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[CHQ] A Story Just For You


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#1
Fujimaru Ritsuka

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Prunus Countryside, one hour past midday.

The guildmembers from Cherry Heart departed as soon as the transport was ready, and without taking a long time, they would find themselves already staring at the famed sight of Prunus' vast farmlands that seemed to stretch for eternity aside from the occasional modest farmer houses and the odd trees here and there. It took around half an hour on the bumpy countryside road until the sight of a peculiar mansion rose on the horizon, standing out over everything else in the area. While it wasn't really the fanciest mansion around, compared to the small buildings nearby it was quite worlds apart.

 

Soon they would find themselves on the gates, on where the guard of the mansion asked the driver regarding their business, and once that was sorted out, the guildmembers would be dropped there and be greeted by a man in butler outfit.

 

“Wonderful, quite a splendid timing! You must be from Cherry Heart. My name is Jacques, the head servant of this place, but much to my regret, there is only so little time for idle chitchat right now. Come, the mage has been waiting.”

 

Only giving a little time for the guildmembers to rest, Jacques urged them to follow him inside. Quickly treading through the corridors, the guildmembers would notice the vastness of the insides, yet there was little time to explore right now, and not long afterwards, the group reached one of the primary bedrooms, where they would meet a flowery-looking man in white sitting besides a bed. Getting closer would made them notice the unconscious pink-haired girl lying on the bed - her face constantly changing between a state of bliss and contorted horrified expression.

 

“My my...I did not expect the volunteer group to arrive so quickly. But it's all for the better, all for the better~” The man looked quite awfully cheery as he greeted them. “Indeed, indeed. I am the one that asked you all to come here~

See, I am hired by this family to help find a way for this girl to be cured from her eternal nightmare, and while I have a way to do it...it seems nobody wanted to volunteer themselves to enter her. My neck and reputation is at stake here...so since you're now all here, why don't we chat a bit before I send you all inside?

Perhaps you folks would be quite curious on how would it even be possible to travel into someone's mental world?”

 

On the dream mage's command, the mansion servants had brought in a few small tables and chairs while some others also brought in a full teaset and cookies too. It seemed that the dream mage was quite close to the servants here for some reasons despite him should be a stranger to them all. Still, even with the strangeness, so far he was being quite courteous. Perhaps it's best to find out more regarding him, his magic, or the sleeping beauty over there before they embark on their mission?

 

 

OOC

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#2
Mitchyrano de Belgerac

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Very reluctantly Auburn got up the next day and accompanied the others towards their new quest location. Like yesterday, Mina happened to have taken the quest too but unlike yesterday, he had two other guild members coming along instead, which was at least better than being stuck with her alone, or god forbid, with Celica tagging along. One looked like a bookworm and the other some kind of hermit or societal recluse. It wasn't an ideal group but the quest was interesting enough to Auburn that he didn't mind. He got introductions out of the way with both of them quickly. "Let us quickly get acquainted, I am Auburn. Nice to meet you."

 

They arrived at the mansion and were then escorted by the butler to their client upstairs. This one(the client, not the butler) seemed like an eccentric, even moreso than the boy-like hermit that was with them. They exchanged greetings and then got down to business, and were briefed on the task they were to undertake soon enough.

 

After the flowery man was done, Auburn invited himself to a seat without waiting and chimed in, pulling out a notebook and pen he prepared for this very purpose. "Very much so. Tell me all the details you're willing to divulge, flower man. Dream magic is something I've never studied back at home, I'm dying to find out."


BOYS, BE AMBITIOUS!

 

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#3
Astolfo

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The carriage ride was fairly boring to Ro. Prunus’ beautiful farmlands had long lost their initial breathtaking appearance after seeing it for the twenty thousandth time. Instead, he pulled out a few lotus petals, chewing on them contentedly, releasing a slightly sweet scent. Fiddling with the strange blue orb, he shifted uncomfortably, his body still somewhat tingling from the… punishment, per say, earlier that morning. Fortunately, the bumpy ride wasn’t a long one, but even so, by the time they arrived, Ro had enough of being bounced around for a while.

Soon enough, a long, black-haired and fair-skinned butler came to greet them at the gates to what appeared to be a mansion. Following the man upon his request, Ro came face to face with an unusually flowery man as well as the subject girl in question, her face shifting as she presumably went through various dreams. As it turned out, the former was a dream mage, but Ro didn’t trust him one bit. For someone who’s been called to solve quite an awful predicament, he was unnaturally cheery. Servants came in with tea and cookies, but Ro scoffed at that.

One of his fellow quest members, a peculiar feminine child with golden hair and crimson eyes, began to interview the mage, but Ro stepped forward, waving his hand in dismissal and cutting the flow of conversation.

”So, old man, you’re going to answer a few questions for me. How come you need the help of others? If you’re a dream mage, shouldn’t you be able to enter and solve the crisis yourself?”

Ro’s eyes were as glacial cold as his ink-black horns, scanning the other man’s eyes for any changes in his facial expression or bodily reactions.

”And I’d say it’s mighty convenient thata this lil’ girl here happened to have an issue about nightmares just as you, a fair ole’ dream mage be around.”

Ro paced around slowly with his arms crossed, tapping his elbows.

”Now see, that wouldn’t be a problem if you just happened to, you know, come just now, brand new to the house to solve her problem. But if you’re brand new here, how are you so close to the guests? You certainly seem right at home… in someone else’s home.”

Ro came face to face with the dream mage, adjusting his floating slightly to meet completely level to the other man’s eyes, his own boring into the mage’s.

”You mentioned your neck and reputation’s at stake here, and that you had a way to do it but no one else volunteered. So what better way to save yourself than to do it yourself? Or is there something you’re not telling us?”

Ro called out loudly for the other servants in the house. When a few of them entered the room, Ro motioned them to walk forward as well so he could keep his eyes on all of them. There was something fishy about this whole damn request.

”So, to you servants. Has this man just come here recently for this issue? Or is he… a repeat visitor? Or perhaps even a guest within this house itself? Perhaps the house’s official dream mage assistant? And what relation does he have with the master of this house and his daughter?”

Ro’s eyes shifted back to the dream mage’s, smiling with all but his eyes.

”I’ll be might sorry if it turns out you’re just who you say you are… but of course, being the honorable, trustworthy, helpful dream mage you are, you would have no reason to lie? So let’s start with your name.”

