich, but also appalling.  "There's. . .mm, there's quite a few smells there.  When did you--"


"I caught wing of it only now," Brendan said to his sister.  "Spread out.  Something tells me it isn't those stupid villagers."  He pointed to the taller of two sisters.  "Adrianna.  You search the East Wing, first floor."  Now Brendan pointed to the shorter of two sisters.  "Arora, you will search the the East Wing of the second floor."  Adrianna sighed, and Arora nodded in compliance.  They took off sprinting, leaping, and flying away.


"And what of me, brother?" asked the remaining breed.  "You, Sabien, will search the West Wing of the second floor."  Sabien nodded rapidly, wanting to impress his older brother.  "And Sabien?"  "Yes, brother?" he replied turning back to Brendan.  "Don't eat them right away.  And don't get yourself killed," Brendan said heading for a large gaping hole in the ceiling for the third floor.  Sabien had gone to turn around and head off again, when Brendan called to him again.  "And Sabien!"


"Yes, brother!?" he said intimidated by Brendan's bark.  "If you see something, lure them down here.  No further.  Keep. . .whatever it is up there, quiet.  You wouldn't want to wake father," Brendan said turning away.


"But Brendan, he's been asleep for thou--"


"Don't!  Wake him.  I don't care how long he's been asleep.  If you, or anyone else disturbs him, we'll all have to suffer.  Now go."


Sabien nodded, saying "Yes brother, of course brother," as he darted away.  "Damn children.  I always have to tell them." Brendan disappeared into the dark ceiling above him, heading for the upper floors.







Noya Jones, Valley of Souls, IGT:  4:30 p.m.


The flight was lengthy, but she made it.  And on the way here, she was given some rather disheartening, and disturbing news.  "Good luck, Miss Noya!" called the Guard.  "Thanks!" she said as cheerily as she could.  She had been dropped at the mouth of the skull, as seen in the picture of the arena.  Standing inside the mouth of the giant meant her opponent would get dropped off on the opposite side, near the rear of this colossal beast.  But, Noya knew she had to win.  To say she was now responsible for two additional lives, essentially against hers and their wills, was irritating.  In truth, Noya was angry.  She was angry not that these pilots and guards were in their predicament, but that Gerald had abused something such as money to coax these men into risking their lives.  And now she was a part of it!   Noya was disgusted with herself.  But it was too late to be angry now.  She was in the middle of a death trap, and she had to avoid just about everything, including the very walls of the innards of this giant.


"sheet," she said aloud.  Making her way to the throat of the giant, Noya moved inside.  Little did she know, a dozen eyes were watching her from afar.







Oxfield Scrapyard, 5:30 p.m.


"At the tone, the time will be 5:30, p.m."


A droning dong came over a slightly muffled intercom system.  Two girls had entered the arena, but it was deathly quiet.  This arena was a builder.  Most of the chaos that could or would erupt from it would be caused by the occupants, and their approaching guests around 7 p.m.  For now, a cold wind blew over the area of the Oxfield Scrapyard, causing some of the taller metal piles to creek, and some of them to topple.  A pile of metal came crashing down at the center of the Scrapyard, creating a loud boom, catching the attention of the contestants suddenly.  Who would scurry and who would chase?

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"Quite the nice to you have here, gramps." Nero said as he sipped his tea. It was legitimately nice, so he didn't just say that to win the man over or something. Camille sat not far from him at that time, though it seemed that he's not really that comfortable still to be near him right now. Well, it's not his fault. After all, they're supposed to be attempting to kill each other right now rather than enjoying some tea and relaxing together. That kind of cognitive dissonance would definitely be jarring enough to make anyone uncomfortable.


"Say, gramps." Nero said after he finished his tea. "Will it be fine if us two here get some cures for Blood Moth bites?"


Of course Nero was fully intent on making this as fair as possible. Getting either of them to fall due to merely insect bites would be really anticlimatic, and he's fully determined to keep that factor out of the upcoming battle. Looking back at where the red-eyed creature from earlier appeared, Nero then decided to ask one more question.


"One more thing. May I ask you to tell us what you know regarding the Black Decadence?"




Arisu sighed as she respawned at her respawn point before putting her stone somewhere else, away from the now-eaten walls that she used to hide it before. She had made contact with the rabid dogs reported in the files, and she decided to feed them her own body just to make sure they'd be docile enough to not be a problem for her when she did get contact with whoever her opponent was. During these 2.5 hours she had been here, she had located the location of quite some of the bigger attractions of the battlefield, and she kept those information in her mind as she started to figure out a scheme to trap her opponent into one of them soon as they became active.




A loud noise could be heard coming from the center of the arena, and it immediately caught her attention. While she had a suspicion that it might be a trap set by her opponent, she decided that it might not be too bad to check it out. Repacking the grenades she left before to her, Arisu then proceeded to walk cautiously towards the center of the arena to investigate what caused that loud noise.


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“Ripper, I sense six presences. One of which is much larger then others, but it seems to be inactive for the time being…” It had been roughly five minutes since Mephisto had seemly vanished from Tyson’s mind to spread his senses over the castles massive interior, and Tyson would be lying if he said that he wasn’t growing a little restless. 


