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[CHQ] Guild Examination Quest

Cherry Heart Skaia Quest for the D Save Me

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#1
Alaina

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All guilds, sanctioned by the government, are given quests for them to solve. Those quests are all rated, given a letter that goes from E through A, and likewise all guilds are similarly labeled. Starting at E-Rank, those guilds are seen more as handymen a small problem solvers than anything serious or noteworthy. And so, to take on quests that are more rewarding in both monetary value and grandeur, the guild must go through a government regulated exam. These quests are the first step are the first steps for all guilds looking to make a name for themselves to take. One such quest was being held today, at a nearby cavern system. There, four guilds had been invited, meeting up at the mouth of this system.

 

The ride there was awkward, to say the least, for Fen. She was already tense from the onset of the ride, as she had not been totally mentally prepared for taking on such a mission with such high-stakes nor was the company she was with very uh...comforting. The ride had been mostly silent as none of the people she was with seemed to be very keen on talking, in addition to the fact that the girl wasn't exactly super comfortable with everyone she was with. Vincent she knew, and while he wasn't a terrible person or anything, he was still easily irritable. Then there was Ro, who Fen wasn't quite sure what to make of the boy, as he seemed to be smoking something flowery and genuinely(?) tried to tell her to calm down. Then there was the last one, who Fen had rarely seen before, and when she had she wasn't sure if she was actually real or not. She was referring to the naked - yes, naked - lizard person, who wasn't even inside the carriage at the moment. 

 

All in all, Fen had been very stiff in posture and on edge. As such, she was very relieved when their ride had come to a halt, stretching a bit as she walked out of the carriage. This was only replaced when she saw a group of 10 people already gathered at the meeting place. She didn't really make out much details of most of them, as a black haired man and red haired woman perked up as they had arrived. The red haired woman said, "oh, welcome. You must be here to take the guild examination, correct?" 

 

"What's your guild's name?" 

 

Fen shot up a bit as the black haired man had asked his question, stuttering out. "Ch-ch-cherry Heart!" 

 

The red haired chuckled a bit as the man wrote down the name, the girl saying, "well, glad you could make it. Now, we're currently only waiting for one more guild to arrive, so please, make yoursleves comfortable for the time being." 

 

As the black haired man gestured them away, a familiar sounding voice rang out. "Cherry Heart? Fen! It is you!" A purple haired girl, a smile plastered across her face walked up to the young chef. 

 

"Agina?" Fen was clearly taken by surprise by this sudden appearance. 

 

"The one and only! Well, maybe. I've never heard of Agina's so I've just assumed but perhaps- "

 

"Hello there." A brown hair boy, who had been with Agina, had walked over. "It would appear fate would have us take this exam on the same day, wouldn't it? Oh," he looked at the other three with her. "You're different than the ones who were with her before. I'm afraid we haven't met, my name is Alpine, of the Lemon Soul guild."

 

"And I am Agina! Coincidentally also in the Lemon Soul guild!" The girl then pointed to the other two who had been with her, the boy who Fen had recognize, and a white haired girl that she didn't know. "They too are in our guild, but they are very bad at speaking to people -" 

 

"What was that?" The male further back had retorted. 

 

"He is Sen. And the last one is Mellow." The irritable one, Sen, gave a begrudging wave as the white haired girl looked to Sen, only to then mimic his movement. While Alpine and Agina seemed to have a friendly expression on their face, Sen seemed to already be annoyed. However, as his eyes scanned across the group, he only seemed to get more so, until he stopped at Vincent. For no reason in particular, it appeared as if Sen was scowling at him. The white haired girl, however, didn't seem to have much in way of expression, merely looking at the quartet, though her gaze seemed to linger especially on Kasayee.

 

Alpine then asked, "so, what might all your names be?" 


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#2
God Emperor Cow

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Kasayee had eventually been placed on the exam quest. She didn't particularly care about taking harder quests but it was better than wasting her time making the guild building less appealing. Unfortunately this meant she was on a quest with that talking object. The one with all the buzzing noises about him.

 

Even on top of the carriage she could vaguely hear it. It made it hard for her to rest. Though not impossible. She was, unusually, glad to be able to walk when they arrived at their destination. She could keep her distance from the thing and hope it didn't decide to talk to her.

 

There were introductions and greetings and other such things that Kasayee didn't pay attention to. The sun was out, though there were clouds, so that was nice. She preferred it to cold, for obvious reasons, and it was nice to have one less thing to worry about.