As he waited for the answer, Ro flicked through what little memories he had in his brain of various mages with powers related to dreams or sleep, and what sort of reputations each had.



Astolfo [CV: Ohkubo Rumi] - "BA-LLL-MUUU-NNN-GGG!"

#4
Mr. Hyde

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 "Let us quickly get acquainted, I am Auburn. Nice to meet you."

 

"I-I'm Dmitri.  Pleased to make your acquaintance."  The ride had been quite uneventful, and Dmitri himself was still trembling from his last quest, unable to introduce himself, until now, to the new teammates he found himself among.  It had all happened so quickly...had they even completed their quest?  The wagon stopped outside of a large mansion, and Dmitri couldn't help but stare in awe, all of his conflicting emotions melted away.  He was now on this quest...there was no sense looking back on previous mishaps.  Stepping out of the carriage, they were greeted by, presumably, a staff member of the mansion, who led them inside and upstairs into a beautiful room.  A lovely woman slept in the bed of the room, while a man sat right beside it, looking as comfy and happy as if it were just another day.  

 

“My my...I did not expect the volunteer group to arrive so quickly. But it's all for the better, all for the better~” The man looked quite awfully cheery as he greeted them. “Indeed, indeed. I am the one that asked you all to come here~  See, I am hired by this family to help find a way for this girl to be cured from her eternal nightmare, and while I have a way to do it...it seems nobody wanted to volunteer themselves to enter her. My neck and reputation is at stake here...so since you're now all here, why don't we chat a bit before I send you all inside?Perhaps you folks would be quite curious on how would it even be possible to travel into someone's mental world?”

 

"Very much so. Tell me all the details you're willing to divulge, flower man. Dream magic is something I've never studied back at home, I'm dying to find out."

 

"Yes!  I am also curious about these types of magics.  I hope we aren't a bothe-"

 

Dmitri was interrupted by the other of the group, who had yet to introduce themselves.  However, he seemed to go on a separate tangent, accusing the man who practiced dream magic that he himself was the problem in this situation, very harshly.  Dmitri tried to calm the situation down as best he could by stepping in front of their teammate with his arms in the air. 

 

"D-Don't listen to him!  He's just paranoid, and had an unfortunately bumpy ride on the way here!  We mean no disrespect, and believe you made the best decision in recruiting a dream mage.  We by all means do not suspect him of any foul play!"  Dmitri's forehead was dripping in nervous sweat, as he turned towards the man with a quivering smile.  "Let's not go accusing our patrons of misconduct now...it'll reflect harshly on Cherry Heart!"


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#5
Wind Rider

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Another day, another quest (of course this was only her second quest since joining the guild but still) and this one took Mina and her fellow guild members across the Prunus Countryside to help with some sort of nightmare problem. The ride was boring to say the least, Auburn was joining on this quest, something Mina wasn't very fond of, and two other guild members she hadn't met. Dmitri introduced himself and he had a nervous aura to him and the other guy... Mina didn't get a name from him for the entire ride but he looked interesting to say the least, he looked like he was slightly floating above his seat.

After the carriage ride, the group arrived at their destination, a large mansion. Mina whistled at the sight but then stood attention when a butler of sorts told everyone to follow him. He lead them to a room where a flowery-looking man sat beside a bed where a girl slept, whatever she was dreaming about, she seemed to be in discomfort.

“My my...I did not expect the volunteer group to arrive so quickly. But it's all for the better, all for the better~” The man looked quite awfully cheery as he greeted them. “Indeed, indeed. I am the one that asked you all to come here~

See, I am hired by this family to help find a way for this girl to be cured from her eternal nightmare, and while I have a way to do it...it seems nobody wanted to volunteer themselves to enter her. My neck and reputation is at stake here...so since you're now all here, why don't we chat a bit before I send you all inside?

Perhaps you folks would be quite curious on how would it even be possible to travel into someone's mental world?” Mina in fact was quite curious about this whole dream world business, magic could do a number of things but dream manipulation, among other things, stuck out to her.

The guild member who was quiet for the whole ride here was interested too, but for a completely different reason. He started barking accusations at the man, calling him the possible cause of this and calling him out on how he seems so chummy with the servants of the mansion. "Let's not go accusing our patrons of misconduct now...it'll reflect harshly on Cherry Heart!" Dmitri, thankfully, was trying to diffuse the conflict.

"I agree with four-eyes here, questions are good but your just going off on this guy like he's secretly a villain or something. He's the only one capable of helping this girl and we're here to help out as best as we can, so I'd stop acting bigger than you actually are and just let him explain himself."

#6
Fujimaru Ritsuka

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"Very much so. Tell me all the details you're willing to divulge, flower man. Dream magic is something I've never studied back at home, I'm dying to find out."

 

"Well-"

 

”So, old man, you’re going to answer a few questions for me. How come you need the help of others? If you’re a dream mage, shouldn’t you be able to enter and solve the crisis yourself?”

 

The flowery mage was going to answer the question when suddenly the strange boy cut him off with quite the accusations being thrown at him. In response to that, the man simply sighed as he turned to face him. The studious man and the beastkin attempted to diffuse the situation, thankfully, and once things cooled down a bit, the flowery man finally started to speak again.

 

"Alright, one by one. I will answer all of your questions one by one, is that acceptable?" Saying that, he took a deep breath, before he looked towards the strange boy. "Let's start with my name, yes. Greetings, my name is Myrdain Ambrose, and I work as a dream mage for hire. Usually I am hired to induce good dreams or giving people the chance to live out their deep dark fantasies inside of their heads at night. Pretty harmless things, mostly."

 

Taking some moment to rest and sip the tea before him, Myrdain continued to look at the strange boy with curiosity in his eyes. After a minute or so of pause, he continued to speak again.

 

"So, why can't I enter the dream myself? My ability is simply to influence, connect, and maintain dreams. I am thus act more like an anchor to reality - without an anchor, you'll just keep drifting inside the dream world, and you'll end up being just like this young miss." Myrdain turned to look at the girl that was suffering from nightmare. His expression was unreadable at the moment, but he sure stared at her for quite a while before continuing. "As why I am here, well...keeping it short, the head of this mansion, this girl's father, is one of my usual clients. Of course, his wife wouldn't approve of all the things he asked me to insert into his head, so most of the time I don't make my appearance here public, but the servants here had been quite welcoming of me due to how often I come here.