Slowly rising from the seat he had taken on the castles massive staircase, Tyson took a moment to crack his knuckles before responding. “Anyway you can tell which ones our target” 


“It would seem that the forces at be have a very twisted sense of humor…” 


“Do tell.” As he spoke, Tyson slowly began climbing the stairs towards the second floor. Each step causing the ancient structure to creek and moan eerily, as if they hadn’t been used in centuries.  


“All six of the entities that I’ve found are vampires.”


It took Tyson a few moments to realize what this meant, but when he finally processed what Mephisto was trying to tell him, he couldn’t help but burst in a fit of laughter. It would seem that he would be getting his shot at taking that vampire woman’s head after all… 


Not nearly as amused, Mephisto continued. “What will you do?”


Catching his breath, Tyson reached towards his belt, grabbing the 4-foot long chain that hung next his holstered firearm, and wrapping it around his wrist. With Mephisto’s chain now equipped, the hunter continued his trek up the stairs, the landing of the second floor now in clear sight. 


“Com’on, shouldn’t that be obvious!?" Tyson smirked at his predicament. It had been a long time since he took on a job this hefty; four pureblooded vamps, one half-blood, and whatever the hell the “larger” thing could be. Honestly, if he didn’t have Mephisto, and a s*** ton a hellfire on his side, he’d be nervous… but that didn’t matter much now, did it. This was what he did; he was a Slayer after all.  


“We’re gonna kill’em all!”



For a moment the Arch-demon was silent. Though he lacked a physical form, Tyson could still sense the grin that would have formed on Mephisto’s face. Could it be that he was also excited?


“Very well then, Ripper.”


Lacusta Castle, 2F


As Tyson reached the second floor, he felt his partner's essence begin to tense, and instantly took on a ready stance. He didn’t need to ask; he knew exactly what was coming… “Where?!” The man growled, low enough to not a attract attention from any potential threats. 


Mephisto’s response was instant. “To your left, air born.” Glancing to his left, Tyson immediately spotted his target. It was one of the purebloods, a male with a shaved head, and a single missing horn. From what Tyson could tell, he hadn’t been spotted yet, but he knew this advantage would soon fade due to the creature’s predatory senses. 


Without saying a word, Tyson cocked his right arm backwards, taking a moment to cloak Mephisto’s chain in hell fire, before suddenly swinging the flaming artifact towards the vampire with inhuman strength. As he did so, the chain began to expand, reaching more then tent times it’s length in a matter of seconds. The hunt was on. 

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Nori Amakusa

Scanning the skies for the helicopter emblazoned with her name, she took a few steps before jumping towards and through the door before it fully landed. Cushioning her landing by using her legs, Nori noticed the pilot and guard had a slightly surprised expression on their faces. Shrugging, she sat down, buckling herself into the seat, before the helicopter took off again, heading towards wherever the "Shan'ri Temple" was located.


While the flight was quiet, Nori could detect an air of unease, with the quick, furtive glances the pilot and the guard shared every now and then. Sighing as she figured they wouldn't bring it up themselves otherwise, she took the opportunity to speak up. "What's gotten you two all twisted up?" After a few more glances between the two of them, the pilot spoke up, haltingly. "Ah... Well, ya see... Our lives depend on your match too... So if you could win, that'd be, uh great?" Not understanding what the pilot meant specifically, Nori replied. "What do you mean?" This time, the guard spoke up, smoother than the pilot, but his voice had an almost audible undertone of fear. "Well, if you lose, you could survive, like, if the opponent spares you, ya know? But it's not like that for us. If you lose, it's the end of the line for us, whether or not you survive. But don't worry missus, I think you can win. And it's not like we have to risk our necks for free. Gerald's paying us $200 million, which'll go to our families, if things go south." His voice breaking slightly at the end, he finished.


Nori was silent for a while, her hair covering her eyes, her expression unreadable. But inside of her was a burning flame of anger, a white-hot inferno of hatred for what Gerald had done. The man would obviously know that people want or need money, whether it be for selfish or selfless purposes. By taking that and using his own disgustingly massive wealth, Gerald toyed with lives, as if they were nothing more than pawns in some grand chess game. At least for herself, she already got over her own qualms, knowing her own reasoning for wanting to win was selfish. Every other contestant in this blood tournament would have some reason of their own, and they would be able to fight with their own abilities. But with the pilot and guard duo for each of the sixteen, thirty people would be sentenced to death, their fates not even controllable by their own hands. Taking several moments to breathe in and out and calm herself so it wouldn't affect her battle, she looked up at the two.


"I'm sorry to hear that. But if it will offer you two any relief, I will try to at least work to save your lives." With a sad smile on her face, Nori attempted to comfort the two of them. It must've been even worse for them, because they would have to chance on some unknown person for their lives. This was the least she could do.


For a few, beautiful moments, it seemed like everything would be alright, a state of tranquil, a warm calm. The pilot spoke up though, snapping all of them back to the cold reality. "We're here." Unbuckling herself and standing up, Nori bowed deeply, in respect. "Well I'll be off then. May fate smile upon you two." The duo taken aback by the kindness, they quickly stammered a response. "G-G-Good luck to you too!" By then, the girl was half-way out of the plane. Lifting her arms to show a thumbs up, Nori dropped out of the plane, falling the rest of the way to the arena, a short distance of maybe twenty feet. Tucking in and crouching to cushion her fall once more, Nori let out a sigh of relief when she had the good luck to not immediately land on one of those bomb-like maggots.