 

The girl that came to greet...the other girl, the one with them, as though they knew each other. Relative? Mate? No, that didn't seem right...

"so, what might all your names be?"

The boy asked that question again. Humans were obsessed with names. She saw no reason to say it. She didn't know her fellow guild member's names and they didn't know hers even. She gave a dismissive wave of her hand as she locked her eyes on the white haired human farther back.

 

There was something odd there. A noise, different from the one coming from that thing they brought with them, was coming from her. Kasayee walked towards her without heeding any of the others. As she stood in front of the girl she realized what it was. Growling. A growling she was familiar with.

 

"What are you hunting?" Kasayee asked.


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#3
Hälō

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Vincent leaned with his back against the carriage as introductions were given. Whilst Fen did the talking, his attention was fell on the auras of all the six new mages present... The other four people around seemed to be normal for the most part, causing him barely even acknowledge their presence. 

 

First there was the two instructors. The woman's aura gave off a feeling of sharpness that was oddly disorienting... almost as if the magic particles around her were hyper defined. He could make each on of them out with extreme clarity, and found himself struggle to process all particles at once in this manner. Shifting his senses to the male, he realized that he was the exact opposite...

 

It's like staring at wall...

 

Vincent's gaze then went to Agina, and he was almost forced to squint as he tried to scope her out. From what he could tell girl's aura was quite tiny. With flickering sparks of orange and red. Though there was something unique about it...

 

Almost feels... hollow.

 

 

"Hello there." A brown hair boy approached, drawing Vincent to his energy signature. "It would appear fate would have us take this exam on the same day, wouldn't it? Oh, You're different than the ones who were with her before. I'm afraid we haven't met, my name is Alpine, of the Lemon Soul guild."
 
Hello, water mage.
 
Having been able to classify, Alpine almost instantly Vincent then closed his eyes and focused on the white haired girl standing farther back. Her aura was crimson and hue, and seemed... feral. 
 
  And then there's this guy...
 
As Vincent turned to study Sen, he noticed the other boy scowling in his direction. Quick to return Sen's glare with his own, Vincent leaned off of the carriage and completely ignored Alpine's attempt to ask his name.
 
Grunting irritably, he pushed past the water mage then began trudging forward at almost the exact same time that the lizard girl started to move towards Mellow.
 
Stopping his advance only a few inches from Sen, Vincent stood with his hands in his pockets and his head tilted back in annoyance. Something about this guy was strange. There was a steady flow of magic moving very close to him, but at the same time it wasn't like any aura Vincent had encountered before...
 
"It's rude to stare..." Vincent growled before taking another step in. "You gotta problem?"

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#4
Astolfo

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As Ro teased Vincent, an acrid scent, akin to that of ozone, started to drift through the air. He’s close to snapping~ A bit more... Just as he skipped backwards, having finished, he noticed the boy had his hand in a finger-gun shape. Crackling, dark red energy swirled around the tip in the form of a sphere. Hmmm~ That could hurt. Good thing I jumped away when I did, heehee! Ro stared boredly into Vincent’s eyes. A split second later, the orb whizzed by his head, smashing some of the rock foundation beside him. Not even flinching, he had to resist the urge to yawn as Vincent droned on about some threat or other. I’ve had my fun with this human. That reminds me, I need my smoke. No wonder I was a bit grouchy, heh.

Lazily flicking a thumbs-up, Ro headed off towards the site of pickup for transport to the quest location. As a thought popped up in his head, he debated whether to apologize to the human girl - Fen, or so the girl stammered out. She hadn’t done anything to upset him, but he had inadvertently dragged her into the heat of things because of the little spat with the boy. Glancing towards Vincent’s expression though, he decided he’d probably do it later when Vincent wasn’t nearby. Judging by the boy’s face, if Ro made an attempt to approach Fen now, he’d probably snap even worse. Ro sighed slightly, looking towards the sun for help.

“I can’t even help the whole smell thing, phew. What a great way to start off the day… Bleh.”


Thankfully, the remainder of the time until pickup was uneventful, even if the ride itself afterwards was apparently a bit tense. Apparently some lizard girl was tagging along on top of the vehicle too for some reason. Not that Ro cared either way. Pulling out a vial and a pipe, he pulled open a section on the pipe to pour the sweet, crystal-clear, glowing blue liquid inside. Snapping it shut, he pulled out a matchbox to ignite the pipe. Leaning back on the seat of the carriage, Ro took a deep drag. A rosy blush came over his face as the blue lotus essence started to take its relaxing effect.

