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Hero, Don't Kill The Demon King! Chapter 2: What Once Was is Once More

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"Miss White," Susan answered the tall red-haired human, who seemed to be inquiring her identity. The dragon didn't seem to pay her any attention, focused more on taking care of the dolls. Honestly, not a bad priority, however her musing aloud and her shouted instructions did warrant some comment.

"In all likelihood that was the aftermath of someone unsealing the ruler of Ishtaria. And the red devil doesn't seem to be in a pleasant mood. Better to wait it out, or find a different way out of this place if you ask me."

Edited by Balcerzak

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Good... That was dealt with, for now. "Hmph." Thankfully, Nosferatu was a terrifyingly efficient spell when it could strike true, and the energy she'd spent on casting was swiftly returned, turning to Seilan in his own bit of shock. "You're right, but where do you think out is? Up? We'll just have to look for where to go and quick. I think I saw the doors open on their own after the second explosion, so we could head that way..." Nashwa's eyes drifted to the heap of the construct she'd just finished off, and noticed that unlike the previous one, it wasn't saying anything or moving in the slightest. "Hey, Seilan. Is it just me or does that one feel empty now compared to the last one we trashed? Give it a kick, see if it just falls apart." The succubus was still frustrated, but taking another one of those things down had calmed her enough to think things through.

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No response... well, that wasn't so strange. Things had very clearly shifted suddenly for the newly awoken mage, in just about every way imaginable. It would be prudent to at least give her that moment.

________

With Susan and Ren charging off in opposite directions... what a mess. Well they certainly couldn't just stay here. Splitting up seemed like a poor play, and Susan's parting words... well, they didn't inspire confidence. If the danger was in the direction Ren had gone... and it certainly felt that way... 

"Damn it all. If it came from that way, we can't let Ren go in alone." Nisha concluded with a sigh. Every bone in her body hated this, but what other choice did they have? Trailing after the oni, Nisha came up next to him, trailing his shadow.

"Ren, slow down. I know you're worried, but... whatever that was, you won't accomplish anything charging in alone like a wild bull."

Nisha to 4,19

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"Oh, deciding to help me? I assure you, I'm not the one you need to assuage~"

Xetketh to 33,16.

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I did not realize you had changed your title... It is no matter. More. I demand more, Tundyssa. The mana here is strong...!

Dyssy moves in to strike the construct... And Requiem's magic tears right through its defenses!
Tundyssa gains +17 exp, +2 lance wexp
Requiem gains 3 kills

"Miss White... R-Red devil? Ruler of Ishtaria...? Erm... Wh-What's Ishtaria?" The magic had faded now, whatever it was... Tenna managed to pick herself up completely, heading onwards like Dyssa had told her to do. "D-Don't take too long to catch up, Dyssa... And Miss White, uhm... We should stick together, nnn, n-no matter what this... This red devil is."

Tenna heads off to 6,8


Thesephine was shaking, almost losing her grip on Stholia. The doll talking again brought her back to reality, but there were things at play here that she was never trained for, warned of, or remotely prepared to handle. She brought Stholia up a little, claw still shaking. She tensed her arm to get it to stop, taking a deep breath. "What... Wh-What, was that? Tell me... If, if that's coming to get you, we need to know what's going on."


"I don't know who exactly you think is still waiting for you, but that burst of magic is gone. I'd temper your expectations..."


"You do care...!" Mae was brimming ear to ear with Taiyou's inquisitive glance, grabbing her arm and snapping what she could back into place with a gross noise and a heavy shiver from the oni. "I fell onto one of the higher floors... Those security machines kept trying to grab me, so I... Had a little fun~ Hnhnhnhn... I'm sure they'll fix themselves soon enough, but I did leave them in a LOT of pieces."

She gave a nod to Fyl, glad that he had a modicum of responsibility in his tiny body.

Enemy Phase/Turn 5!

The only two functioning constructs approach the party!

#10 strikes at Jade!
Roll: 68,96
12 damage!
Jade fires back!
Roll: 5,43
14 damage!
Jade gains +10 exp, +1 gun wexp

Player Phase/Turn 6!

Constructs #6 and #13 revive!
+2 to str/mag/spd/def

The red girl had no idea what to do now. That tiny flame in her hands wasn't any weaker than a regular spell, but that was the problem... "A regular... A regular, s-spell... All my powers..." She was in a daze, struggling to pick herself up to standing. It wasn't because of how distraught she was, her body simply was straining to carry her own tiny weight without her magic to support her. "Hah... I... I need... This is H-Hecate's fault, I... She has to...!"

Miz stumbles to 16,31, using the wall to brace herself

yQksJY5.png

 

 

Edited by Mel the DM

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Bladen still couldn't find anyone from the fall. He picked up his pace, finally flinging himself into the air. I have to find them. Ayane. Xalrei. Asami. Asami!

25-43

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Marina hadn't really noticed the first blast. She had been too focused on the machine in front of her, but the second, area-rattling blast was impossible to miss. Fear and anxiety starting to well again; whatever that was shook the entire labyrinth. Were the others in danger? Something told her that they were working on a clock all of the sudden. Marina steeled herself. She was terrified about what that could have been, but the fear that the others could be in danger spurred her on ever so slightly more.

"L-Lavinia... I think we need to go. Now." Marina looked for anything resembling a way forward. She noticed that Lucille had her arms wrapped around herself. Marina opened her mouth but the words caught in her throat. Lucille had been anything but amiable, and the thought of being yelled at again was something she didn't need to add to the pile of fears.

The blast had been loudest directly in front of them, and it looked like that was their only avenue. With a shivering but firm grip on her sword, Marina surged forward. 

Marina moves from 42, 39 to 32, 39!


Lucille could tell that the magic had vanished, but the sheer magnitude, and just knowing what it was had just about set her off. There was another element to everything; how the labyrinth shuddered. They still had no idea where everyone else was, or where exactly they were. Lucille struggled to slow down her breathing, but Marina dashing off in the direction from which the blast had been the loudest gave her a reason to try a little harder.

Focus, Lucille... it's over. That magic, that fire magic is gone, and so is the signature. B-But the others could be in danger... Seilan and Nashwa could be...

Friendly Questioning

Spoiler

Lucille didn’t exactly know what she was doing outside, but being inside wasn’t exactly enjoyable either. It was hot no matter where she was, and she hated it. She had no idea how anyone was capable of managing well in this heat, add in this sapping effect, and that episode with the cat and Lucille was just annoyed. There wasn’t really anything she could do aside from check on Villkiss every now and again, sip mana potions, and try not to melt without using her wind magic. She was hardly paying attention to much going on around her, just trying to stay cool and not overheat.

“...Ugh, this is… even worse than I thought it would be…”

With the group having stopped in the middle of the wasteland to let their horses rest a bit, Nashwa figured getting some stretches in would be for the best, maybe some exercise too. Her body was nice and fit, it wouldn’t do to let it waste away for the weeks they’d spend on the road! That, and going outside would let her see the others in the group who weren’t in her wagon as well… Including the pegasus rider, who she’d gotten a bit curious about after having thought about their meeting in Border.

Sure enough, she’d find her out and about, seeming pretty annoyed. Not too surprising, considering what an ordeal just going through this huge swathe of nothing was. “Hey, Lucille. Or do you prefer Ange? What’s up with that, anyway?” She pulled the hood of her mantle back, just so she’d look a bit less menacing with her advantage in stature.