Heeding the earlier warnings about not going "fishing," Nori carefully skirted the ground, using Rin in quick succession to silently clear a path, free of grenade-maggots. She had landed on the far left side, nearly on the roof of one of the smaller temples. By her earlier information, this meant the raptor was all the way on the other side, although given his potential speed, his actual location at the moment would be uncertain. Staying well clear of possible forestry where the raptor might find a spot to hide, she instead used the walls and pillars of the temple structures to hide herself, as she dashed from place to place.


Breathing a small sigh of relief as she managed to get to one of the pillars supporting the tall goose like structure, Nori quickly climbed up the column, standing on top of what seemed to be some flattened scythe-like part coming out of the back side of the goose structure and curving around. Brushing away maggots as she took gentle steps, it took a painstakingly long time, but she managed to get on top of the back of the swan, which was maggot-free after a few moments of sweeping. It was a good stroke of fortune she had managed to not set any off. For if she had, not only would they draw the attention of the raptor, the resulting blast could potentially ruin her leg.


Peering out carefully from her vantage point on top of the swan, Nori searched around for the whereabouts of her opponent. There was not a chance he could climb, and even with jumping, the top of the goose was too isolated for it to get anywhere near enough to jump at it before she noticed. Careful not to grow complacent however, she furtively scanned the environment, looking for even the slightest unusual flicker of motion. Although she was too far away to hear anything more than the slightest ruffling sound, even with her enhanced senses, her attention immediately locked onto a rocky area surrounded by various trees. Her senses on alert, as none of the indigenous species were large enough to cause a sound as loud as that, she decided to wait from her own point, as it was a great deal safer than having to venture over there, and risk an immediate fight or blowing up the maggots. Flicking out her longer sword behind her, she mouthed the incantation for charging up her weapon to use Ka. Careful not to overcharge it, since it would drain her too much, as well as the fact it would produce a loud humming sound at any more than a certain extent, she only charged it to a mild enough level that it would be able to still do damage while not wasting herself away or revealing her position.



Robert Eschalotte

He was standing in a lone corner of the room, half-paying attention to all the crap that was droning on and on when a blue-haired lady barged over to where he was standing. Turning to look at her, he immediately recognized her as a Magi. Grinding his teeth in fury, he was about to issue his own challenge when she interrupted him. "My name is Robert Eschalotte, but I go by Lotte, jabroni. And of course I wouldn't be satisfied if either of us got eliminated from the start. But that's something you should worry about, because there's not a chance in hell I'm losing to anyone. You should know though, Guardians are far superior to magical bastards like you." Anger flashing between their two eyes to the point it wouldn't be too unlikely if lightning started sparking between their gazes, Lotte stormed off, unwilling to spend any more time with a girl like that.


Retreating to his room, he started to vent. "Who the hell does that jabroni think she is? I'm going to funking crush every piece of crap in my way, and she's not going to stop me either." Sighing, he flopped on his bed, trying to get some rest before his own tournament fight would come up.


Waking up in a cold sweat, Lotte shivered involuntarily. Something had frightened him while he was asleep, but he had no idea what it could've been, and the memory was already quickly fading away. Looking at the clock and seeing the time, he freaked out, realizing he was late. Doing a quick self-patdown to make sure he had everything, he grabbed the manila folder under his door before dashing out to the roof as fast as he could. Jumping onto the helicopter as it landed with a running tackle, he almost slammed against the other wall, before he braced himself. "Go up, go up, go up! Faster, faster!" Almost yelling at the pilot, who snapped into action, frightened, the helicopter sped off towards wherever the arena was.


Tearing off the top of the envelope and flicking through the papers, it contained information about the bracket, which he didn't care about, and more importantly, the arena itself. Scanning the information it contained quickly, Lotte raised an eyebrow. "Giant snakes, whirlpools, poison, cultists, and a big ass skull? The funk?" While Lotte was musing about how to go about winning, the pilot coughed, trying to get his attention. Looking up curiously, the pilot spoke up nervously. "U-Uh, if you could win for us, miss, that'd be great. Because ah... if you don't win, we'll be killed... So can you please win?" At that, Lotte broke out into laughter. "Ahahahaha! That's hilarious. You think I give a sheet whether you two live or die? That's funking gold!" Wiping tears of mirth from his eyes, he continued, his tone dropping to annoyance. "So, when are we arriving?" The pilot responded, his voice almost a cold monotone now. "We are here, miss. Have a nice day."


Stepping off the plane into the inside of the skull, Lotte shouted back. "Thanks, I will. And for your information, I'm a boy, dumb sheet." Giggling as the helicopter flew off, it quickly came to an abrupt end. It was time to be serious now, and drawing the attention of the cultists or his opponent wouldn't be a smart idea. Getting out of the skull would be practically impossible, given the eight hundred feet height above the ground, nor would fighting in the skull be safe, given the dozens of possible traps and dangers, ranging from poison to being slam dunked. Wrapping his cloak around him and throwing his hood up in order for some more protection just in case he accidentally did brush against a wall, Lotte began to carefully step through the maze-like interior of the giant's head. Just like his opponent though, he wouldn't be alone. Lotte could feel the eyes on him, but without any safe way to take care of them, he would just have to go along and hope he'd be unattacked for now.