 

Though, after all that I did, that bastard ends up blaming me for her daughter's nightmare~ I would've refused to lift any finger to help her just to spite him, but I have my pride to defend. Hence why I'm hiring you all to help me before he and his wife returns from their visit to the Capital.

 

Is that satisfying enough, Ro?"

 

With a smile he finished his words, and then started to look at both Auburn and Dmitri before he answered their question.

 

"So, how do I work? My magic allows me to access the realm that lies beyond your consciousness. The realm where forgotten thoughts, lost memories, and hidden wishes could be found, which I dubbed as the "unconsciousness". It's quite a scary place, and traversing it without caution would easily turn you into a gibbering wreck. Dreams are the most coherent form of this realm's manifestation, and thus it is the most manipulable by me. I can send subliminal packages of thoughts with my magic into your mind, and set it to open once you start dreaming. Most of the time, these packages are crafted based on the wishes of my clients.

 

Now, what I want to do with you four would be similar in principle. I would turn your consciousness into packages and "ship" them inside of this girl's ravaged unconscious. You would then have to take note on any sort of distortions that might caused these recurring nightmares. Could possibly be demonic possession or a curse, so I would hope you are ready to deal with that.

 

It's quite simple, isn't it?"

Once that was said, he finally turned to Mina last. Eyeing her for a while, he seemed to be wondering about something regarding her, but in the end decided to not say what he was wondering about and asked something else instead.

 

"Do you have any questions, Mina? We will begin as soon as everyone understands the mission."

 

OOC

 


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#7
Astolfo

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If looks could kill, Ro would have impaled his teammates to the floral-pattern walls. Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, he refocused his eyes onto the dream mage. The sharpness in Ro’s eyes faded into a calm warmth.

”My apologies, Myrdain, seems I have stepped out of line. Your explanation was excellent. Although I’m sure the wife probably isn’t too excited about that, heh.

The black-horned boy paced around the room soundlessly, his feet stepping on naught but air.

”So in the case of an emergency, let’s say, would we be able to converse with you while within the lady of the house here? Or are we on her own? And if you transport our… ‘consciousness’ as you say from our body into hers, which is currently in a state of unconscious dreaming, which is why I imagine you can manipulate it…

Ro pulled out an apple in his pocket, taking a bite of it.

Then what happens once she becomes conscious if we succeed? Would we be forcibly pushed out by her? I imagine our success of removing the affliction would awake her from her dreams. Then what place is left within her ‘unconscious mind’ for ourselves? Or rather, where would that ‘unconsciousness’ go, along with us?

Ro’s demeanor was in complete contrast to previous, now appearing simply as a young child who wished to learn more about dream magic. He touched a finger to his lips suddenly, his mouth open in a small o-shape.

”Ah, pardon me, I suppose I should address you as Mr. Ambrose. Because I’m just a young child, unlike the esteemed, aged, masterful adult here..”



Astolfo [CV: Ohkubo Rumi] - "BA-LLL-MUUU-NNN-GGG!"

#8
Mitchyrano de Belgerac

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"Subliminal thought packages..." Auburn was noting what he was told down very attentively. He was rather annoyed by the interruption earlier and was about to cause a scene himself when the newly acquainted Dmitri and old Mina White tried to stop that other boy first. For good or for worse without those two things wouldn't still be progressing this smoothly, which was good. And then the dream mage, building off the momentum from those two, answered their questions one by one, satisfying both Auburn and the hermit boy. "And you say you are able to convert our consciousness into the same sort of subliminal package that can be transmitted into someone else's dreams? "

 

There were so many questions he wanted to ask with that, especially since it seemed to involve the workings of the brain, something current day has made little progress in studying. Before he could voice them, he heard the other mage boy mirror his questions, which didn't sit well with him. So, he added another one of his own. "How exactly would curses and such work in this context? How would one be dispelled?"


BOYS, BE AMBITIOUS!

 

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#9
Fujimaru Ritsuka

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”So in the case of an emergency, let’s say, would we be able to converse with you while within the lady of the house here? Or are we on her own? And if you transport our… ‘consciousness’ as you say from our body into hers, which is currently in a state of unconscious dreaming, which is why I imagine you can manipulate it…Then what happens once she becomes conscious if we succeed? Would we be forcibly pushed out by her? I imagine our success of removing the affliction would awake her from her dreams. Then what place is left within her ‘unconscious mind’ for ourselves? Or rather, where would that ‘unconsciousness’ go, along with us?"

 

"Of course, I will serve as your navigator while you are inside. We will stay in contact throughout with a method I will showcase later. As for your second question, there is no reason to worry. Even if she wakes up while you are still inside of her, that would only mean that you're immediately ejected out of her mind. Pretty unpleasant, but nothing dangerous. Of course, I will keep her asleep until everything's under control, so once again there is no reason to worry~!"

 

Though, at Ro's last statement, Myrdain's eye seemed to twitch even if his cheerful expression remained. He seemed like he was going to say something about it, but in the end he kept it to himself and turned to see if the others had any more questions for him. It seemed that the blond boy had one. As Auburn mentioned his question, Myrdain ordered the servants to serve more teas and cookies for himself and the guests.

 

"And you say you are able to convert our consciousness into the same sort of subliminal package that can be transmitted into someone else's dreams? "

 

"Indeed, young man! It's a pretty simple process, all things considered." Myrdain answered him as he gobbled on some of the cookies that had just arrived. Enjoying himself for a moment, it was a while before he actually continued with his answer. "To put it simply, you all will share the same dream with this girl - I could illustrate the process in more details, but I could go on for hours regarding that."

 

"How exactly would curses and such work in this context? How would one be dispelled?"

 

"That...is pretty much the issue and why you are here to help me. To tell the truth, I am still unsure about the kind of curse that affected this girl. I have seen some of her nightmares though, and it is definitely unnatural. It is your task to find out the distortions inside, and even if you are unable to find a way to fix her, I can handle that part myself.

 

Clear enough, isn't it? Any more questions, Auburn?"