Lucille sort of jumped when she heard her name, spinning to face the– it was the succubus from earlier, the one that Seilan and her encountered in the wagon stop. She kind of wondered how she missed someone approaching, especially someone as impossible to miss as… Wait… what did she just call me? “...Did, did you call me Lucille? I… I could have sworn that… How did you…” A simple series of thoughts would have told Lucille that it was likely Seilan who said it at some point; dropping a new name on someone, and then immediately getting into a long conversation with someone new, mistakes were inevitable. But she was hot, she was tired, and all of those made for a difficult time. Lucille frowned at the development, “...I would prefer Lucille, but circumstances make it so that I’m using Ange for now.”

Okay, yeah, she definitely seemed out of it. At least, for the moment they’d met earlier, she’d seemed smart enough to figure out without this level of confusion what exactly had led her to know her name, not that Nashwa particularly minded. “You should talk to that friend of yours about that. I think he flubbed it every time,” she noted, a tiny bit amused about that. She must not have used the cover name for very long… which meant whatever’s causing her to use it, was going to be present in Hwein, but not in Vaia. Weren’t too many things like that at the moment for a human. “On the run from Coteon, or something? Or maybe you’ve got debts to pay in Hwein.”

Lucille sighed, starting to fan herself a little more. “I… should have figured as much. Did only tell him it before we walked into Border.” Lucille resolved herself to focus a little more; it was unusual for someone to come find her to talk. She at least owed them as much attention as she could manage. Plus, they were on the same side, telling someone on the same side was something she should do… even if her mind was still telling her to keep as many people unaware as necessary. “...Yes, and no. I’m not on the run, per se. The name isn’t to protect me, it’s to protect others. The group here, and…” She trailed off. That’s too much for now. “Really just better that I go by an assumed name than my actual name… lord knows if there actually is someone who’d recognize me in Hwein.” The Altair Family could be assisting in whatever was going on in Hwein… she couldn’t take too many chances. 

That’s… weird. What kind of situation makes it so you’re protecting others by hiding your own identity? …Hostages, maybe? One Hel of a long-range hostage situation if that’s what it is. Probably something more obvious than that. Regardless of Nashwa’s curiosity about the subject, Lucille didn’t seem like she was going to elaborate for now, and so the only real choice was to drop it for now. “So it’ll be Ange, then. I’m in much better condition now, so you can be sure I’ll remember it. Mercs have to be able to keep secrets in their job and all.” Not that she was all that talkative to begin with, but maybe that would begin to change now that she has some direction to her life.

It was only when Nashwa stopped talking that Lucille noticed that she’d also shortened her alias, just as the succubus did in their first meeting. Only a mild annoyance, but another one onto the pile for today. “That’s… good to hear at least. You didn’t look too well back there, and now, well, you seem perfectly fine.” She hadn’t noticed it due to mostly paying attention to that annoying foggy feeling from when they first met–it was once again present–and because Nashwa was sitting, but Nashwa was quite tall as well as very… developed. Almost the direct opposite of Nessraya, and even herself. “So, uh… was that all you want to talk about? It’s… odd having people come and talk to me. A rarity for this group, at least.” For fairly good reason at least.

“Y-yeah. Uh… I’ve had some, problems. They’re mostly taken care of now.” Mostly was maybe an overstatement, what with her still being completely inexperienced. At least that was going to change soon… she just hoped she wouldn’t be paralyzed by her nerves. “I guess that makes sense. Most of the other monsters probably aren’t used to having humans around, me, I don’t really care. I’ve lived with humans all my life.” Benefits of being Hweinese. “That was what I was curious about, anyway. …How about you, didn’t have anything you wanted to ask me?”

Lucille remembered that Nashwa did say that she was Hwein, and being sort of the buffer zone between Coteon and Vaia, it enjoyed the confluence of both monsters and humans. It would be so much easier for her to interact with her and the other humans. That was a comforting thought, both about the succubus and about Hwein as a whole, “W-well, it’s nice, actually. I’m used to being by myself, but I hate it all the same.” Lucille paused for a moment, surprised that she’d even managed that much. “S-sorry, thinking out loud, a habit of mine. Umm, Hwein… isn’t this hot all the time, is it? I’m really not good with it… just tires me out, makes it hard to think, use my magic… it’s the worst. I can manage it’s just… ugh.” 

“No, it’s not. I think it’s hotter than Vaia, though, but with the sea being close by almost everywhere, it doesn’t get too cold or too hot. I’m just used to heat since usually I’d be wearing half your weight in armor,” Nashwa answered, a bit perplexed by just how badly the heat seemed to be working against Lucille. People were different for their temperature tolerance, so maybe she was just really, really sensitive to heat. But as for the first thing… “Hmm. Guess that makes two of us… I don’t like attention, but you can bet I get too much of it with this stupid mana leak and how I look.” Even if the succubus had managed to unwind just a little, she was still in possession of something of a resting bitch face, and that was something she wasn’t consciously fighting against. It was just normal for it to come back any time she wasn’t being flustered.

"Thank goodness...” Lucille herself didn’t quite understand why the heat was so bad for her, only that it was. It just threw her everything off kilter.The best idea she had was that it was something to do with her magic; it was the only explanation that she had left. “I’d think I’d collapse if I started wearing armor… it’s heavy, it’s hard to move in, like you said it gets hot, kind of glad that the way I fight means I don’t really need it.” Lucille tilted her head a little as Nashwa relayed her disdain of attention, “Um… isn’t that typically the opposite of what a succubus would want? I, uh, I’m learning that it’s really dumb to typecast and all, but don’t succubi sort of rely on that? And well… you’re saying one thing, but uh, your outfit is saying another.” Perhaps this was a sentence best left to Lucille’s thoughts, but the outfit was very… loud compared to Nashwa's reserved words. It reminded her of something that Serena had fallen asleep in once, and that woman was anything but reserved. Wait… isn't she in Hwein? 

“Hmph. Believe me, I’m not wearing this because I chose to,” the succubus shot back with a grumble, knowing that her choices were either this, something that didn’t fit her, or her almost sheer nightgown. But the part before that was the crux of the issue, wasn’t it? “I, I mean… that’s what I’ve been learning over the past few days. But, well, as far as I know, anyway… I-I’m, a virgin… and if I didn’t talk with Nessraya, I’d want to keep it that way.” Her arms grasped at each other across her body again, shrinking a little, as she tended to do when she was feeling insecure. This time, she shook herself out of it fast enough. “A-anyway. It’s something I have to handle myself eventually…”

Lucille knew that look, and reaction, and she suddenly felt a bit bad for bringing that all up. Especially when she had just said that she knew it was really dumb to typecast. “I, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything about that. I didn’t mean to prod at something sensitive.” Of course that’s something sensitive, you idiot! It’s just rude to talk about that without prompting! Walking past the internal screaming in her head, “Well, I guess that makes two of us then, again. On the, uh, virgin part, mostly.” Piece said there, Lucille tried to speed them past this topic, not really willing to get into it, especially not with the burgeoning feelings for Seilan still very present in her mind. She wasn't entirely unversed, just almost entirely without physical interaction from anyone else. She was going to need a little… a lot, a lot of time to figure that out before she'd dare entertain that thought. Feeling herself starting to fluster, she went back to the first thing that didn't involve herself, “Uhh, what did you mean about not wearing…” Lucille gestured to her outfit, “That, by choice?” Her other question would have to wait.