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Mr. Bonejangles was not having a good time, though as he didn’t have a will of his own he didn’t particularly mind. It was just another day on the job, and at least this time there weren’t any of those scary holy magic using people. His power was diminished from distance to his master, but he should be able to stay standing for at least a couple more attacks.

Meanwhile Morgan was having, while not as bad as being shot at, a bad time as well. And she very much DID have a will of her own.
A group of mondo gross men, probably the cultists mentioned in the envelope, had the nerve to catch her in a net. And worse than that her beloved broom was knocked away and was currently making its way to the lower floor without her.
“You disgusting curs!” Morgan shouted. “Put me down this instant, you have no idea what you’re dealing with. My father is a lich you stupid bastards, you know what that means? I am a magical prodigy that’s what, you let me go now and I might let you live. And someone get my broom right this instant!”

After being told where exactly she could shove her broom, Morgan decided that it was high time to give these cultists a taste of just exactly what kind of magic she had.
She closed her eyes to better focus and channeled the magic through her body. Similar to her Skeleton Giant, she could create this particular spell out of nothing. But it was always easier and more potent when she had something to work with.
And lucky for her this place was overgrown with vegetation and large root systems were not wholly uncommon.

“If you wanted a taste of my magic that bad, you should have just asked, Frenzy Plant!” The shouting of her spells name was totally unnecessary but also, in Morgan’s opinion, totally cool.
She felt the roots stir, and wrap around themselves to form thicker and more powerful appendages. And then they burst through the lower floor, several large formations of roots and dirt that were completely under Morgan’s control.

Morgan began to hum a song, from an old classic tale “A Nightmare Before Christmas" as she worked. She directed them to wrap themselves around the cultists, her aim to crush them into a bloody pulp. “Let’s see them get out of that” she thought happily to herself.

Cam hadn’t expected this masked person to be the wizard. For some reason when Cam pictured a wizard all she thought of was a tall old man with a white beard and a pointy hat. Though, the man did have the impressive voice he had come to expect from watching the Lord of the Rings movies over and over.
He also has a certain...was aura the right word? Something impressive about him. They said he had lost his touch in the briefing? Camille couldn’t believe that. This was a man who lived in the middle of an ancient magical forest. He was nearly muted by the sudden and inexplicable respect he was feeling.

Nero, however, didn’t seem to be having a similar issue. While they sat, at a comfortable distance apart, drinking tea (which Cam was struggling hard not to serve to everyone himself) Nero was quite talkative.
He was right, this was very nice. Camille wished that this peaceful feeling could last. That they didn’t have to get right to fighting for their lives probably as soon as they got what they came for.

But Cam couldn’t afford to do such a thing. He was fighting, despite the reason he was sent to the tournament, for freedom. Freedom from the experiments, the constant digging through his body and mind. The “upgrades” and “fixes” his father forced upon him almost every day. Camille eyed the man who was his opponent sadly, perhaps he had a similar reason. Perhaps they all did, Camille couldn’t know, and yet only one of them could prevail...

Once the wizard answered Nero’s question Camille posed one of his own. It didn’t matter to the task at hand but Cam was curious. Perhaps he was just delaying the inevitable but so be it. “Why do you live here?”

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Saul: Cavern of Sirens

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKJJc2VFSic


Saul stopped dead in his tracks as he heard movement off to the side. In response to the noise and light of the flame pillar that seemed to act as a beacon for these creatures, six ghouls had launched themsleves at Saul; brandishing their axes. They fought without fear. While commendable, this would be their downfall. Jumping backwards as the Ghouls slashed at where Saul was, the giant Titan went on the counter-offensive an went for a sweeping horizontal slash at those immediately in front of him. The mass and weight of his blade combined with its heat should be enough to cut through these crude axes like butter and take care of a big number of the ghouls in one attack.
Yet this didn't solve the problem of Saul's opponent running. The boy did not look like he was panicking; he either had something up his sleeve or was too arrogant and head-strong to take his opponent seriously. As Saul fought the Ghouls, he racked his memory for anything in the cave that his opponent may be trying to use. The crystals themselves were worth leaving alone, and everything else was either docile, hostile, or completely neutral. Nothing that would directly assist him... except for that "Egg of Death". But even if he used that, there was too much of a chance that the egg would have negative repercussions (especially with a name like that).

Dirk Rider: Sahill Cathedral - B1

BGM: http://vhsglitch.bandcamp.com/track/church-arena


Dirk's bullets impacted with explosive force against the giant skeleton; forcing it to real back but not stopping it entirely like had hoped.


"Dang, she built that thing well," Dirk muttered to himself, but was immediately distracted by the pool of mud taking form in front him. "Okay, that's not possible," Dirk muttered to himself, but the skeleton was still there, and made another attempt to crush Dirk beneath the giant femur; dirk rolling off to the side once more. The floor began to crack and crumble underneath the force of the skeleton's attack. This wasn't terrible good. Popping off another two shots, Dirk holstered his gun and stared down the... thing in front of him. "Looks like it's time for slaying," Dirk muttered as he held out his hand. In his palm, the form of a sword began to take shape; glowing a bright blue and illuminating the hallway. Brandishing the light sword, Dirk made to stab the undead presence, but made sure to keep one eye on the giant skeleton.