 

They continued to chat there for a while, and time felt like it flew really fast when they finally heard a loud banging from the big clock on the hallway. Seeing it as a signal to start, the dream mage went to ask the four people present to arrange their chairs in a certain way so that they would be sitting back to back on the four cardinal directions. Once the arrangement was done, Myrdain asked them to close their eyes and start counting up loudly. It was when the counting reach thirty-two that the magic circle underneath them lit up, and following it was a potent sleep spell that would almost immediately knocked all four of the Cherry Heart members unconscious. After making sure that all four were already downed, Myrdain called out for Jacques, and had him and the rest of the servants carry the unconscious guildmembers away from the bedroom they were in. With the doors locked and only Myrdain and the unconscious girl left inside, Myrdain let out a sigh for a moment, before his eyes became fixated at the unconscious girl's figure.

 

"My my, you really are quite a tough nut to crack, dear. Even now you're still refusing me as hard as you could, and everything almost failed earlier all thanks to you. But tonight, your walls shall crumble and you will surrender to me~"

 

 

"Hello, hello? Can any of you hear me?"

As Myrdain's voice echoed inside of the group's ears, the four members of Cherry Heart will find themselves waking up in a fancy bedroom, having apparently slept side by side for an unknown amount of time. The room was decorated in a lavish way, and it seemed that even the bed frame itself was made of gold with encrusted gems on it. Several paintings lined up against the walls, seemingly depicting a man in his 50s and his far more youthful wife in various situations. There are other parts of the room that they could try looking at and investigate if they so desired, but what would take their immediate attention would be the presence of a small fluffy beastlike creature standing before the only door on the room. Perhaps it was Myrdain's way of communicating to them?

 

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The creature would urge them to follow it with bodily gestures before passing through the door as if it was a ghost. Should one follow it immediately, they would be greeted with the sight of the same countryside view of Prunus that the group saw when they arrived on the mansion earlier. The road would look as if it was endless, but at one point one would encounter a door that stood right in the middle of the road, where the white creature would be hanging around until any of the guild members noticed it. The road there would seem to be empty at first, but by entering the countryside imagery, strange, shadow-like creatures would start lurking the area. Some would be content in just hanging around the seemingly-endless farmlands, while some would actually dwell on the road and might attack the four with slashes using their surprisingly sharp claws. At some point while stumbling around, the group would hear from Myrdain again.

 

"Err...well, be careful with some of the distortions, they could actually hurt you. If you need to contact me, just tap your wrist three times, and we'll be connected. Do update me with the situation inside whenever you can, alright?"

 

 

OOC

 


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#10
Mitchyrano de Belgerac

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"Enough. I appreciate it." After being properly answered, they managed to converse on for a while until there was a knock on the door. Despite being a guest, Auburn took the initiative. "We shall now fulfill our end of the contract, let's enter her. I'll come to ask more once this is over with." Even when expressing gratitude, Auburn comes off like that. It was like breathing to him and he really couldn't help it, although after the short amount of time they spent together he felt the dream mage would be able to see through that much and not mind.

 

The four followed his instructions and were seated in a peculiar way soon enough. Auburn made a mental note to inquire how seating arrangements and magic interact later on as well. There was a count to thirty-two, and then he lost consciousness.

 

Dream World/Auburn

Auburn's consciousness was stirred up by Myrdain's voice.

 

He opened his eyes and saw he was lying on a fancy bed with the other three guild members. It was a large, gold-framed bed and it looked very expensive but even that wouldn't normally fit four people. Indeed, Auburn felt he was lying atop Dmitri, his arm buried under Mina White's weight and the same hand cushioned the hermit boy's head. They were all too close for comfort. Especially after a similar event with Celica a day earlier, he was very wary of waking up next to people. He screamed and pulled back and, as he was on the edge of the bed, unceremoniously fell to the ground.

 

"Ah! Ah...That was, that was unpleasant." Awkwardly he adjusted his clothes and got up. At least this time he regained composure soon enough. "...Apologies for that, Dmitri."

 

Moving on, he looked around the room for the source of Myrdain's voice, and saw a small furry creature. It gestured at the four to follow, and then it walked away from the door. Before following it however, Auburn decided to examine the room and himself in great detail. He was in a dream but it felt very real, that greatly intrigued him. He stripped off his shirt, comparing what he saw with how he remembered his body and unfortunately it was as scrawny as he remembered. He quickly sneaked a glance down his pants and confirmed everything about him was the same. Just in case he checked his reflection off the golden bed and made sure he didn't look any different. That would've been quite the twist. Then, a couple jumping jacks, a couple push ups and sit-ups, and he soon began to pant out of habit. He couldn't tell if he felt tired or not, he'd rather save energy than exert himself for real but at least he didn't feel particularly stronger.

 

By the time he finished and redressed, he rushed out to follow the creature and guild members who followed after it. The scenery from the doorway fascinated him even moreso, they resembled the real world countryside they had just passed but there was a clear point when that resemblance stopped. He wanted to stop and examine everything, especially that door in the middle of the road that just did not belong in the scenery.

 

Stepping out from the bedroom door into the countryside however, the immediately discernable difference were the strange, unreal black things wandering around. A timely warning came from Myrdain, presumably through magic. Auburn tried tapping his wrist three times and asked. "Does this communication trick work as many times as I wish, or is there a limit to keep in mind?"

 

With that done with, he turned to the members who were there, "Now, any ideas on what we should do? Offer them."


Edited by Amantes amitches, 25 July 2017 - 07:50 PM.

BOYS, BE AMBITIOUS!

 

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#11
Wind Rider

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After the questions were all said and done, Myrdain got the guild members together for a sleep spell of sorts. This dream magic was very interesting to say the least and things may get even more interesting in the girl's dream. The spell that Myrdain casted knocked the guild members out and Mina quickly followed suit.

Everything was quiet... Peaceful... Until Auburn's scream could be heard and caused Mina to jolt up with her hands covering her ears. "Hey, I have sensitive hearing Potion Boy!" she said in an annoyed tone. Why she was on a mission with him again was beyond her, she should've switched quests immediately.

"Ah! Ah...That was, that was unpleasant."

"Your telling me!" She said hopping out of the unusually extravagant bed. Turning her attention to the fluffy creature in the room, she followed it along with her fellow guild members. Following the creature, Mina looked out to see the same peaceful countryside from when they arrived at the mansion, only now strange, nightmarish creatures were roaming in it. So this was the girl's nightmare?

"Now, any ideas on what we should do? Offer them." Mina pulled out her rifle in response to Auburn's question. "Don't know about you, but I'm gonna give these things a shock if they get close." Though it didn't dawn on her that these things might not be affected by her equipment, it wouldn't hurt to try at least.