“Almost all of my gear was stolen, including my clothes, so the first thing I did when I got back to Border was work in my damn nightgown for a while so I could get something to wear outside. This was all they had in my size that could accommodate my features.” Nashwa answered very matter-of-factly, trying not to get too annoyed by recalling all that. Ignoring Lucille’s previous topic was better for keeping her wits about her, anyway, and at least annoyance was a feeling she was used to dealing with. “Guess that’s what you get for being a succubus… They don’t think one might want to dress modest. And I’d rather have clothing that fits all nice and comfortable than something that’s a pain to move around in, even if it’d keep me covered.” She scratched at the base of one of her horns a bit, the temptation to play with a strand of hair stopped short by not wanting to mess up her ponytail.

"I, get it, really I do. I really should know better than to make assumptions. Sorry, again." This at least was better than the alternative direction, but still, it stung a little to be the cause of someone else's annoyance or discomfort. "Clothing's never really been simple for me, and well, I don't particularly compare to your figure. So I imagine whatever difficulty I have sometimes is amplified quite a bit. Still…" Lucille frowned as the real crux of the matter came to the forefront. On a list of things Lucille disliked, thieves weren't too high above things like the church in her eyes. Exceptions existed but these didn't seem like the type. Lucille crossed her arms, "Hmph… So I'm guessing that you're going back to Hwein to find your things, and the idiots that took it?" Her own annoyance at the situation she found herself in came back in force. "What exactly did they take? Might be better to have multiple eyes on the lookout."

Once more ignoring Lucille’s comments about her figure, the succubus simply focused on the actual questions. “You’re right about that. I want my shit back, because none of that was cheap to get. Well… The set of armor I could get remade, and the gold and supplies I can just earn again, but the shield they nicked was one-of-a-kind, specially made to support my fighting style. I can forget about keeping my defense up while handling my shotgun if I don’t get that back.” It then struck her that she hadn’t actually described the equipment, other than by their very basics. “A full armor set, like heavy armored knights. And a tower shield big enough to cover my whole body crouching. Both jet black and silver trim. The shield has a brace welded to it that lets me handle and reload my gun one-handed, while letting me stay protected behind the shield. Had to figure out something like that to use a long gun.”

Lucille quickly committed the details to memory; she was quite good at remembering small details, as it was a skill that she had to hone while with Coteon. The shield was particularly interesting to her; even if she didn’t really have a tight grasp on firearms since she hadn’t been able to use them until recently–maybe something she could look at in the future–she understood enough to know that the shield was very clever. Judging by Nashwa’s size, it sounded like it functioned like portable cover. “Jet black and silver trim… Got it. Yeah, no wonder the grubby little thieves stole them, the armor alone already sounded pretty costly, but that shield… it’s one-of-a-kind. …Doesn’t really explain the clothes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a panic grab.” Lucille huffed, and switched over to using both hands to fan herself, “So… it sounds like that you’re a more up close and personal style of gunslinger. I’ve not really met, or dealt with too many, ugh, but I don’t think a single one of them wore armor. It’s actually really smart.” 

“I was asleep at the time, but I didn’t really have… Casual clothes, I guess. I usually just wore what was under the armor when I wasn’t just wearing it, and you do need that to match with the plates if you want to have a good fit, so they’d obviously take that too if they wanted to have a chance at selling the set for someone to use. But, uh… The armor thing was less me being smart, and more just me not wanting to attract as much attention with my body. Because, well. All this.” She let her hands quickly sweep down her body without touching, certainly illustrating all that needed to be said there.

“So, now I’m on the trip back almost as soon as I first made it in the other direction… and to top it off, we’re probably back near my home around my birthday. Congra-fucking-tulations to me.” A huff and a hard shrug came from Nashwa to that. Her birthday hadn’t been a pleasant date for the past thirty years, always only serving to remind her that she still hadn’t found a way to get out of her metal shell without getting a swarm of horny humans after her. This time, that might finally be different… but instead, she’d have a welcoming party straight from Coteon, and that was probably worse.

Admittedly, Lucille had no clue how armor properly worked. All she knew is that it would be a problem for her to wear. It would probably have toughened her up, but combat was already exhausting, she didn’t need anything else to compound. So she simply nodded at Nashwa’s explanation. “Well… whatever your reason, the unintended effect is one that’s quite strong. Guns are pretty strong, and not really having to worry about finding cover, or being protected up close is a nice combination.” She was starting to catch on that the less she talked about Nashwa’s impressive features, the better. 

Lucille straightened a little when Nashwa’s annoyance returned, and she explained that they’d be returning around her birthday. “...Birthday? W-when’s is that?” Lucille had stopped fanning herself, paying close attention to the succubus now. She watched Nashwa’s complete nonchalance at the mention of it, and it was something that Lucille both wished she had too, and hated with every fiber of her being. Her enjoyment of her birthday was ripped from her, and nearly incinerated, so she wasn’t about to just sit idly by and let someone else have to deal with that too. 

"I asked what the date was before we left, so… I think today's May 19th? That means it's exactly a month from now. Add up a bit over a week of travel in Hwein, and you've got the day," Nashwa answered, choosing to ignore much of the previous part of what Lucille had talked about. She knew all of those things already, it's almost like she'd been a mercenary for several decades, or something like that. "It's not that big of a deal, really. All it does is remind me of the years that've passed by without me being able to do much about my situation." Of course, she was expecting nothing from this birthday, just like all of the ones before it. The big lug might have gotten her a late gift sometimes when they'd met close to the date, but it always felt like a teacher congratulating her student for not dying.

Lucille listened intently, but she really didn’t have to. She’d heard it all before, and it was always from her own mouth. “A month from now…” She let her head bob, the rest of the travel into Hwein would take a week, as was mentioned, that would have left her with three weeks and a couple days. Normally, that would have been far too much time to figure something out, but this was remarkably different. “Haha… you sound like someone I know well with their birthday. She’d rather forget the date; a lot happened on it, and it hasn’t been good to her ever since.” Lucille pulled her arm behind her, “But hey, things can change, can’t they? Maybe this one will be different.” Lucille’s other hand had started playing with her red-turned-lavender hair. She’d spoken with the succubus for barely an entire conversation, and suddenly now, she was already thinking of what to do. She pulled her arm further behind her as she continued to think, and bury the thought that was now emerging. 

Nashwa didn't miss the girl being a bit hesitant with her arm for some reason. That, combined with the speaking about 'someone she knew well' made things seem a bit more familiar than they sounded, but it wasn't the succubus's place to pry about that. "Yeah, things can change, and that's why this one will probably be worse. Can't imagine I'll have a fun time going back home with Coteon occupying it, even when I'm finally getting better myself." She scratched the base of her horn a bit again… If it came to that, she'd just have to punt them out herself. Her, and the army she's riding in with. …Army might be an overstatement, though.