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Elspire Ferdinand


With a glimmer of light behind him, Elspire smirked at Saul's attempt to try and catch the blindingly fast half-dragon.  That pillar of flames was quite the display of magical power.  It was too bad that Elspire was leaps and bounds ahead of the titan.  Eventually Elspire had lost sight and smell of his opponent, but as Saul's putrid stench faded, three more scents took it's place.  The smell was reminiscent of the tortoise he had met in the beginning.  His ears picked up the rattling and clanking of metal against hard cavern walls and ground.  


He looked behind him, where the smell and noise were the most prominent.  It was revealed that a ghastly creature brandishing a worn battleaxe had been on his tail the entire time.  Two more appeared on his left and right flanks.  "Surrounded huh?  What are you jokers supposed to be?"  The monsters did not respond.  They had only been making noisew with the weapons they had been holding, snarling at the handsome blonde.  "Jealous of my good looks i guess...you know my mom says i got that from her side of the family!"  The Ghoul that had appeared first did nothing but smack his weapon into the ground, roaring, creating a loud echo within the cavern.  Whatever it was trying to do was probably not good for Elspire.  


Too bad he wasn't able to get to that creature first, as the other two at his sides had charged him.  Elspire fueled his fists with electrical balls of lightning energy.  "This is gonna hurt you fellas a lot more than it's going to hurt me!"  With that, Elspire launched off the ground beneath him, moving to the left at an incredible speed.  The ghoul had no time to react as he was clobbered in what looked like to be the strange creature's face with Elspire's fist, while simultaneously  being electrocuted.  The second ghoul rushed from behind in a fit of rage, swinging his axe down.  Elspire turned his head to notice the sneak attack, and deflected the axe blade with the scaly segment of his upper arm.  The blade shattered and the ghoul was sent into a more hysterical rage.  Elspire's right leg was imbued with static as he shot it backwards into the ghoul's gut.  It was sent flying back against the cave wall, knocking the ghoul out cold.  


"Now, to stop the noisy one!"  Elspire looked back to the ghoul who had continued to make noises against the cavern ground.  "I can make noise like that too you know!  ROAR OF THE LIGHTNING DRAGON!"  Elspire had shot a large beam of electricity at this last creature, toasting it and stopping it mid axe clank.  Elspire wiped his mouth of any electrical residue.  "Hope nothing else in here gets disturbed by loud noises...but that last one seemed to be making as much as possible...whatever!  I can't dwell on that.  I have to follow my nose!"  And so Elspire did, turning one-hundred and eighty degrees in the direction he had been initially heading.  He was a dragon-man on a mission to find the source of this familiar scent!  

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Hobbes the Arch Herald, Decadence Forest, Center  [iGT:  6:40 P.M.]


His guests had proven to be prudent.  How carefully had they examined this place before entering it?  How gracefully they had accepted his invitation.  How quickly they trusted him.  It was pleasing, and reassuring.  Nero had posed a very wise question.  


"Will it be fine if us two here get some cures for Blood Moth bites?"


How curious.  They had studied well.  Hobbes smiled, as joy and curiosity filled him.  He had not felt this way in a long time.  "But of course, son.  I'd be happy to make you some of my cures," Hobbes said standing up.  He sat his tea cup and saucer aside, and strolled over to a medicine cabinet just behind a wall, nearest to Camille.  While he rummaged through his herbs and medicines, Nero posed a second question.  One that slightly concerned Hobbes.



"One more thing. May I ask you to tell us what you know regarding the Black Decadence?"


How curious.  They had found his home, and they knew of the Blood Moths, and the name bestowed upon this forest.  Still, Hobbes smiled.  "I'd be happy to answer that, lad," he said returning with two tiny glass jars.  One was filled with Black Decadence Honey Sap.  Surprisingly, the old man had managed to bottle some of it without being killed.  The glass had not been destroyed either.  The other jar had a plethora of green-red leaves, and almost appearing to be diseased to the touch.  Beside the vials, Hobbes placed a pestle and mortar, and two more empty jars.  He sat back down in his rocking chair, and rocked slowly back and forth, leaving the vials and jars alone.  "The Black Decadence is quite dangerous," he said as he tapped the jar of it on the table.  It bubbled once or twice before settling.  "Even now, I have trouble acquiring it.  Though, after many years I've learned to tame it, and used it in various little hobbies of mine.  Why, the tea you drank had just a pinch of Black Decadence in it." Hobbes said, still rocking in his chair.  "But, it was not toxic, so you needn't worry.  The Black Decadence, while acidic, is also explosive.  The sap is lined with a very strange chemical that, after being exposed to air, becomes highly unstable.  While it won't naturally ignite, a spark could ignite most of the forest in an instant," he said with a quick glance at Nero.  


"However, if you manage to bottle the Decadence, it will settle after several days.  It's chemicals will disperse, and it will no longer be flammable."  Hobbes picked up the jar of Black Decadence from the coffee table, and admired it for a moment.  "This particular jar is still active.  I can use it to make cures as long as the chemicals inside remain.  Perhaps, over the course of the next twenty minutes, the chemicals will begin to die, and I can no longer make cures for Blood Moth bites.  Because then, I would be missing three ingredients," he said now looking at the empty jars on the coffee table.  A more sly grin crossed Hobbes' face, as he looked to Nero and Camille.  Before Hobbes could say anything, Camille also posed a question, which, frankly, took him off guard.


“Why do you live here?”