“Ehehe...”

Looking over, the girl, Fen, seemed to be a bundle of anxiety. Patting her on the back, he spoke with a mellifluous resonance.

“Fen… was it? Lighten up a bit. Everything’s gonna be aaaaaalllriiiight, y’hear? And if it comes to it, I’m sure the guy here...” Ro paused, struggling to remember the name. It had already lost importance to him. “... Vince, can save the day. Oh, hm.” The horned boy pulled the pipe out of his mouth, wiping the mouthpiece down with a corner of his sleeve. “Want to try it? It’ll help you ease up a bit.” Ro’s eyes wandered around. “Oh, yeah. It shouldn’t be dangerous to humans. Probably.”


The rest of the ride was mostly silent. Once they arrived, Ro immediately took the chance to jump out and stretch his limbs.

“Fuwaaah, that feels great!”

He glanced over at the sound of multiple voices. Ten people were already there before they were. Ah, right. We’re competing with others, aren’t we? Ro sat back passively, letting Fen do the talking - well, more of flustered stuttering. From the sounds of it, the black-haired man and brown-red haired woman that greeted them were the quest administrators. By extension, they were probably guild-management administrators of the entire city, if not a bigger region, by the logic they were administrating multiple quests at this occasion. Big names then. The smells of this new place were interesting. The man had an undiscernable, mysterious scent. If it wasn’t for the fact that Ro could definitely tell he smelled SOMETHING, it was as if there was no scent. Completely unrecognizable. The woman on the other hand, was the complete, sharp opposite. His eyes briefly watered involuntarily. The scent was sharp, but not unpleasant. It was as if one walked out from a warm house into the freezing winter and breathed in the fresh scent. It was sharp, yet clean.

Once the short talk from the administrators ended, two new faces went over to greet Fen. One was a purple-haired girl, and her companion a brown-haired boy. In contrast to the administrator, the girl’s smell was like that of embers; smoky and thick. The boy was similar to the administrator in a way, but different. It had the same wintery feeling, but nowhere near the clarity of the woman’s. If Ro had to say, it was closer to a flowing river than glacial ice. It seemed as if these two were friends with Fen - or at least the girl.

They introduced themselves as from the guild Lemon Soul. Does every newbie guild have some obsession with naming themselves after a fruit and spirituality? As it turned out, there were two more from their guild as well, but the female’s expression turned a bit apologetic, explaining both were antisocial. Proving her point, the grouchy teenage male - Sen - behind her spat out a retort right at that moment. The white-haired girl silently imitated Sen’s wave afterwards, but otherwise said nothing, choosing to stare at the lizard girl.

Whew, almost forgot this girl-thing was with us in the first place. These two are interesting too, hm. The girl smells awful though, like some sort of wet fur. Bleeurgh.

What the hell is with this guy though? It’s like the male admin dude, but not. I can’t recognize or make any sort of sense at all.


Alpine’s voice cut through his inner thoughts. Kasayee ignored him, going straight for the white-haired wet-fur-smell girl to start some conversation he didn’t care about. Not surprisingly, Vincent already got heated after Sen’s less-than-enthusiastic self-introduction, starting to bicker. Ignoring him, Ro stepped past him to shake Alpine’s hand, lowering his head slightly.

With a honeyed voice, Ro introduced himself with a sly grin.

.“Pleased to make your acquaintance, Alpine. I am Ro, a perfectly ordinary human sans the ordinary. And human, teehee~

Joking, joking. So, tell me something about yourself? Maybe we can become great friends!”


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#5
Alaina

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The girl, Mellow, continued to stare at Kasayee as she approached her. She didn't seem to make any sort of movement or noise, but tilted her head to the side in confusion when the lizard girl asked her a question. It took her a second, but eventually Mellow seemed to realize what she was saying. The girl pointed to herself, opening her mouth making an, "aaaah" noise. She then bit down and appeared to be chewing on something, only to then shake her head. The sound that Kasayee had heard had not changed, nor did it seem to even acknowledge it was spoken to. "Mellow!" Agina had walked over from her other talking partners saying, "are you making a new friend?"

 

Mellow seemed to be curious about the question, and then pointed to Kasayee. "Yes, her." Mellow shrugged. Agina kept a smile on her face as she continued to look at her friend. Turning to face Kasayee she said, "well, hello there naked lizard person. Sorry about Mellow here," she walked over to the white haired girl, shaking her a bit as she said, "she doesn't talk much - well, no, ever - with words. But she does talk with finger pointing! But if you need to talk to her I will do my best to give you vague and possibly inaccurate translations of her intentions!"  