Lucille bristled a little at Nashwa’s resolved dismissal. The mention of home and Coteon didn’t help much, either. It was starting to become increasingly apparent that there was very little someone like her could say here, even if she wanted to. She remembered what Seilan had said about not blaming herself for the actions of Coteon, but it remained difficult. “W-well, I, I guess we’ll just have to kick Coteon out. They deserve it and worse.” Fortunately for her, no flicker; Lucille thought it a little odd, but the current location was affecting her a lot. That reminded her that speaking with Nessraya would probably be a good idea, especially now that the wastes were a concern. Perhaps she would know why her magic acted the way it did when Lucille felt strong emotions, and maybe some help dealing with one of the causes of these emotions. Nashwa scratching at her horns drew Lucille’s attention to them. Lucille tilted her head a little. Maybe… that would work? It doesn’t need to be something large, but maybe a decoration for her horns? 

A small tilt of her own head came in response to Lucille’s from Nashwa, not sure what she was looking so intently at. “...Is there something funny on me, or are you just not used to succubi?” She didn’t bother questioning the girl about her hesitation when it came to Coteon; if she was willingly with a group like this and wanted to fight with them, that was good enough for the succubus. No need to pry further than that into pasts or origins, unless she wanted to share further herself, which would surely be better done more privately than out in the open of the wasteland.

“Oh, uh.” Lucille shook her head. “Y-you’re right that I’m not, exactly, used to succubi. Or monsters at all, really. But, uh, sorry. I tend to space a bit… a lot, when I’m thinking about something. This heat isn’t helping… It’s, uh, not important, really.” She internally sighed, hoping that was enough of a save. She told the truth for the most part, all except the last part. It was important. She felt for her flower pin. At least from conversation, Nashwa didn’t seem like the type who’d like something floral. Something personal would work, but Luci didn’t have much to go on, and Nashwa didn’t seem too open. Lucille would have to be the one to take the lead there, and she was awful at that. 

This is so silly, Lucille. Why are you thinking about doing this? You’re not even friends at this point. You’re just… you, and Nashwa has her own things to deal with. This doesn’t even matter, what would this even change? Just let it be. 

Well, whatever Lucille’s rub was, she wasn’t going to say it, and it obviously wasn’t nothing either. But what did it matter to the succubus? As long as she was fine with monsters, it wouldn’t be a big deal for Nashwa. Humans weren’t bad by themselves, it was just her own exceptional condition making things difficult for her with them, and with those like the redhead and her mercenary friend who could do magic, it wasn’t really a problem at all.

“Better watch out for thinking too much in a fight then. Don’t want to get blindsided while you’re busy figuring things out, but that’s what you’ve got a horse for,” she advised with a shrug, not knowing what else to say about that. “I guess if you wanted someone to be around to get used to monsters, I wouldn’t mind. I know you’re not affected too badly by my problem, and unlike how I imagine it’s with much of the Vaian folk, I’ve got nothing against humans.”

“Mmm… I’m usually fine in a fight. Because I don’t like fighting, so I do my best to finish it as quickly as I possibly can. So I tend to focus a lot harder. Tires me out, but I’d rather be exhausted than dead, or have someone get hurt because I was spacing.” Nashwa didn’t seem like the type to push for anything. So as long as she didn’t say or do too much to pique the woman’s interest things would be fine. Which brought a point forward, one that Nashwa seemed fine with as well. Lucille didn’t like the aura emanating from Nashwa, it felt odd, was a constant annoyance, and made her worry about what would happen to her if her magic was blocked or if she was too exhausted. Despite that misgiving, she was unlike the other monsters. Well, mostly, she was still rather distant, but she wasn’t directly holding specifically her at arms length for her being human. Lucille also appreciated that it didn't feel like Nashwa was watching her every move just waiting for Lucille to do something just suspicious enough to be antagonistic. 

In many respects, Nashwa was just comfortable to be around. Despite her seeming fluster, she was perfectly fine around the succubus’s appeal. Nashwa reminded Lucille of Serena, the woman who had assisted her parents in raising her, effectively becoming a second mother to her. Both were… very well endowed, but almost direct opposites in personality. “Mmm… if you’re okay with that, then I’d, I’d like to take you up on that. I, I, I’m going to have to get used to monsters somehow, and it’s a little easier with someone who, you know, doesn’t despise my very existence.” 

The way Lucille put that made it seem like she got tired just from keeping focus, given she was a mounted combatant, but that felt silly. Clearly there was something else to that, she wouldn’t be in a fighting force if she was of such a weak constitution. “It’s not like I’m suggesting to make it a kind of training… Unless you like that kinda thing. I know one girl who really likes measuring things in ‘workouts’, even if the thing has nothing to do with exercise. Eh, well. We’ll just hang out or something when we both have the time.” Nashwa stretched her arms a bit and looked around, recalling the initial thought she’d had. “Think I’ll do some light exercise until we start moving again. Body’s not gonna maintain itself when I don’t have armor to carry all the time. So, uh, until next talk, Ange.” She might as well show commitment to Lucille’s bit, when slipping from that would soon carry potential consequences, turning back toward her wagon with a sway of her hips and tail.

"I, well, no that's…" Lucille just let herself fall into silence. Nashwa had agreed to hang out when the two could, and that was enough. Nashwa said something about working out, and started walking away with a shortening of her alias. Lucille pouted before calling after the striding succubus, "It's Angelise!" Lucille huffed, and then relaxed slightly. She hadn't felt comfortable with correcting Nashwa the first time, but now she felt just comfortable enough to mention it. 

Lucille blinked, surprised that her thoughts had drifted to Nashwa so easily. Seilan was easy enough to understand, but she'd hardly spoken with the succubus. She internally chuckled at the thought. She really was that desperate for friendship, and people she could trust that she was already worried about Nashwa's wellbeing after one interaction. Maybe not desperate, but definitely terrified at the prospect of losing a potential friend.

Marina was that as well, and she was pushing on ahead. Lucille couldn't let her do that on her own. With her hands still shivering, Lucille grabbed Villkiss's reins only then noticing her friend looking back at her.

"I'm, I'm okay Villkiss. I'm okay, but we're following Marina, and w-we're going to find the others. We... may not have a lot of time."

What a terrible day, but they were going to have to make the best of it.

Lucille moves from 43, 38 to 30, 39!

Edited by Mercenary on the Winds

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Seilan kicked the construct, currently in a heap on the floor. It was remarkably unresisting, considering its rather murderous intent not moments ago. "Looks like whatever magic was animating it is gone, now. You said you saw doors open? That's as good a guess as we've got right now; let's take a look."

He relaxed a little; there didn't seem to be any more constructs nearby, but the tension didn't leave him entirely. This labyrinth was unsettling, to say the least...

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"...but whatever that blast was Ayane could be fighting it, what if she needs me?" He turned back as he continued to run. "What can I do?"

Ren runs toward 6, 26

---------------

Speaking of Ayane, she tried to compose herself after that blast. "Mm..." She shook her head a little and took a look at the aftermath. 'Whatever caused this...is it something we can even handle if it's a threat?' Ouka was a powerful spellcaster, but this was a little past what Ayane expected. "Tch, dammit..." She got up and started to bolt off in a direction.

Ayane moves toward 17, 19

Edited by TheRoon

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"There's absolutely massive devastation here," Jade called back behind her. "Forget messing with the runes on the ground and come back, there's much more important matters afoot now." She stared at the unfamiliar individual slumped against a wall, then turned an inquisitive look to Nessraya. The merchant's concentration was only brought back to her immediate vicinity by the unpleasant tugging sensation of the enemy's sword cutting across her flesh. Still, better she suffer the wounds than her companions. Clucking her tongue, she reloaded her gun, pointed the barrel, and discharged another shot.