Hobbes nodded.  "An excellent question," he said to Camille.  "One I'm not sure I can give an accurate answer to.  I would normally say, that I am the protector, guardian, and living virtue of this forest.  But that simply is not true," Hobbes said standing up.  "The protector, guardian, and living virtue, is this forest.  And I am simply here to serve it."  Hobbes handed a glass jar to Nero, and a glass jar to Camille as well.  "But, enough about me!" he said standing Nero and Camille to their feet.  "I'm missing two important ingredients for your cures.  And I'll need you to go and get them."  Hobbes began walking to his door, a sudden concern about him.  His chipper smile had turned blank, as he turned back to Camille and Nero.  "On the far West side of the forest is a herd of leopards.  Their mother bares enormous fangs, and her tail is braided.  She is overgrown, and much larger than any other leopard in the forest.  You can't miss her," Hobbes said looking to Camille.  "Bring me some of her milk.  About a quarter of that jar," he said  nodding.  "But do not kill her.  I will not make your cures if you kill the mother leopard.  She is old, and her milk is very rich.  It is important that she lives as long as possible, for her cubs, and for this forest."


Hobbes looked at Nero now, his expression unchanging.  "And lastly, I am missing something. . .more unreasonable, and I fear asking you for this."  Hobbes sighed, his head hanging for just a moment.  But he quickly looked back up, and looked to Nero.  "In the far East side of the forest, is the largest concentration of Firefly eggs.  I am missing one dozen Firefly eggs.   While I realize this may seem simple, I can assure you it is not.  You see, the Wood Nymphs protect the Fireflies, with defensive magic.  They surround the eggs with a reflective barrier, projecting images of the forest that are inaccurate.  Though the barrier can be passed through simply, you cannot predict where the eggs are, on the opposite side.  The barrier is like a mirror.  And the easiest way to break it, is to get a fairy to take it down."   Hobbes took a breath, and continued.  "If you can get a Nymph to trust you, you may acquire the eggs without issue.  Even I, in my time in this forest, have only earned a Wood Nymph's trust, twice.  If you cannot do this, you must find a hole in the barrier.  There will always be one.  To do so, you must find where your reflection is most unstable--perhaps it waves, or there are cracks in the reflection--but you must find the hole in the mirror.  Place only your hand through the barrier at this point.  The magic will break, and the eggs locations will be revealed.  And of course, you may not kill or threaten the Wood Nymphs."


Hobbes opened the door, ushering Nero and Camille out.  "And do be careful not to crush any of the eggs.  They are impossibly tiny, and very fragile.  If they break in your hand or under your foot, you could lose limbs."  Hobbes smiled again, looking to his guests.  "In my old age, I'm much too slow to maneuver the forest any more.  That is why I am sending you both," he said finally.  Hobbes inched back inside, slowly.  "And you'll have to be quick, gentlemen," he said with urgency in his voice.  "The clock is ticking on your active Black Decadence.  And that is something much harder to acquire."


Hobbes closed his door slowly, and began to say a chant for Nero and Camille.  A wave of magic sprouted from the root of the tree, into its trunk, and up through its tallest branches and brightest leaves.  The wave spread throughout the forest, as a powerful thunderstrike boomed above the canopy.







Kokoro, Lacusta Castle, East Wing, 1F [iGT:  5:40 P.M.]


She smelled it now.  There were. . .at least three others of them, maybe more.  Her senses weren't super strong, but Kokoro new a vampire when she smelled one.  But why was it so strong?  Her head was pounding, hard.  Kokoro slammed her fist on the ground.  She didn't care if she gave away her location.  She was too angry to give a sheet.  She was so angry, that she yelled out, taunting whoever she could feel stalking her.  There were two of them.  Both of them vampires.  She began sprinting towards the innards of the castle, drawing the vampires to her.  "Come on, you shits!" she taunted, dashing towards the West side of the castle, through a central staircase.  "Come and get me!" she raved.  She could feel her blood turn hot.  It was boiling, boiling with rage.  She went crashing through the elongated table, as she made for the stairs.  Then, she could hear a cackle, coming from below her.  A sick, twisted grin crossed her face.  Kokoro began hopping now, increasing the leaps of her jumps.  "You're gonna have to earn this meal!" she said landing at the foot of the central staircase now.  She leaped higher and higher, as each floor was about fifty feet high.  Kokoro felt a sudden burst of wind pass her, and she lost her grip slightly, falling back down to the first floor.  She snarled, as she landed with a thud, and looked up the staircase, and directly at the talons standing on the second floor's elaborate stone guard rail.


The jabroni was tall.  Taller than Kokoro at least.  Her skin was a maroon red, and she had a tail on her ass.  She had an okay rack, and from the looks of things her nails and talons were painted.  And she wasn't wearing any God damn clothes.  Kokoro scoffed, standing to her feet.  "So that's what I smelled," she said looking up at the female vampire.  The vampire spit down at Kokoro, with the loogey landing at the girl's feet.  "I wouldn't talk, half-breed.  Not when you smell like sheet," she taunted.  "And where do you think you're going?  You don't go running in the homes of your elders as you please."  Kokoro looked the vampire up and down, finally settling on a reply.


"Well, I was looking for something to kill.  I guess you and that stank pussy of yours will have to do.  jabroni."