 

Meanwhile, Sen hadn't moved from his spot as Vincent approached him, merely looking him dead in the eye. As Vincent leaned back, Sen shifted his posture to be standing up more straight, putting his own hands in his pocket. "Problem?" The boy practically spat. "Yeah, I got one. It's got piss colored hair and is talking to me." 

 

As the other two made their way without really acknowledging Alpine's greeting in the slightest, he sighed. He then looked to Vincent and Sen, an expression of worry on his face, muttering, "it's like there's two of them."

 

Fen quickly said, "u-um, sorry about them. The one over there is Vincent and she's uh..." she looked at Kasayee for a moment, before saying, "I-I don't really know who she is, actually." 

 

While Alpine was curious about this, he turned to the strange person who was also with Cherry Heart, introducing himself as Ro. Though he was a bit confused by the, clearly not human, boy's greeting Alpine all the same said, "well, a pleasure to meet you Ro. I certainly hope that our two guilds can get along in the future." He glanced to the others before saying, "even if that might be a bit difficult at present." 

 

After a bit of waiting around and talking with each other, the final guild had finally arrived at the site. Going by the name of Barkskin, the four members of the guild had all piled out of their own cart with the leader apologizing for their tardiness. Once they had, the red haired girl had clapped her hands together with the black haired man saying, "alright kids, gather around."

 

"The examination is about to start."

 

As they all gathered around, the two adults began to spoke. "Lemon Soul. Barkskin, Cherry Heart. Leafsprit. All of you have preformed well thus far, and have been allowed to take this exam. I am Neru, and I will be one of you administers for this Exam."

 

The female smiled saying, "and you may call me Evelyn. You've all done well to make it here, but this exam is to see if you have what it takes to make it in the real world of adventuring, philanthropy, and employment."

 

Neru's expression was flat as he said, "anyway, the rules here are simple. You are to locate the dragon jewel, which has been split into four fragments. Once a team has exited the cavern with four fragments, they have passed the test. A team is disqualified if all of them agree to surrendering and say so in a clear and loud voice. They are disqualified if all four members exit the cavern without having passed with the jewel fragments. They are disqualified if all four members are no longer able to take the quest. And," his expression seemed to be more serious as he said, "a team is disqualified if they kill another person." His expression went back to neutral as he said, "but, I doubt that'll happen." 

 

Evelyn chuckled a bit as she slapped Neru on the back. "And the test is over once every team has either passed or failed the exam. See, simple. Now, each team will enter from a different entrance, and you will all begin at the same time. All simple right? However, if you have any questions, now is the time to ask them, if not, get  to your marked starting positions and get ready."

 

OOC

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God Emperor Cow

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It seemed as though the girl herself was the cause of the noise. Though she did appear to know what it was to some extent. It was also clear that the girl couldn't speak. Which would make it difficult to find out what this noise she was hearing was. Thus Kasayee felt less motivated to find out. However...it was still curious, and she did want to know.

 

She barely glanced at the girl who arrived to speak on this Mellow's behalf. Kasayee doubted that one could provide her the answers she needed.

 

Kasayee reached out her hand towards the girl in front of her, placing her palm on the other girl's cheek. The growling wasn't changing, and it was clearly coming from within this human. She wanted to see if there was any change, any feeling, she could glean from this contact.

 

The human looked cautious, confused, though after a few moments she, too, touched her hand to Kasayee's face. They stood like that for a few seconds before Kasayee did anything else. Looking into the girl's eyes she could only see bewilderment. So the spirit, if it was indeed a spirit, was within her yet...she couldn't feel anything of it like this.

 

"The spirit within you is fierce, do you not feel it?" Kasayee asked.

 

Mellow put her finger to her chin, looking a bit surprised by what Kasayee said, and seemed to be in thought before nodding.
Agina cheerily responded, “she most certainly knows about that, Ms. Lizard.”

 

Hand still on Mellow's face she asked, not looking at Agina, "What is...it?"

 

Agina then seemed to be a bit lost in thought, looking to Mellow, only to then start touching her face, much to Mellow’s dismay. She then seemed to look around Mellow entirely before saying, “with a 99% degree of certainty after much observation I can say that she is probably human!”

 

Kasayee sighed. This human wasn't getting it. She wasn't asking Agina, she was asking Mellow. "Not her...it." She wanted to know what the creature dwelling inside this human was.