Jade to 6,35 fires Glacial Gun at Construct 10, keeping her body between it and the living members of the group.

 


 

Was everyone here stupid, or just stubborn? As the redheaded girl made her way past Susan, in spite of her warning, she turned to see that none of the previous ones she'd been introduced too had taken her advice either. If either of the staircases here had been ascending ones she absolutely would have ditched these fools to make her escape, but she had no interest in climbing deeper into the bowels of this labyrinth on the off chance of finding a roundabout way back to an upward path.

"Fuck." With the devil still at full power, her magic would just roll off of her like water off a duck's ass. Instinctively her right hand moved to draw her knife, and Susan had to stop and correct the motion. She was left-handed now, and her right wouldn't find a sheath on the side it was reaching for. But then oddly neither did her other. Frowning, she looked down. No knife in sight. "Merciful Myrreenthia what have I done to the deserve this," she cursed softly. In that case there literally wasn't any choice, she had to stay with these other people. Had to use them. Reversing course she moved back to her previous position, peering around the corner. Nisha and the others were clustered, no enemy in sight. The worst still ahead, if encountered at all. Small blessings here.

Susan to 4,9

Edited by Balcerzak

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"Coming - be right there." Seilan hurried back towards Jade, taking note of the wound she'd just sustained.

"Ah, just a moment there..." Certainly can't let the estimation of "capable healer" be an overestimation...

Seilan to (6, 36), Heal Jade.

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Just what was the deal with this girl? Trailing a little bit behind her, Nessraya gave a glance towards her companions... they seemed to be not much worse for wear, with Seilan already tending to the wound Jade appeared to have taken. With that established... it would be best not to lose track of their shrunken ancient weapon... she didn't seem to be much threat anymore, and was struggling to walk, but best not take chances. Giving Jade an affirmative nod, she approached the red devil once again.

"You know, ignoring me and trying to carry on alone isn't a very prudent decision in your condition. You can barely even stumble along."

Nessraya to 14,31

_________

Nisha didn't want to say that, if Ayane had been fighting THAT, she was certainly already dead, but she certainly thought it. Still, voicing it wouldn't help calm Ren down.

"Just... try not to break ahead. Whatever that was, you won't do any good charging it alone, if you have to fight it. Ideally we... don't do that, but all you'll do is turn yourself into a minor inconvenience, if you rush alone without a plan-" Nisha reasoned, but Ren was already on the move again. As this was all happening, Nisha felt a tug on the bow she had borrowed from Sollowy, allowing the exchange to happen before she continued tailing the oni. 

Luckily, or perhaps not, things were taking... a turn. As they cleared the open doorway, they were greeted by familiar faces, but also a swath of destruction. Well, given that the ones in front of them weren't atomized, perhaps whatever had done this wasn't imminently hostile.

"Finally, more people. What happened over here?" Nisha asked, popping out of Ren's shadow at the sight of allies.

Nisha to 6,27

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"Strong mage, bad temper, was supposed to be locked." The doll turned whence the explosion originated, spotting that red devil, and crossed its arms. "Unreasonable, Annoying." Emotions were easy to pinpoint thanks to this person... at least negative ones. "...It is a tall task. I will suppress them. Stay in cover." Those golden eyes were locked on target from this distance, watching every movement.


"There are higher floors?!" Taiyou was almost discouraged at the news, having to take a moment to grip her lance in renewed vigor. "Well, more of them to slog through, we better join with the others, then." Thankfully, now they had plenty of allies in their sights... and, some weirdo that basically ignored them and dashed ahead.

"Who in Hess' name is that?" Fyl chimed in, quite guarded.

"...Somebody that was stuck here for a long time." A voice spoke from behind them. Agni had been keeping a trail behind Xety to ensure she wouldn't be a problem. "Hasn't attacked us so far, but seems like a bit of a loose cannon. I'll keep an eye on her."

"W-well, if you say so..." Fyl was a bit apprehensive, but conceded, readying a spell. 'Let's go ahead, Taiyou, Mae."

"Hmm... watch our backs, Fyl." Nodding only once, and then repeating the behavior towards Mae, Tayou led herself further in, where the demon king and Ayane were. "What caused this explosion...?"

Agni to (35, 13)

Taiyou to (28,19).

Fyl awaits for Mae to move first.

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Xetketh held back a growl, eyestalks glaring back at Asami as she moved into the throne room proper. What the fox had said was true, but she refused to believe anything until she was able actually see and talk with Miz. Though, moving into the throne room presented it's own problem as her many eyes saw past the medusa and the beastman to see a familiar someone on the throne. Her fists clenched, glaring death at the different yet unmistakably same woman. "You have quite some nerve to still be alive, Hecate! It wasn't enough to seal us, but you had to follow us into the future as well!?" The only thing stopping the beholder from throwing herself at the woman was her complete lack of spellcasting ability. All she could do was glower at the woman in her helplessness.

Xetketh to 24,17, mald.


Sollowy continued to follow after Nisha and Ren, letting out a small gasp at the sight of the destruction that had been wrought against the prison. Others were around, but no sigh of Thesephine anywhere. All she could do was hope that she hadn't been anywhere near where the blasts had hit.

Sollowy to 6,28.


Tundyssa had, to be entirely honest, been ignoring the unknown human that had come down the hall; however, with both the beings now dead and Tenna on her way to the north, she couldn't completely ignore what was said. "The ruler of Ishtaria?" She asked as she caught up with the woman and Tenna. "Is that where we are? Ishtaria?" Had the dragon not still had Requiem in her hand, and the situation more relaxed, she would've scratched her chin in thought. "Anyway, even if the ruler's about, my sister's still here somewhere and I'm not leaving until I find her. Even if I have to cross the ruler to do so."

Tundyssa to 5,7.


Still shaken by her experience with the red terror, Ember holds.

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Jade gives the construct a BANG
Critical!
42 damage
Jade gains +24 exp, +2 gun wexp

"Kkghhh... I refuse... To rely on the h-help, from some inferior, being... I'm... I can..." The red girl tried her best to keep going, but her legs buckled under her own weight, her body collapsing against the tiled wall and slumping the rest of the way down. "Fuck... Why won't... Why won't my body move, I...!" She'd been keeping herself going with just magic for so long that her muscles were revolting at the sudden need to walk unaided. "Get... Get, up! Get up!" With several deep breaths and a long moment of strain, she'd managed to get back onto her feet, though it was clear that it wouldn't be that way for long. She glanced back, flinching slightly that Nessraya had gotten so close all of a sudden, her golden eyes mixed with a look of disgust and for the second time in her life, fear.

"S... Stay away from me. You're ridiculously lucky that something had happened to my magic. I could vaporize you with a thought..."


Asami heads to 34,13, dance Agni
+15 exp
Level up!
Level 13

95	63	5	21	76	62	5	33

+Mag/Def

"She hasn't attacked us because she hasn't had the chance, Agni. Keep your guard up. The same goes for all of you."

"There are upper floors, Taiyou. Don't worry though, I left everything in so many pieces~ They were trying to crawl towards each other as I was leaving, so maybe we'll be seeing reinforcements... Ah, the fox." Mae gave her a less than friendly smile. "Don't worry about Taiyou. She has her ever faithful guard dog~ I'll die before I let something happen to her."