#12
Astolfo

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Ro still didn’t trust the man, but there was nothing more regardless he could do at this point besides just see what would happen next if he went along with it. As it were, the others of his group disagreed with his opinions anyways. Sighing, he waved his hand in a sort of defeat, but couldn’t help but chuckle at the slight reaction of irritation from Ambrose from Ro’s last jab. Listening to the dream mage answer some of the other questions, his ears picked up on an unusual line. For someone who said he couldn’t enter himself as he had to serve as an anchor, Myrdain had still managed to figure out her dreams, and not only that, he for some reason, gave a reassurance he could handle it even if they couldn’t fix that problem.

This old man isn’t honest, but pah, not like these humans believe me. If he could handle it himself, what need is there for us? And a dream mage who can’t fix issues themselves is a pretty damn useless one, if I say so myself. Of course he can fix it.

He mused on silently. Passing on the offer of cookies and drinks, he sat in the circle. Currently, if Ambrose decided to backstab all of them, it wouldn’t be as if anyone else would be in a position to call them back. But he couldn’t refuse the offer altogether as he would rather have done, nor would his teammates even let him interrogate the suspicious man further. This was quite a load of steaming dung to be in. With no other choice, he slumped in the seat, waiting for the count to send him off to La La Land.


Ro’s eyes flashed open. Attempting to get up, he realized he was sandwiched between his other guild members, and rolled his eyes as he waited for them to move so he could get out as well. Of course they had to be noisy right next to his ears too. The room they were in seemed to be reminiscent of perhaps another room in the mansion, styled with paintings of what must be the master and lady, with a richly adorned bed to boot. Before Ro could wander off to explore the other parts of this dream-room however, a small animal representing Ambrose manifested in front of the group.

Following the small creature through the door, they were greeted by the sights of the landscape. At first it was an idyllic scene, but as they stepped fully into the country setting, shadows began to appear out of thin air. Some were wandering around aimlessly, others stared at them, and a few seemed as if they were raring for a fight. Grinning his almost shark-like teeth, Ro’s cat-like eyes glinted with excitement.

”Let’s try eati- I mean, killing them.

Charging straight at the nearest one, Ro ducked, avoiding the swipe from its sharp claws, then smashing its arms aside further to prevent a counterswing. Grabbing it by its throat, Ro crammed the head of the shadowy creature into his mouth. It began to bite and swing at him, slicing his legs lightly with its talons. Growling, Ro let acrid chemicals flow freely from his mouth, dissolving and inflicting grievous pain onto the shadowform. After a few seconds, it stopped struggling, and Ro swallowed the rest of it.

Flashing a thumbs up at the rest of a group, he turned to vomit a few seconds later, spewing up the remains of the badly molten shadowbeing. Just as soon as it had come back up though, it faded into smoke before disappearing.

”That… tasted goddamn horrible. Blech.”

Spitting on the ground a few times to try and clear the taste, he motioned at Mina’s rifle.

”Let’s… stick to that. You girlie can handle it, can’t ya?”



Astolfo [CV: Ohkubo Rumi] - "BA-LLL-MUUU-NNN-GGG!"

#13
Mr. Hyde

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Dmitri, satisfied with all the explanations that the man had delivered, was ready to transport into this girl's unconscious mind.  The power this magic must've had was dumbfounding to one who could only create constructs from the ether.  Regardless of his bewilderment, Dmitri followed the man's directions, and slipped into a sleep of his own, not aware of what was happening in the waking world.  

 

"Hello, hello? Can any of you hear me?"

 

Along with his guild, he woke up in a heap of dangling limbs, heavy, but soft.  "...Apologies for that, Dmitri."  He heard one of his fellow team, Auburn, say.  Dmitri nodded, as he struggled at the bottom of the stack, unable to get a word out due to his chest being so compressed at the moment.  They all piled off of each other, one by one.  When It was Dmitri's turn, he stood up on wobbly legs, looking at the room around them.  It was elegant, not surprising as to who's subconscious they were currently residing in.  He took in the scenery, but then became quite bored of it.  That's when he spotted the strange white creature that urged them to follow it.  

 

"This must be our guide through this lady's dreamscape."  Dmitri took no time in following it outside.  The scene on the other side of the room was the breathtaking scenery of a winding road, leading from the mansion outwards into infinity.  Dmitri still could not fathom what he was seeing, so he pinched his cheek.  It felt familiar, but also totally different at the same time.  It was all so strange, but wonderful.  Dmitri's mind wandered, it was having a field day.  However, the realm of dreams was not all rainbows and buttercups, not at all.  Hobbles of strange shadowy figures wandered aimlessly throughout the scene, no sense of where to go or what to do.  Were these perhaps, forgotten memories?  Violent desires?  

 

"I can't wait to catalog my experiences here!"  

 

"Err...well, be careful with some of the distortions, they could actually hurt you. If you need to contact me, just tap your wrist three times, and we'll be connected. Do update me with the situation inside whenever you can, alright?"

 

Dmitri nodded.  It was perhaps better not to come into conflict with any of the shambling shado-

 

”Let’s try eati- I mean, killing them.

 

Their other cohort decided to act on instinct, instead of intellect, and ripped one of the shadows to shreds, and consuming it whole.  Whatever that lad's magic even was, it was perhaps the most unsightly thing Dmitri himself had ever seen.  After consuming the shadow, Ro proceeded to vomit away from the others.  

 

”That… tasted goddamn horrible. Blech.  Let’s… stick to that. You girlie can handle it, can’t ya?” 

 

Dmitri pushed up his glasses, before walking up to Ro with a disappointed look upon his face, as if he was looking at a student who hadn't turned in an assignment for weeks on end, despite given multiple passes.  

 

"Honestly!  Could you consult the rest of us before you make a move like that again!  Who knows what could have befallen you, would you have been slashed by that creature."  He took a deep breath, before huffing it out.  "And consuming it...who knows what effects it could have on your own psyche!  Let us avoid these creatures as best we can, instead of trying to take a bite out of every which one we happen to run into, okay?"  With that off of his chest, Dmitri tapped his wrist three times as instructed prior.  "Sir!  Will there be any after effects with consuming one of those creatures, or even inhaling the vapors they produce.  They are quite ominous enemies."  Another thought popped into Dmitri's head, as he tapped his wrist thrice more.  "And how is health established in this realm...will our bodies suffer the same physical harms that our dream bodies suffer?"  