 

Agina looked confused by this statement, and then looked to Mellow. The white haired girl then removed Kasayee’s hand from her face and looked to Agina making a “raaaah” noise. Agina clapped her hands together before matter of factly stating, “oh! That! I haven’t the faintest idea!”

 

Kasayee let her hand drop to her side, with a slightly disappointed look. She didn't learn much from this, but what she did learn caused her want to know more. She was unused to being this interested in a singular human but this..."Mellow" was quite odd.

 

Mellow and Agina gave a wave goodbye. “so did you make a new friend?” Mellow simply shrugged.

 

Hearing the administrators' announcement she pulled herself away, thoughts still on the spirit, and barely listened to what the goal was. To her it didn't matter much, especially not with what she had learned. If she could learn more about that, it took precedent, but she supposed she should at least do something about the quest itself.

 

She took her place at the mouth of the cave. Her gaze drifted around but occasionally stopped on Mellow again. Perhaps during this quest she'd learn more about why the spirit was residing inside of this silent human.


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#7
Alaina

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With no questions to be had, and everyone at the ready, Fen had moved alongside the others to the entrance of the cavern. As all the other teams had gotten into place, Evelyn spoke up again. "And remember kids. This may be a job, but it won't feel like work if you have fun with it!" She seemed to have a jovial smile on her face, with Neru merely sighing. Being motioned on, the groups had begun their exam, moving into the cavern. As they did, Evelyn walked away from the caverns, going behind a nearby rock. With a swift pulling motion, she pulled a lever that had hiding behind it, causing rock walls to slide down, blocking the entrances and locking the people inside the caves.

 

When the door had slid down, the cavern had gone completely black. Though, after a few seconds had passed stones alongside the walls had lit up with a faint blue glow, allowing the guild members to see ahead of them. Fen's face showed nothing but nerves across it as she let out a nervous laugh, saying, "w-well, they uh, um, don't seem to mess around." With that, the girl began to move alongside all the rest of her guild mates, making their way through the cavern. 

 

The path was relatively straight forward, extending forward and sloping downwards at times. The walk had lasted for fifteen minutes, nothing seeming to change in regards to the scenery until the hallway finally opened up to a room. The floor was a mix of earth, dust and dirt and the room was not all that large, dome-like in shape. The walls were of the same rock that the rest of the cavern was. The only thing notable about the room was a small stone pedestal, roughly five feet off the ground, with no real design on it. At the top of the pedestal rested what appeared to be a fragment of a red gem. 

 

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God Emperor Cow

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"And remember kids. This may be a job, but it won't feel like work if you have fun with it!"

 

Kasayee wasn't sure what to think of this one. She seemed stupid. Though if she was one of the people in charge here that couldn't the case, right? Well, whatever her intelligence level it didn't stop her from trapping them in the cave.

She didn't like being underground but it was better than being in a city and she had already suffered through that.

 

"w-well, they uh, um, don't seem to mess around."

 

"It isn't a problem...unless there's no airflow, then we'll all suffocate." Kasayee said nonchalantly as they walked. The cave seemed nothing too special, beyond the glow that persisted and lighted their way. She didn't say much to the others unless they decided to speak to her and so she kept mostly silent. She was in the front of the group due to having started walking as soon as they were trapped inside so she was the first to see when the area changed.

 

The only real difference, besides the shape of the area, was the pedestal with the red gem on it. It made her think of the previous quest. Pedestals seemed to be something important to humans. "I guess I'll check it out." Kasayee told the others and went right for it. She looked around the room, looking for signs of animal life or...something else, something like the camouflaged creature she faced before.

 

As all she could see were cave bugs and, since she knew nothing would happen if nothing was done, she looked at the gem. It was nestled within a small grove in the stone. Red, and appeared to be a quarter of a sphere. The cut was clean, possibly indicating there were three other similar gems somewhere.

 

Without much else to do, Kasayee grabbed onto the gem. She lifted it easily and, as she did, she heard a click coming from the pedestal. "Either I opened something or a trap has been sprung." She said to the others, in a calm tone.

 

OOC Note


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#9
Hälō

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 "Either I opened something or a trap has been sprung."

 

Moments later a rush of air filled the room, as a massive slave of stone fell down to cover the entrance the group had just came from. Vincent glanced around quickly as a grinding noise followed by vast array of cranks and colliding bangs were heard from behind the slab. This persisted for a quite a few moments before finally dying off, leaving the room silent...