Mae moves to 30,19, following after her priestess


Lavinia moves to 33,39
"Hopefully we see some familiar faces soon. I'm tired of these... Dolls."


"Take care of-- What's--" Another monster had entered the scene, one that Thesephine didn't recognize in the slightest. "What is going on!? Wait, Ayane! Where are you going now!?" It was chaos! "Look! You! Whoever you, did you call her Hecate? Hecate! Whoever you are! No one is finishing off anyone, I don't even know what's going on! None of us do! Stop and explain this..." She had to know what this new monster meant by getting sealed as well. Had she been conversing with the villain of this operation all along?

Thessy Holds.


Tenna moves to 3,9 to give Dyssa time to catch up

"So, uh, miss, White? Was it? How did you... Come to be, here?'' Tundyssa's questions about Ishtaria were definitely important, but she wanted to know how a seemingly average human got stuck in a place like this.

 

Edited by Mel the DM

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The siren was very much through with these monsters, and Gabriela could tell the others felt the same. Lucille specifically seemed like she wasn't doing very well... but she appeared to go on and follow Marina anyway.. maybe they would finally be able to find Bladen? He shouldn't have fallen far.. but with these dolls around and about.. who knows what could have happened to him...

Gabriela moves to 33, 40, but only by walking. Her wings were still pretty sore, and she would prefer not to overtax them.

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On Jade's situational report, Nashwa checked her shotgun was full and sprang to assist, but it looked like the zombie had managed to deal with the construct she was fighting by herself. "Good shot," she quipped while passing by, not minding that she hadn't gotten the chance to strip it of its magic with a Nosferatu.

In the doorway, she could see other people from the group filtering in, recalling having seen at least some of them in the convoy, and in the path devastated by those earlier explosions were Nessraya and an unfamiliar red monster. "We were fighting those construct things and two magical explosions just rocked the whole place! Not sure, but I think we have who's responsible for those here, doesn't look or feel threatening right now though," Nashwa answered Nisha's query, looking back to the older succubus. As limited as her ability to sense magic was, there was no doubt that as things stood Nessraya was the stronger of the two, disregarding however the small red girl had managed to cause that swell of magic and all of that damage with it, if she really was the cause.

Magic... How she wished she had Nessraya's level of control over her own, taking her ponytail in hand and scoffing at its mostly-black color. Even if it's embarrassing... One day, I'll have red return to these locks for good. Just like before.

You Remember Your First

Spoiler

One week of the trip had passed, and Nashwa was thankfully getting a bit more used to being with the group, as awkward as the atmosphere between her and the others still was for the most part. It was easy to gravitate toward Nessraya, especially after how she’d been ‘helped’, but there were others who she was curious about too, and one in particular. With them having set up camp for the one time they would in the wastes, there wasn’t going to be a better time to talk with her before they’d get all the way to Hwein.

If nothing else, the succubus was curious as to how Amera had met Nessraya, seeming to recall that she was called rather used to dealing with succubi. And if she seemed receptive… well, maybe she could get a bit more than blood this time. Nashwa had to get used to it eventually. The problem was, she didn’t know where exactly the cat had set her tent up, trying to look for her around the camp.

Amera yawned as she wandered around the camp, spotting a certain other succubi who seemed to be looking for someone… Wonder who you’re trying to cozy up to now, Nashwa~? The cat giggled a little, sneaking up behind her… Before throwing her arms around her in a hug! “Nyahaha! Caught ya!” It wasn’t that hard to hold on despite the woman’s sudden surprised squirming, rather strong despite her lithe figure. “Huhuhu… Sorry. Really boring around here… What’s going on, Nashwa? You looking for someone?”

“Hyah?! Hey, what are you--” Nashwa had a rapid blush rise to her cheeks from the sudden close contact, tail flailing a little along with her squirming, until she realized who it was who had clung onto her. “A-ah, well… You, actually.” She sighed, trying to calm and steady herself. “It is really boring around here, and I didn’t think I’d be coming through here again so quickly. That’s why I’m, uh, looking for company, now that we’re not stuffed in wagons for a day.”

“Oh… Looking for me. And company. Mmmm… Company… Orrrrr… Company~?” Amera gave the succubus a little squeeze, whispering into her ear, “I know you’ve been cozying up to Nessraya, but you two feeding on each other is just recycling, you know? And, if we’re being honest… I’ve been pretty starved of fun. Lucille is nice and clung to Seilan, Nessraya and I are… awkward, right now, and no one else really turns my fancy– not anyone that doesn’t want to plow me into the dirt, anyway.” Amera paused to think about the Helhound they’d picked up recently, shaking her head somewhat.

Finally, she released poor Nashwa, folding her arms, tail wagging gently. “Unless you just wanted to talk~ That’s fine too. Unlike you, I… Don’t need any of this to keep on ticking.”

Amera getting even closer like that made Nashwa feel… almost threatened, really, especially with the suggestive whispers she was given. “I-I, ah, umm… nhhhh…” She clammed up nice and tight for a brief moment, not really capable of more than a nervous whine at being prodded so forthrightly. At least the cat had the decency to let her go soon after, letting her deflate from the sudden anxiety. “...W-well, yeah, I thought a talk would be nice. We didn’t really get a chance to do anything besides getting my condition checked back at Border and all.” The succubus took one more deep breath before she’d turn to face Amera, and she did have to admit, the cat was good on the eyes… Not exactly her type, much like Nessraya, but if she was to go into some kind of analysis, they did fit some, different, parts of her fancy-- No, no, you’re supposed to talk first! Geez, she really had to put all of that in my head…

“Okay!” Amera’s gaze changed from sultry to friendly in a matter of seconds, though her eyes had managed to hold their gaze on Nashwa’s chest for juuuuust a bit too long. “Where you wanna talk then? Your tent or mine? Not gonna be chatting you up out here under the sun, this place is already hot enough. Need some serious cover, and some water… Shall we?”

Thankfully, the cat didn’t push at all when effectively asked not to, letting Nashwa think about the actual circumstance more. “The tents you’ve all got seem bigger than my own, since it’s just the one I’ve been using for myself, so yours is probably better,” she reasoned, stepping up to let Amera lead the way. “This place is just annoying in every way…”

“It is pretty annoying… So let’s get nice and cozy in my tent, get a drink, and relax in the shade~” Amera took her hand and led her off, not for long, as the camp was pretty well packed together. Nashwa hadn’t been off the mark with her assumptions on tent size, Amera’s being one of the second largest kinds they’d had packed and prepared; she’d brought it with her from her fort at Tepel. Dipping past the flap and bowing inside, the cat sighed, the immediate relief of no more sun on her already bronzed skin plenty to cheer her up.

“Okay~” Water was first on the agenda, slinking over to her bed roll and fishing two water skins out, tossing one Nashwa’s way. “Drink up. Then whatever’s on your mind, go right ahead~”

Being taken by the hand didn’t quite sit right with the succubus, but she knew Amera was just trying to be friendly, so she’d simply deal with it and go along until she’d get to take a seat in the rather large tent. She hadn’t gotten the cat’s military rank or anything… this tent seemed real nice for her to be just another soldier. Maybe that was part of why she was close with Nessraya.

An easy catch and a quick swig of water later, Nashwa brought up the first thing that had pushed her to look for Amera in the first place. “If, it’s not too much to ask… how did you and Nessraya meet? And, I guess, how you got used to, um, dealing with succubi. I don’t really know how you’d go about it, since I’ve never seen any others besides Nessraya and myself, we’re… not that rare, are we?”