Adrianna frowned.  She leaped down, landing just before Kokoro.  The stone cracked under Adrianna's landing, her talons clinking proudly against the floor, one claw at a time.  Adrianna threw her hands back, and began pacing before the half breed vampire.  "So you're a sheet stain, and you're a smart ass.  That doesn't make for a good combination," she said stopping with her back to Kokoro.  Then she turned to witness the red in Kokoro's face.  "And from what I can see, that curse is doing some nasty work on you."


"Not as nasty as your pus--"


Adrianna vanished.  And before Kokoro could register what was happening, the life was being choked out of her.  "You were saying?" Adrianna asked sarcastically.  


Choking, Kokoro finished her taunt.  "I--was saying--not as nasty--as your stank--pussy!" she said with a stifled laugh.  Adrianna dropped Kokoro, joining her in the laugh.  Kokoro fell to the ground, her palms against the stone, coughing and gasping for air. Adrianna got down to Kokoro's level, and carried on with her berating.  "Sweetie, my lady parts are the last thing that should be concerning you," she said raising Kokoro's head to look at her.  Whispering now, Adrianna stared into Kokoro's eyes.  "You should just let me bite you, and make you whole again," Adrianna said with a sadistic smile.  But Kokoro swatted the vampire's hand away.  "No thanks," she said standing up again.  "I'd rather drain you.  I'm gonna walk away with every drop of blood you've got in that husk you call a body."


Adrianna scoffed, throwing her hair back.  "You might be witty, but you lack battle sense," she said as she stood up straight.  "But that will become clear in time.  Your biggest weakness isn't deadman's blood, sweetie.  It's experience."  And like that, Adrianna blinked away again.  She reappeared, and slapped Kokoro with a backhand.  She blinked again, and slapped the half-vampire.  Again, she blinked and slapped Kokoro.  Again, again, and again, she blinked and slapped Kokoro, pissing the girl off while mocking her with a laugh.  "I haven't even hit you yet!"


Adrianna blinked again, but her hand was caught by Kokoro now.  Kokoro pulled Adrianna in, relishing in the look of surprise on her face.  "My turn."  She leaped from the ground and knee'd Adrianna in the stomach, with enough force to send her flying upwards and into the stone guardrail on the second floor.  Kokoro followed quickly, bouncing up the stairs.  With a yell, she leaped over the broken guard rail now, and jumped at Adrianna.





Lacusta Castle, 2F, West Wing


He had made his way to the second floor.  He could smell something, but he wasn't sure what the hell it was.  It wasn't as bad as everything else he was sensing, but it had a heavy feel about it.  The smell was thick, almost like inhaling smoke.  Snarling, Sabien peered around a corner, when he heard a whooshing sound rushing towards him.  His ears perked up, and Sabien turned around just in time to be nailed in the face with the broad side of a flaming chain.  His face was now badly bruised, and singed.  He toppled backwards, and landed on his ass, but quickly scrambled to his feet.  "Damn it, damn it, damn it!" he said angrily.  "What's the big idea!?" he said looking around for who or whatever threw a chain at him.  Finding his target, Sabien was slightly taken aback.  He wasn't the biggest looking human, but he wasn't scrawny either.  "Eh?" he questioned.  Sabien dashed over, standing point blank away from Tyson ever so suddenly.  He stuck his own face inches from Tyson's own, carefully examining the slayer.  He dashed back and forth around Tyson, sniffing the man's hair, examining his arm length, and observing his face.  That's when Sabien made a revelation.  Standing calmly in front of Tyson now, Sabien nodded, and took a few paced steps backwards.


"You ain't human, are ya?" Sabien asked flatly.  "I only ask 'cause you sure don't smell like one," he said with his hand on his chin, and a finger outstretched to scratch his cheek.  Sabien suddenly recalled what Brendan had requested of him.


". . . lure them down here . . . "


Sabien smiled, lowering his guard purposely.  "Well.  Guess that means I can take my time with ya," he said proudly.  "Brother would be very proud of me to capture you.  Especially alive.  Wouldn't hurt to tenderize ya tho!" he said with jump, now prancing about excitedly.  "Heheha!  I haven't gotten a fresh meal in a while!  Always the scraps for Sabien!  But not today!!"  Sabien screeched at Tyson, as he threw back a very obvious right fist.







Sahill Cathedral, B2 [iGT:  5:40 P.M.]


They had had the girl surrounded, but her mouth had become a pain right away.  She quickly went on about her father, how strong she was.  But in due time, they would be able to dissect the little witch.  Or, so they had hoped.  


" . . .Frenzy Plant!”


They turned to look at the witch, her hands sprawled out in a threatening manner.  Then the turned back to each other, waiting for something to happen.  "Is she mad?" one of the Cultists asked.  Turning to another, one replied, "I'm not suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure!" as he was tossed high into the air.  He was thrown back against a stone column, and knocked unconscious by the root of a magical plant.  "What the--!?"  Two others were thrown now, one of them tumbling down the staircase just behind Morgan.  "Burn the witch!" cried a third cultist.  Getting to his feet, the only now standing Cultist joined his brother, brandishing a bottle of what appeared to be wine and cloth.  Pulling a torch from the wall, one of the Cultists followed suit, brandishing a similar bottle, and lighting the cloth ablaze.  The cultists hurled their molotovs behind Morgan, blocking the staircase exit, and closed in with their rusty daggers.