 

Clicking, the stone blocking the exit began to rise once again, revealing a completely new scene beyond the threshold. "Or maybe both..." Vincent responded to the Druid before making his way over the doorway to study giant chasm that had replaced the magically lit hallway from early.

 

There were various pillars of earth standing up at all about the dark chasm, and upon gingerly slipping his head in the room, the boy could make out what looked to be another door on a lower level of the area. 

 

"I don't feel any bad mojo in here..." Vincent called back the others before stepping in and shifting his gaze up to the tiny obelisks that sat atop handful of the pillars. "But those have some magic flowing through 'em." His tone was low as he motioned towards the obelisk by tilting his head in their direction.


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#10
Astolfo

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Alpine seemd taken aback by the situation, but Ro couldn’t blame him. It was definitely an awkward one to watch their own guild members arguing with another’s. Thankfully, the last guild arrived fairly soon after their own had, introducing themselves as Barkskin. With all members being present, the administrators took over, explaining the details as well as setting guidelines. After the short speech, each of the guilds moved to take their place at the respective entrance to the cave.

Dragon jewel, split into four parts, hm. The fact that the administrators are running this exam in the first place means they have control over it, but then by extension, are they the ones that shattered it in the first place? If it was a useful artifact, they would’ve already put it back together for their own use, wouldn’t they?

Ro stared down into the cavernous entrance. The immediate surroundings were dimly lit, and the walls stretched on further than his eyes could see. As the administrators motioned for the guilds to enter, Ro followed his guild mates. Suddenly, the grating sounds of churning rock blasted from behind him. Whirling around, the entrances they had taken were sealed with huge stone blocks. The light source being cut off, the cave paths turned into an inky-black that left no visual cues until they made their way across some glowing stones later.

Walking alongside his teammates, Ro scanned the surroundings. It felt like the walk was lasting forever, but realistically, it could not have been more than around twenty minutes. Suddenly, the hallway they were in opened up, revealing a room. It was empty and plain, save for the pedestal with a red, crystalline shard on it.

There’s no way it’s this eas-

The lizard girl skipped past the others of the group, grabbing the crystal fragment off its pedestal. Immediately, the sound of a click was emitted. Ro resisted the urge to shout at Kasayee. There was no benefit to doing so at this point. It definitely wasn’t a positive sign though, given how easy retrieving this shard was. With their luck, it would end up triggering some sort of dangerous trap. Sensing some movement above, Ro leapt backwards as stone blocks slammed down from the skies, sealing off their entrance once more.

Within seconds afterwards, the sound of obnoxiously loud bangs and collisions could be heard from behind the blocks, before they rose. The difference was, this time, it was not the same tunnel that they had walked out of before, but an entirely unique room. A massive chasm now separated the floor, with only several pillars of rock to reach what appeared to be a door on the other side.

As Vincent spoke, Ro turned a head curiously, listening. Ro’s eyes shifted towards the obelisks as well, at Vincent’s warning, and sure enough, the faint scent of magic was present. His eyes flickered back towards the rock columns. They seemed steady enough for now, but it was all too simple of a matter to collapse them via magic or otherwise rig the setup with lethal traps.

Ro stepped forward, looking at the other members of his guild.

“What should we do? The pillars are almost certainly rigged via those magic obelisks. But we can’t reach the obelisks to destroy them without climbing on top of the pillars first.

Destroying the obelisks might destroy any traps, but it may destroy the pillars as well, separating us permanently from the other side.”


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#11
Alaina

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As the apparent trap had been sprung, Fen had an obviously surprised expression across her face as the noises started to whir behind the door. This shock soon turned into curiosity, waiting for the noises to stop, only to look out the door alongside everyone else as it did. The pillars seemed to be in three different heights, and having a reasonable to much more difficult distance to cross between them. The girl looked over to the three short obelisks that Vincent had pointed out, but due to the dim lighting of the room and the distance between them all, she couldn't make out anything more about them. As Ro seemed to be musing aloud about what their plan of action should be, Fen looked a bit worried as she said, "well, um, how would do you, uh, think we should break them? My magic isn't really, well, geared, towards that. I don't uh, really know about the others, though." The girl wasn't entirely sure what to make of this all, as they only seemed to be able to cross the gaps at the moment. Though, she couldn't deny the possibility there were more traps in this area. Unsure, the girl looked towards the others, unsure of how to ask for their advice on how to proceed, though her expression saying it all the same. 