“Nessy, huh…” Amera hadn’t expected that to be Nashwa’s line of questioning, but she didn’t mind it. Things were a little sour with the general right now, but they weren’t horrible… Thinking about her didn’t ruin Amera’s mood, at least; a little melancholic nostalgia, but that was all. “We… Met when we were… Effectively teenagers. You lot live longer, and I’ve got dragon blood wayyyyy down in my line, so I live a lot longer too. Just a cat girl playing in the woods, and miss ‘snuck out of her mansion to be a rebel’, one-day-to-be-general Nessraya. Her family’s high nobility, you know~? Soon as her dad found out she was sneaking out, that was the last I ever saw her for… Almost half a century.” Amera sighed, shaking her head.

“Anyway… We, just played a lot in the woods– and I don’t mean something sexual, by that. We were just two idiots, exploring, making up stories… The… Last day I saw her, it did get… End up, that way. I kind of, fell in love on the spot, having someone come after me like that. Didn’t really know what a succubus was… The… Rose tinted glasses have worn off, now that we’ve met again. Maybe you’re unique, with how shy to sex you are, but… Most succubi, incubi, falling in love, it’s nearly impossible. They need someone that can both sate their need to feed and someone that is special enough for them to never want to eat something else.” Amera shrugged, looking away. “Guess I just wasn’t either of those things for her… As for the rest of your question!” Amera quickly moved away from her whinging, smirking. “You aren’t that rare, no. Plenty I met and dealt with as I grew up~ Because of the extra magic in me, I could handle most of them. And hey, sex is fun~ Lots of things your race can do that no other can, and every succubi has their own unique interests. Surprise box every time~”

That was a bit more of a downer of a topic than Nashwa had expected, and thanks to her human upbringing, she couldn’t help relating more to Amera in that story. Maybe it was also because it was Amera’s perspective of it, but if that was accurate to how succubi usually went about things, she really did feel… at odds, with how that felt. “I… I see. I think my idea of love is, actually pretty similar to yours. Raised by human adoptive parents and all, so maybe I am unique in that sense. And because of it I haven’t felt ‘normal’ since I was a kid…” Not that it was the Czajkowskis’ fault; they were just trying to raise an unusual daughter the best they knew, and their knowledge just didn’t extend to succubi.

The latter part, however, brought a blush back to the succubus, not being entirely in the dark about what that meant now. “Ah, haha… I don’t know if I know what I’d want to do. A-at least, I’m not a virgin anymore. That must sound really weird…”

“… Pfft… Ha, ahahahah~!” Amera couldn’t help but laugh at Nashwa’s claim of no longer being a virgin, giggling to herself, trying to calm down so she could take another swig of her water. “Mmm, ahh, hahaha… Wow… You really are a special case, huh~?” She sighed, shaking her head again, though her jovial reaction did lower swiftly.

“I’m gonna be… Serious with you, for a second, Nashwa… Let’s say… One day, you’re really thirsty, so you have a nice, delicious, crisp, clear glass of water. It’s filling, it really perks you up, it was exaaaaaactly what you needed… Next day, same water. And the next day, and the next day… You see a big steak one day, but you’re only allowed to drink that water.” Hopefully it was making enough sense, Amera leaning back and giving the poor woman a wry smile. “That’s, at least from what I’ve been told, what it’s like for succubi. You ‘eat’ through sex, you’re feeding on their magical energy, and everyone has their own unique flavor… You’ve not experienced this yet, because you were so sheltered and… Ignored this feeling, for so long, but now that you’re finally getting into it… Are you, prepared for this? Sincerely…? Especially with your views on love… You gonna be able to find that ‘meal’ you can eat every day without getting tired of it?”

Nashwa looked rather frustrated and embarrassed from the cat’s initial reaction, even if it wasn’t entirely unexpected. She knew by now she was a total oddball when it came to her race. But it was Amera’s frank explanation and questioning that really was unexpected. She’d spent so long ignoring and deflecting her need, she’d never thought about anything like this, heck, she hadn’t known it was a thing in her nature until just recently, that there was no way she could’ve had an actual answer prepared. “...I don’t know.” Casting her eyes down, the succubus pulled her knees in, holding her legs softly. “I’ve had a week to think about it now, but… I really don’t know. It’s not enough time, even when all I’ve had is time to think. It’s just… It’s just all so confusing. If I keep going in the direction that just sounds right, will it mean I can’t hold onto my idea of a dream relationship anymore?” Briefly, she planted her head on her knees, taking a deep breath. “If it’s, necessary. Maybe I’ll just have to accept that…”

Nashwa was like a sad puppy. It was too heartbreaking to leave her thinking about it like it would never happen. “Let me raise your spirits just a little, how about this: the most famous incubus in Vaia, Suryd Tryxyss, is happily married, has three daughters, and loves his wife to death… So it’s not, impossible. Just… Nearly. You really need to find someone special… Both with enough magic, and that flavor that you can’t get enough of. Think you can do that, Nashwa? And deal with casual sex until you do~?” She smirked again, getting a bit more playful, crossing her legs and leaning forward some. “You said you weren’t a virgin anymore… How hard was Nessraya with you~? She never let me on top, despite her size. Such a stickler for being in control. Guess she just can’t see the fun in letting someone have their way with you~”

Her mind may have been pushing her to the extremes of her predicament, but Nashwa gave the cat’s cheering a little wag of her tail, figuring she should thank Amera for trying to be supportive but realistic about things… and then she was being teased again, making her shuffle back a bit, looking to the side. “I-I, uh, I wouldn’t call it, being hard? I, might just be that easy to lead on… mrgh.” Her grumble felt warranted, after all, they had a pretty noticeable size difference, yet she’d felt almost paralyzed to act on her own, even after she’d gotten into it properly.

Though, with everything they’d talked about so far, and Amera’s insistence on looping back to teasing her, it did force her to think about the other reason she’d come around. And the previous comments about taste definitely reminded her of it. “I’ll have to try, either way. Maybe I’ve been wrong about myself all my life, sure, but I can still change that. Somehow… Or I’ll end up in a ditch somewhere in Hwein. Who knows.” Tentatively, she raised her gaze to the tanned cat. “A-and, since you mentioned, taste, a lot… I haven’t just thought of, the situation in general. A lot of it’s been, about, um…” As she thought, she couldn’t keep eye contact, hurriedly looking down and trying to get the words out past her blush. “A-about… What it felt like, to taste someone else’s mana, like that. And now that the idea isn’t, so, weird, I-I’d, like to… Mmmmngh.” Damn it, she probably looked like a whole tomato field at this point.

What a cutie~ Amera sighed, feeling like she’d sighed enough to last an entire day at this point. “Well, first off, we won’t leave you in a ditch. Long as you’re not a burden to the group, we’ll keep you safe, paid, and in good company. Don’t say something that silly.” Amera took the last chug of her waterskin, setting it down to refill later, and did herself a big stretch. “Mmm, as for the rest… You want another taste? You can have some more of my blood, if you want… Or… If you want something else~ But, you said we were just here to talk, so SURELY you just want some more of my delicious, cat girl, dragon seasoned, thunder blood. Right, Nashwa~?”