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#14
Fujimaru Ritsuka

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You are not worthy to stand on her side. Where were you when she needed you the most?

 

For a moment, the shadows seemed to shift from their vaguely humanoid shape into various, more well defined figures. One would be possible to notice a few figures in full armor, but the rest would be too hard to define as the shadows would soon shift into their formless state once more. The longer the group stayed on the countryside view, the more they would also hear whispers on the air around them. Most would be too soft, blended, or incomprehensible to decipher, but there were quite a few that would be clearly noticeable. At moments, the scenery seemed to show some cracks and glimpses of other sceneries might be observed by the group on occasions.

 

I see who you truly are now. Nothing more than a scum trying to ride the coattails of others.

 

In the midst of all this, Auburn was the first to establish contact with Myrdain again on the surface. As that happened, the dream seemingly fixed itself - the whispering disappeared, the scenery became more properly defined, and the formless ghouls remained formless. As this happened, the white creature that watched over them in front of the door immediately seemed to notice something, and made a quick escape through the portal behind it, whether any of them would notice its presence or not.

 

"Right right, I'm here now. Did any of you notice anything interesting? Oh limits? There should be none, but establishing the connection can be quite hard at certain moments, so I might not always be able to immediately respond to any of your questions."

 

Not long after, Ro would then attempt to eat one of the creatures. Suffice to say, it didn't go that well even if he managed to get a taste of it. The creature dissipated into black smoke once he was done, and the act granted him a harsh scolding from Dmitri. The former teacher then would establish contact with Myrdain once more.

 

 "Sir!  Will there be any after effects with consuming one of those creatures, or even inhaling the vapors they produce.  They are quite ominous enemies."

 

"You mean those shadows? ...Wait, consuming? What are you four even doing inside? I don't think there would be any bad effects, but it's best if you don't mess around with them in such a way. Not even I have ever done something like that before and I don't even know why you are doing this."

"And how is health established in this realm...will our bodies suffer the same physical harms that our dream bodies suffer?"

 

"Kind of. Well actually, your body will not suffer much, but taking too much damage could mean you'll go insane.

 

Oh, that reminds be. Be careful of meeting you-"

 

The connection was cut at that inconvenient time as the smoke from the eaten shadow had spread around sufficiently. The earlier distortions started to happen once more, and out of nowhere, a wagon almost exactly like the one they took to reach the mansion passed them on the road. It went on its merry way until one of the shadows emitted a loud screech and slammed itself into it, with enough force to make it tumble to the farmlands on the side of the road. There were no movement coming from inside of the wagon at that moment, but perhaps they could investigate it?

Whether they chose to investigate the wagon or not though, after a few moments all the shadows in the area would emit a similarly loud screech as the one from earlier, and with their arms turning into a scythe-like appendage, they would start going after the four guild members.

 

OOC

 


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#15
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"Doubt it shall come in handy considering we're in a dream, but I can spare you some stomach medicine." Auburn reminded the boy who hastily ran up to eat one of the shadowy things. Once again, the fact that they were all in a dream world was hammered into his head hard. Things were very surreal and potentially very dangerous and he had to take it all as seriously as he could. Especially the weird screeching sound one of the shadows was emitting now. The fading static scenery, the barely incomprehensible shadow silhouettes, the wagon they rode in suddenly appearing and the sudden connection loss from Myrdain, all those put Auburn on guard.

 

He pulled out his gun in one hand and an exploding potion bottle in the other, and carefully approached the wagon. In the midst of this, the surrounding shadows grew scythe arms and began to chase them. Annoyed, Auburn threw the bomb potion bottle at the nearest one and then shot it. He pulled out another bottle and started running towards the wagon. "Someone cover me! I'll examine the wagon quickly, it may have something important! And keep a path to the door in the road open!"

 

He reached the wagon and realized he had very little time to examine it, and he also had to be careful and subtle since the shadow earlier seemed to have vanished upon contact. Anything could happen upon thoughtless contact.

 

Auburn kicked the wagon with all his might, hoping to turn it over.


BOYS, BE AMBITIOUS!

 

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#16
Astolfo

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For once in his life that he could remember, Ro felt slightly chastised. Eating the shadowcreature without any further precaution had been a silly idea, and his stomach still felt the brunt of its effects. Hanging his head low, he mumbled a short apology to Dmitri. Out of the group, he was the one Ro preferred the most - relatively speaking. Probably because he was bookish and seemed actually knowledged. No point in bothering with the other child brats.

”I… won’t do that again.”

Amusingly enough, the golden-haired kid offered some stomach medicine. Pah… as if that would help against the supernatural, let alone in a dream world. Still, Ro pasted a smile onto his face and thanked Auburn for the offer, pocketing it away for… later uses. Hearing Myrdain go on incredulously when Dmitri reported it before Ro could move to tell him to stop, Ro growled uncomfortably. He didn’t really enjoy being put on the spot. However, before he could complain any more about the situation that to be blunt, his own rash decisions got him into, the shadow he had ate - and promptly vomited - had spread around the world surrounding them. Moments later, a wagon manifested out of thin air, much like the one they had rode to the house they were currently in- Ro paused. Was it just a coincidence that she was remembering from perhaps past visits, or did the girl somehow truly have a form of awareness of the Cherry Heart group’s arrival?

As he watched though, one of the shadows suddenly let out a horribly irritating screeching noise, before charging full speed into the wagon and sending it toppling. While there was no visible movement from anything within the cart to hint at passengers or luggage, the shadows most definitely were interested. Every single one of the rest began to all subsequently let out the same nails-on-blackboard screaming before breaking into a mad dash towards THEM now. As if that wasn’t bad enough, their arms morphed into razor-sharp scythe-like appendages. It was safe to say that the cart was a lot more important than its still state seemed to suggest.

The gold-brat was the first to react, throwing some sort of explosive potion at one of the shadows and finishing it with a shot to the head. Pulling out another one of the flasks from some random pocket on his body, he charged towards the wagon, asking for assistance. Ro’s eyes glinted at the thought of battle, but as an earlier memory popped into his head, he glanced towards Dmitri, a bit apologetic.

”Ah… I won’t eat them this time, promise. And it’s been so many centu- I mean, long since something’s cut me, I want to see if these are up to the challenge. It’s a dream after all and the ole’ gramps up there said we could only go insane, right? So it ain’t bad for someone who’s already insane like me, eh?”