 

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#12
God Emperor Cow

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Kasayee didn't know what the bow human meant by no bad mojo. Though she couldn't detect any restless spirits so perhaps it was to do with that. She followed his gaze to the objects he claimed were filled with magic. The girl and the thing seemed to be discussing if it would be good to destroy them and if they even could.

 

Though neither seemed to be too keen on making a move. Kasayee glanced in the room again. The pillars were of various heights and distances across from each other. It would make sense this was the thing called a "puzzle". Something set up a specific way to test or guard. It seemed like a waste of energy to the druid.

 

She looked at the gem in her hand. She didn't want to just toss it away so... "Someone, hold onto this. I don't have anywhere to put it." She gestured at her lack of pockets...or any sort of clothing. "Well...." Kasayee shook her head. "I don't want to lose it." Once she handed it off to whomever offered to take it the girl stepped to the edge of the doorway.

 

Transforming into a bird she first dove straight down, heading for the floor. A gust of wind came up and blew her back towards the tops of the pillars. Though she did notice the ground looked to be entirely black. That seemed to be a trend these days.

 

She decided to fly towards the obelisk on the tallest pillar, to the left. There didn't seem to be any issues for her getting to the object. She circled the object, triangular, four sides leading to a point, three of them being blank. The side facing away from the wall, however, was a different story.

 

Towards the bottom there was a little cylindrical piece that came off of it, with a hole. Text above it said, "The Staff of the Conqueror will open the path to the Dragon Slaying Sword"

 

Dragon Slaying Sword? Is that what they were looking for? Kasayee began to wonder if there was an alternate reason for coming here. A sword that would slay Dragons...is that something humans should have?

 

She moved on towards the one below, on the shorter of the pillars. It was similar to the other but without the cylinder and the words instead said, "The hero must start from the lowest of lows, and only through his connections, shall he reach the highest point " As she read she noticed a hole where the writing ended. Which went into a blackness similar to the floor.

 

Starting to feel bored and tired of this she reluctantly flew towards the last of the obelisks. It looked just like the previous one. "No steel nor mortal shall slay the Tyrant, yet the hero must press on." were the words written. And its hole was a gray color.

 

Kasayee decided to fly towards the doorway at the other end of the room. In the doorway is a small, stone, block with a slit in it. It, too, had writing. "The hero's journey is fraught with danger and loss, yet only his sword may open the dragon's tomb."

 

Again with the sword...She was starting to see what was going on here...but she had done enough. She flew back to the rest and transformed back as she landed. Taking a few moments to take a breather, she then pointed at each of the obelisks in turn, then the stone slab, and described what she saw. Then, with having said much more than she had ever in one time, she sat on the floor with her legs dangling off the edge. It was their turn to do things now.


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#13
Hälō

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Having taken the gem from the druid without a word, Vincent watched her fly around the room to do recon with a rather bored expression. After the girl had returned and gave a surprisingly detailed description of what she saw, Vincent sighed before sliding the gem in his pocket. 

 

"I've always hated riddles and s***..." The boy grumbled whilst glancing at Fen. Her expression was a clear indicator that she had no idea what the f*** to do, meaning that she'd be as much help as the druid. That meant it was more or less up to him and Ro to sort this out...

 

Bright green particles began to make themselves visible in the air around the boy as he begun to think. They drifted down to his left hand before suddenly shifting to a crimson hue that began swirl around Vincent's wrist as he took a step towards the edge.

 

Still gathering the particles left behind by the druid for later use, Vincent suddenly sprung forward and jumped across to the pillar directly across from the entrance. 

 

"I guess we can start by seeing if this gem fits in any of those things, right?" Landing with a grunt, the boy called to his teammates from over his shoulder as he broke off into a short sprint across the two connected pillars before jumping once again and landing on the third pillar in the row. 


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#14
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Unsurprisingly, the little girl - Fen - had not much idea of what to do beyond destroying the pillars. Not that Ro thought any less of her, there wasn’t much of a clear solution in general. A few seconds later though, it seemed that the druid girl had a course of action. Via shapeshifting into animal forms, she traversed the course of the map through her wings. Returning, she gave a brief description of her information.

Which, to Ro, was entirely unhelpful. He was never the kind to be good at riddles, despite loving them, and loving giving out ones of his own. The issue was thinking about the potential meanings required complex thought, and with his own forgetfulness and short attention span, he’d usually wander off midway. Taking a look at Vincent, the boy had started to charge up energy particles, before going on a jumping spree across the pillars.