“No! I-I mean yes! I… nhhhhhh…” Having to fight against her embarrassment this fiercely felt like some esoteric form of torture to Nashwa, but she’d just have to push through it. It did seem like Amera was perfectly aware of what she wanted, just teasing for the sake of it, and maybe it was for the better. This way, the succubus could get some experience with this kind of situation. …Whether she actually wanted this kind of experience wasn’t relevant. “I… I still need to, learn so much, so… I-I’d, like, another taste. How I’m, meant to.” That’s it, just toss yourself to the whims of fortune and hope Amera could sort you out for the moment.

That was all the cat needed to lean forward onto her knees and start crawling over to Nashwa with a big, big smile on her face. “Hmmm, hmhmhmhm… How you’re meant to, huh~? It’s gonna get real sweaty in all this heat… Aaaaaand… You’ll have to be quiet. These tents aren’t soundproof… You sure~?” She’d slinked up to Nashwa’s personal space, crawling around her slowly, gently resting her head on the woman’s shoulder. “Hmmmm~?”

“S-stop it, Amera…” Now this was painfully obvious teasing, specifically just to get Nashwa more embarrassed about what she’d already asked for. Sweat was no problem, she was used to traveling in a full, black suit of armor all year round! And as things would be for the other part… “A, succubus is, meant to have, s-sex, right… So I don’t, see a problem.” The succubus tried her best to relax, with Amera already on her shoulder, she knew things were about to get a bit more intimate.

“Stop? Me~? Oh, Nashwa… The first thing you’re gonna learn about this pretty kitty is that she loves to tease… But, I’ll at least agree, to set your worries aside… For now~ Try to keep your voice down…”

She shook her head and flipped the hair back over her shoulder. Now wasn't the time to think about those things, even if the immediate threat had momentarily passed.

Nashwa moves to 8-33.


First Ayane went off on her own, and now they had people flowing in from the gaping hole in the wall in the back, one very curious monster running up to chide the mysterious person on the throne. This was getting to be too much for Ilvira's senses, no longer sure who she should be paying attention to; chaos, nothing less. Conflicted whether she should bolt forward to follow the oni or hang back to support Thesephine, or perhaps simply observe the sudden feuding of the monocular monster and the person now said to be 'Hecate', the elf went forward with a staggered gait, constantly looking around to try to figure out what to do. "Dear me, things are quite confusing now..."

Ilvira moves to 21-18.

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Another familiar voice, the construct closed its eyes, something akin to a sigh escaped it again. "Hm." The anomaly between its hands faded, and the construct turned towards the new voice, opening its eyes in analysis. "...I don't remember their names." Thankfully, it could pick up that this being did not pose a threat... not if the readings were accurate. "Quiet down, and tell me what you know about myself."


"Understood, Asami." Giving the fox a nod at the sage advice --they still hadn't confirmed her loyalties after all--, Agni kept his guard up as he followed. Thankfully, there were familiar faces nearby. "Demon King--" And, a lot of yelling, with the multi-eyed monster doing its thing... Thesephine seemed overwhelmed, and Agni didn't wish to add to the talking noise, deciding to scan the room. No sign of Marina... I hope she's safe.

Agni to (28,16)


"Getting crowded in here..." Sighing, Fyl scanned further past the crumbled passage with concern. Others were hurt in some way, and from what Mae said, more of those dolls were bound to come. "We better stick together, I can hear footsteps as is, so if there's more in upper floors, we want to get out fast."

Fyl to (29,19), cast heal on Mae.

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Fyl moves to 30,18 instead because Xin put Taiyou on 29,19 and forgot
Mae is healed for 28 HP
+15 exp

Bridgit has some schmovement

Enemy Phase/Turn 6

The constructs move

Construct #13 catches Agni unaware!
Roll: 92,7
Miss!
Agni counters!
Roll1: 70,96(14)
9 damage!
Roll2: 39,92(67)
9 damage!
Agni gains +10 exp, +2 hidden wexp

Player Phase/Turn 7

Miz moves to 21,26 and braces herself against the wall again

"D... Die, you... Damned... Bitch...!"
Miz attempts to cast Fire on Hecate!
... It's far out of range.

The fireball she'd conjured was the spell intact, sure enough, but with her current power, it went a good twenty feet before fizzling in the air, the few sparks remaining floating slowly towards the floor. Miz crumbled against the tile, eyes wide in horror. "I, whhh... Hhh... H-How did this, h, happen...?" Despite this clearly being her new reality, she was still struggling to come to grips with things...

Thesephine saw the red girl come into the room, attempt to cast magic, fail, and crumble into a pile of her dress in panic. "... You, with the eyeballs," she called over her shoulder, staring at Xety. "Explain what's going on. I need to know who's side I'm supposed to be on... And if taking out this doll is going to free us or not."

1wLO4fm.png

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The dragon finally took notice of her, and began to talk, as Susan and the pair trailed behind those who had foolishly rushed ahead.

"I can only assume. The sunken tower was located within its borders when I entered, and barring some feat of unknown magicks I would assume that be where it remains." This answer segued in part to answer the other question directed her as well, though she got the feeling the redhaired woman desired a few more details that just that.

"Yes, White. Susan White. I'm not entirely sure what business the ruler had here, but I had discreetly followed her and her retainer because I had there was something I needed to discuss with her, though when I caught up with them inside the labyrinth, that meeting didn't quite work out how I had hoped..." She frowned as wisps of memory surrounding the event swirled to the surface, and her words dried up and trailed off.

The sound of gears whirring to life, and the sight of the golem she had helped the earlier group dispatch only just a short while earlier caught her attention, and provided more than adequate reason to change the subject. "That one reflects magic, we have to be careful, it would be best if we could defeat it from range with weapons, but," a glance at the dragon and her companion didn't indicate this was likely.

In fact, she wasn't sure the dragon could deal with it alone, qne her friend seemed to be a healer and nothing more. Very worrisome. Clucking her tongue in irritation, Susan changed her mind. "No, we don't have a choice, I'll just have to deal with the pain, I guess. Follow my lead."

What about usss...

Not now, this shouldn't be too bad, and I'd rather keep you in reserve. Just the standard magic, nothing more. Thinking that, she reached for the most accurate, yet simplest of the spells she knew. It was barely more complicated than a Fireball, it shouldn't fail her. It shouldn't.

Susan to 3,15 cast Elwind at Construct 9

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"Sunken tower?" Tundyssa repeated aloud, perhaps sounding a bit like a fool to this mysterious woman. Is that where we ended up? But why and how does she know that? I don't remember there being any mention of a ruler in this place either... It was beyond suspicious, and not just because the source of the information was a human. She may as well have been speaking nonsense, as far as the dragon was concerned. However, before she could give voice to those suspicions the being that had been lying in a heap in the hall began to whir back to life. The woman was eager to dispatch it; a temporary ally, at least.

Tundyssa to 3,12, kill facility construct.

Edited by Ursali

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(Let it be known that I didn't forget where I put my own character)

"Gh!" Quick to retaliate, Agni barely caught the construct casting a spell his way. "Damned thing..." Thankfully, he came out of that bout better than his opponent.

"Ah, here they come flocking, geez..." Not liking the thought of this, and having done a decent job with Mae, Fyl flapped his wings, preparing his light magic to attack the unwanted construct. "Let's get them before they swarm us..." Speaking up to no one in particular, Fyl struck.

Fyl to (29, 17), strike construct 13 with Lightning.

 

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