Turning to dash off, Ro gave one last quick look back towards Dmitri and signed with his hands, so that Ro wouldn’t have to go through the embarrassment of the other guild members witnessing him apologizing.

Sorry… for before.

Contorting his face into a pout, he stuck his tongue out at Mina and Dmitri before turning back around to join Auburn on his battles. Ro mumbled a few incomprehensible words that had a strangely unsettling reverbrance to them. His eyes alit with a bright emerald fire, his hands and the tips of his hair followed suit, giving almost a ghostly look, in contrast with his hyper-pale skin. Grabbing the nearest shadow with his bare hands, which now had more sharpened, talon-like fingers, acrid, pungent smoke began to arise as chemicals poured of Ro’s hands. Throwing aside the husk, it too began to vanish, but Ro was already hunting for the next one.

Quickly enough, they made it to the wagon and Auburn kicked it violently. And…

Inside were… copies of themselves? Every one of them. Well, except that the copies in the clones were fairly heavily injured from presumably being tackled, then kicked over. And the wagon driver was there too, but there was a constant blur hanging in front of the face, no matter what angle Ro looked at him from.

Ro took a second look at the mangled - and probably slowly dying if not already dead - copies of themselves, laying within the remnants of the carriage. A strange, painfully burning sensation began to manifest in Ro’s mind, and looking at his own arm, cuts were slowly beginning to appear out of thin air. Leaning in closer as suspicions began to form, the carriage copy of him had the exact same injuries. Immediately backpedaling, he landed on his rear a good distance from the wagon. His throat had began to burn too. Perhaps from the smoke or injuries in the dream wagon caused injuries to his throat as well.

For some inexplicable reason, the injuries would continuously and slowly transfer over to themselves the longer Ro stared at his own body. Averting his gaze, his eyes fell on Auburn, who was most likely equally taken aback. Grabbing his shirt by the collar, Ro yanked him away, yelling at him - well, as best as he could manage with what seemed to be a few broken lungs and throat clogged by ash and smoke - hacking up thick, black liquid in the process. That was actually his own normal blood, not that they’d know. But it would serve to further the sense of danger to the rest at least.

”Don… ‘T LOOK… ack… at… the bodies...” Coughing severely, he leaned on Auburn slightly as he tried to recover enough breath. ”They’re… dangerous… for us!” Ro’s glowing green eyes had faded since the earlier fight, and after returning to normal, it was clear he was worse off than before. He had stared too closely and too long at the dream clones before he realized what was happening. ”We can’t let the shadows get to the wagon either. Gotta… protect it..””

Motioning at Dmitri and Mina in the distance, he shook his arm urgently as widely as he could to get them to hurry over. Ro wasn’t in a condition to talk in full sentences anymore, and so he shook Auburn roughly, pointing at the other two guild members. He’d do this until Auburn would get the message that he’d need to convey the same warning and new task of defending the wagon. Bending over slightly, the light scratches on his arms had faded, but the more severe injuries he had seemingly copied from his dream version remained, judging by the burning in his chest and throat. As Auburn would go and hopefully tell the others, Ro growled angrily, spitting on the ground, glaring towards the sky.

I’m going to fucking cut his head off and boil him alive if we make it out of this.



Astolfo [CV: Ohkubo Rumi] - "BA-LLL-MUUU-NNN-GGG!"

#17
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"Kind of. Well actually, your body will not suffer much, but taking too much damage could mean you'll go insane.

 

Oh, that reminds be. Be careful of meeting you-"

 

 

Insane, that certainly would not do.  Dmitri had his own goals after all...this mission wouldn't hold him back, so he would not hold back this time around!  The dream world would know the name Geo Dmitri Newton!  With his chest puffed out, Dmitri pounded it with passion.  

 

”I… won’t do that again.”  

 

From Ro, he could hear the slight change in his tone, apologetic and sincere.  It caught Dmitri off guard a bit, he couldn't help but slightly turn red while scratching his cheek.  It was as if he had scolded a student who was merely begging for attention.  Almost cute, even.  


A ghastly scream encompassed the area.  Dmitri's spine shriveled upon hearing the terrible screeching of the black shadows from beforehand.  Before jumping into the heat of things, Ro turned to Dmitri, the same look painted on his face.  

 

 ”Ah… I won’t eat them this time, promise. And it’s been so many centu- I mean, long since something’s cut me, I want to see if these are up to the challenge. It’s a dream after all and the ole’ gramps up there said we could only go insane, right? So it ain’t bad for someone who’s already insane like me, eh?”

 

"Oh?  Well I'm glad you've learned your lesson, Ro."  Dmitri pushed his glasses up again, this time smiling, as the memory of the sun glistened off of his glasses.  "As a teacher, it really makes me happy."    Ro and Auburn were the first to join the fight, Ro motioning with his hands the well known phrase 'I'm Sorry' in sign, while also sticking out his tongue and pouting.  How old was this kid anyway...he stuttered upon almost describing his age...should he even be on a mission of this caliber?  Without much thought, the two of them knocked the wagon over, releasing the contents of some hobbled over bodies.  With Ro's reaction, it seemed quite unsettling what the contents of the caravan were, and he had no interest in finding out what it was.  

 

Dmitri soon found himself side by side with Ro and Auburn, seeing the shadows enclose on the carriage.  As one jumped, Dmitri shot out his hand, producing an almost two-dimensional rectangle, the size of a small wall.  Upon the creature's scythe's contact with the glassy, magic wall, it detonated, engulfing it and two others in a large explosion of light.  He turned his attention towards his guildmates, noticing that Ro had received quite a numerous amount of gashes in a short amount of time.  Concerned Dmitri made attempts to put small cube constructs surrounding Ro.  

 

"Don't touch those now, kid.  They're small enough to cause confusion, but I don't want you ending up more hurt than you are!"  He turned back to the fray with a smile on his face.

 

"So all we must do is protect this thing from these creatures?  Seems simple enough with mages of such high caliber!"  


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#18
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The shadows seemed to twist into different shapes as the group looked on and Mina could here strange whispers in her head that echoed louder and louder before they seemed to stop when the dream mage actually called to everyone. As everyone discussed questions with the mage, Mina let out a disgusting "Blech" when Ro thought it was a good idea to try and eat one of those shadows. What kind of people was she teamed up with?