One Cultist leaped ahead of his brother, attempting to end Morgan's life right away, as the other began casting an incantation of his own.  A swirl of dust had begun to shimmer at the Cultist's feet, as an eerie cry could be heard echoing throughout the Cathedral.  Two other cries pierced the air, as the swirl beneath the furthest away Cultist began to spin faster.  And now, with Morgan pinned, the Cultist finished his incantation.  "From death there is life.  And with new life, comes death.  Heed my cries, Warlock," he said patiently.  A red and purple aura formed inside of the dust, as bones began to take shape.


And what should have been a man, was now a skeleton with pointed horns spreading east and west on its head.  It had elongated arms, and it bore an odd black and gold cape with silver trim.  The skeleton raised its head, red eyes shimmering as it glared at Morgan.  But its head rotated, now staring at the Cultist that had summoned it.  The Cultist bowed, lowering his head far, and stretching out his neck.  "In exchange for your great work, I offer my life oh Warlock."  It took not a moment's notice, as the Warlock turned the rest of its body around, and rammed a bony hand through the back of the neck of the Cultist, and reached around to grab the man's chin.  The Warlock proceeded to pull the Cultist's head through the gaping hole in his neck, killing him instantly.  The Warlock crushed the Cultist's head in his hands, and the blood secreted began to run over the Warlock's bones.  He began to grow veins and flesh, but this was not enough.  It would take more than a pathetic Cultist's blood to fully strengthen a Warlock.  Turning about face, the Warlock returned its gaze to Morgan, pinned by a remaining Cultist.  The Cultist scattered as the Warlock glared in his direction, stumbling to his unconscious brother not far away.  And now, Morgan had her hands full with a magical entity.  For now, she was no longer trapped by a bunch of filthy curs.







Sahill Cathedral, B1


Dirk, who's showmanship could easily topple the greatest barrier of judges and fans, was not as impressive to the now forming hulking corpse.  Its stench was impeccable, and its strength was equally disgusting.  Though it had now been successfully injured with a gaping wound through its left leg, the Colossus began to thrash about, as it body completed.  BIG, MEATY, CLAWS were the most noteable thing about it, having two pincers on either hand.  It raised its claws from its side rapidly, flipping Dirk backwards and onto his back, with a minor sting.  The Colossus slammed the ground at its feet, enraged at this inconceivable notion that it had been "injured".  Impossible!  Such a glorious creature would never suffer a wound from another!  With a mass of heads of corpses--hundreds of heads of other corpses--making up just its torso, the Colossus was a quite eerie sight.  The heads writhed together in agony, softly moaning and crying out for no one.


Meanwhile, the Colossus began to rampage, kicking wildly and swinging its BIG, MEATY, CLAWS at Dirk.  It swung once, hard right, and missed Dirk completely.  Failing, the Colossus had struck Morgan's Skeleton Giant, and toppled it over.  Thinking it to be a competition, the Colossus motioned over to the Skeleton Giant.  How dare he be equivalent if size, if not marginally bigger!?  This was an outrage!  The Colossus threw both of its BIG, MEATY, CLAWS back, and drove them down at the Skeleton brute.







Cavern of Sirens, [iGT:  4:40 P.M.]


Saul had initially been outmanned.  Or out-monstered perhaps.  But he had disposed of his enemies post haste, and with extreme prejudice.  His chase for the elusive Elspire continued.  And meanwhile, the ever present sound of metal scraping against stone continued, this time in front of Elspire.  Reinforcements.  The Ghoul had been calling out to its brothers, and a pack of them seemed to come streaming out of nowhere, cutting off Elspire's path.  While he had initially been rid of his enemies, Elspire was surrounded again, this time by five times the number as before.  Strangely enough, the Ghouls were being very passive.  If Elspire were to approach, they would growl, slamming their axes at him, as if to tell him to keep out of the coming corridor.  If he were to try to turn around, the Ghouls would cut off his escape path as well, forcing him to patiently wait in the center of the circle of Ghouls.  And as they all surrounded Elspire, Saul could see from afar, the crafty ploy of the Ghouls.  They slammed their axes in synch, increasing the pace at which they did every second.  As the axes sounded like drums of war, a sudden rattle of the Caverns came, and rubble began to crack at the roof of the Cavern.  And from the large corridor behind the Ghouls, in the northern direction in which Elspire had been chasing, a much more brutish, taller Ghoul emerged, his enormous steps causing the Cavern to tremble.


Ducking its head to enter into the artificially made arena, he stepped past his smaller Ghouls, and tossed a corpse at Elspire.  The corpse landed at Elspire's feet, as the giant Ghoul drew back its similar, but more bloodied and fierce looking axe, and slammed it beside Elspire.  It bellowed, causing the smaller Ghouls to bow.  And in unison, the Ghouls began to chant.  "Ublik.  Ublik.  Ublik!  Ublik!  UBLIK!  UBLIK!!"  Their chants growing louder every second, the Ghouls roared, cheering their champion on.  At twenty feet tall, Ublik the Fierce had shown his face.  He was armored, unlike his smaller Ghoul counterparts.  His armor was magical, as it was made of Crystal Dragon hide, shimmering in a bright purple light.  His feet bore yellowing toenails sharpened into claws, and his head was covered in a dark blue blood.  And at Elspire's feet, lie a dying, skinned Crystal Dragon.  It moaned softly in pain, barely moving its head.  But Ublik would not allow a family reunion.  He had come for revenge.  Revenge for his brothers.

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