After everything was said and done the shadow creatures started screeching when a familiar wagon was seen on the road. The creatures tackled the wagon and caused it to tip over in a ditch. "What the heck is going on?" Mina followed after the others and fired a few bolts at the creatures to fend them off. Looking at the inside of the wagon, Mina could make out the whole group including herself, though the faces were blurred out. Pain started to seemingly take hold of her as a slash mark appeared right on her cheek, she instinctively looked away from the wagon and attended to the mysterious wound. "What the... Heck..."

”Don… ‘T LOOK… ack… at… the bodies...” Mina turned to Ro who was seemingly under the same effect but worse. ”They’re… dangerous… for us! We can’t let the shadows get to the wagon either. Gotta… protect it..”

Mina pulled out her whip and rested her rifle on her shoulder. "This is all kinds of weird... But I guess dream worlds don't have to make sense... Let's deal with these things and get this nightmare over with." She said aiming and firing at the nearest shadow to the wagon.

#19
Mitchyrano de Belgerac

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"We're going to have to drag the bodies with us." Auburn concluded that they wouldn't be able to hold for long. After approaching the wagon earlier, he saw his own injured doppelganger and as a result, lost his left eye and now suffered from a strong headache. Thankfully he was dragged away by Ro before his injuries worsened, and had the nature of these clones explained. Conveying that to the other two guild members, they now stood surrounded by the shadows with no path open to the doorway on the road. But with Dmitri's light barriers at least, the shadows wouldn't be closing in immediately.

 

Firstly, Auburn handed a healing potion to Ro who seemed to be the most injured from seeing his doppelganger. The potions weren't going to run out any time soon but they take time to fully take effect, and they likely wouldn't heal Auburn's eye.

 

Instead he drew out two more potions. These were rarer and he didn't have a large stock of them. One of them was a small clear bottle housing a red liquid. "Never tried this one before but it should work." He muttered to himself as he downed it in one go, and began to feel energy filling his limbs. It was a strengthening potion that temporarily boosted his physical strength and energy. It wasn't much but it allowed him to move despite his injuries. He'd find himself exhausted soon but at least he'd be able to function right now.

 

The other potion he aimed and threw it so it landed between the wagon and the door ahead. It might not accomplish much but he could only hope. "It's a flashbang, close your eyes!"


BOYS, BE AMBITIOUS!

 

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#20
Astolfo

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A little while ago…
Ro had fumed with embarrassment. He thought apologizing was bad enough, but Dmitri had took on the role of a teacher, mentioning he was ‘proud’ of Ro for ‘learning his lesson.’ For someone who looked no older than mid-twenties, they managed to make a being eons old feel like a child time and time again. Groaning, he killed the next shadow with an extra vicious serum, moreso than usual. Beh.


As Ro was crouching over, inhaling large, gasping breaths, it seemed as if the others had arrived. Dmitri created what appeared to be small cubes of light around Ro. Just as he was about to poke one with a finger curiously, Dmitri sternly warned him against it. Recoiling slightly, the expression on Ro’s face was almost laughable - like a kid who just had his toys taken away.

When Auburn handed Ro another potion this time, this one for healing, even the cynical Archaíos had to admit that the brat had more benefits than he first noticed. Smiling - albeit a little weakly, given his current condition, he thanked the kid for the help. Popping the potion lid off with his thumb and downing the contents in one go, a slightly soothing feeling began to radiate through his body. It wasn’t an instant miracle cure by any means, but it would serve as a slow-acting painkiller and restorative, which was good enough.

Luckily enough, everyone else seemed to be handling the combat fairly well, keeping the shadows at bay. Questions streamed through Ro’s head. The dream copies of themselves were lying within the wagon, and obviously slowly dying. Just looking at them was enough to sustain their injuries, but what happens if the clones died? He shuddered. Despite his earlier proud bluff to Dmitri, it wasn’t something he was willing to test.

The process of thought was suddenly interrupted when Auburn shouted out for the group to close their eyes in preparation for his flashbang. Following suit, Ro squeezed them shut as the explosive flask blew apart, illuminating the world with painfully bright light. Despite closing his eyes, he could still feel the intense light through his eyelids altogether. Groaning, he put his hands over his eyes, getting a mild headache from the sudden exposure.

However, the effects on the shadows were immediate. Those immediately hit were vaporized altogether, while any others nearby had skittered off. For now, they were alone. Yet, even as Ro watched, more shadows appeared on the horizon to replace those lost. He sighed. Was there really no end to these things? The one positive was that the newly formed ones seemed to be simply wandering, not caring about the presence of the group at all. Lying flat on his back, he stared up towards the dream-sky. The break was a nice one, even if it would most likely not last too much longer.

Tilting his head to peer over towards Auburn, Ro mumbled, a bit abashedly from not knowing his name.

”Hey, bra- kid. What’s… um… your name? Also, any idea what to do next? The ones you just blew up are being replaced already. We can’t leave… those just lying in the wagon, so we’ll have to carry ‘em like ya said. But we know at least that looking at our own copies are definitely bad for us. No idea what touchin’ em will do, but a safer bet in my opinion is to have each person grab a different one, if ya get what I mean. Someone else’s copy shouldn’t affect ‘em… hopefully?”

Getting up slowly, wincing, Ro motioned in the general direction of the wagon.

”We’re gonna have to grab these bodies, but you’re NOT allowed to look at ‘em, aight? Just in case ya haven’t seen, those are our own bodies there. If ya look at yourself, you’ll get hurt more. So make sure you grab someone else’s.”

As Ro ripped off a part of his clothes for a makeshift temporary blindfold, he continued.

”Oh, and don’t walk behind the person carrying you, kay?”

Facing back towards the pile of bodies, he groped around, until he could find the biggest body - Dmitri’s. It was unlikely that any of the others except the man himself could carry the larger body, so Ro took it upon himself. Not out of pity, just… um… convenience. Hefting Dmitri on his back, he turned around, then pulled off his blindfold with the other hand, stuffing it in a pocket.

”Don’t look at me, Dmitri. I’ve got you. Also, girlie, for a kid like you, you’ve got some pretty nice tits, bwahahahaha.”

Ro pulled down his left eyelid, poking his tongue out at Mina.

”Beeeeh!”



Astolfo [CV: Ohkubo Rumi] - "BA-LLL-MUUU-NNN-GGG!"




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