With not much else to do, Ro shrugged, agreeing.

“That’s about as much as we can do for now, probably. Careful though, the pillars might be rigged.”

Taking a deep breath, the veins in Ro’s arms started to glow as a whitish mist diffused from his fingertips. Stepping into it, Ro slowly took a deep breath. Inside were the diluted components of amphetamines, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Unfortunately, the latter components would remove the ‘pleasure high’ of the first, but that wasn’t a significant loss for now anyways. The combination however, would help to sharpen the senses as well as boost physical strength and endurance for a bit, at the cost of tiredness later. In short, self-doping.

Ro paused, then turned to Fen.

“This cloud is basically composed of drugs. I’m taking it so I can push myself further for now, but I’m not sure if I’d recommend it to you. I toned the dosage to myself, after all.

However, I’m not sure if you could follow us to the other side, and I don’t think leaving you behind could be an option either. If you want to take the risks, go ahead. Just warning you, since you’re a human, and a fairly fragile one at that.

Also, your future boyfriend might try to kill me if he heard I drugged you. Anyways, too da loo~!”


Turning back, Ro dropped into a low stance before running into a sprint and leaping off from the edge. Landing on the pillar across the entrance, he ran across the two connected pillars. Throwing himself into a third jump, he skidded to a halt where Vincent was standing, taking a few moments to catch his breath, the rush still making Ro feel giddy.

“Do you want the left or the front?”

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#15
Alaina

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As Ro brought up his idea to Fen she was rather unnerved by the idea of using some kind of drug to help her get across. She was even more so taken aback by the strange boy's comment about her "future boyfriend" responding with a confused, "w-what?" Regardless, after taking everything into account, the girl shook her head saying, "it's um, it's fine." Ro was correct in his statement that she was indeed a frail human. It was for this reason that she actually felt it more prudent to figure out a way across the gaps herself. The girl wasn't an entire stranger to jumping or climbing, though the larger gaps were certainly harrowing for her to think about crossing. "I'll, I'll find my own way." She nodded, until she had accidentally looked down, spooked by the blackness that was below. "But uh- I'll wait here until I'm needed. Yeah." With a nervous smile, the girl stepped back a bit, watching as Ro and Vincent made their way across. 

 

The two would find the jumps to be mildly difficult to cross. Both because of the distance of the gaps and the height difference, some of the gaps would prove a bit too difficult for any regular person to cleanly get across. Thankfully, neither of them were particularly regular people, so with some assistance of their respective magics, they would manage to get across the gaps. As they had decided on the lowest one first, when Vincent stuck the gem at the hole in the obelisk he would find something curious about it. The hole, in actuality, was not just boundless darkness. It was instead, some black tar like substance that would give way as soon as Vincent pressed against it. Nothing would happen at first, but as Vincent kept pressing further into the hole, it would continue to give way. When his wrist and some of his forearm had finally passed into the hole, there would be a clicking noise coming from the obelisk. 

 

On the side opposite from Vincent, the wall of the obelisk would open up to reveal a golden bow in a compartment. If Vincent saw it, he would be able to see a faint trace of magic from it. In addition, he would also be able to see faint magic particles coming from all of the pillars. Were Vincent to pull his hand out, it would be met with some resistance as the tar had started to wrap around it, but he would be able to all the same, the compartment that had opened up would close. 


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God Emperor Cow

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It looked like those two were getting to work. Good, she could let them solve this then. She watched them for a while as they approached one of the obelisks and...a thing happened. Whatever it was they hadn't gotten killed so it was probably positive.
 
With a soft release of breath from her mouth Kasayee went from sitting, legs dangling off the edge of the doorway, to laying on her back. Instead of seeing the ceiling and, hopefully, watching some bugs crawl about to remind her that nature existed everywhere, she noticed the other female in their group. The small one.
 
"Aren't you going to do something?" Kasayee asked. She looked like a nervous creature. Surely she wanted to help right? It didn't seem she was uninterested...
 
Fen twiddled her fingers her a bit, slightly embarrassed as she said, "well, I um, I want to but...I think I'd just be in the way right now."
 
Kasayee barely tilted her head up to look at the two others. "They're not highly intelligent." She said bluntly. "You have just as much chance as them."
 
"Uh-um, I'm not sure if you should- well, I guess?" Fen wasn't quite sure how to respond to the girl. "I suppose I could start going over." The girl looked a bit nervous to start crossing the gaps again, before she looked back to Kasayee saying, "um, what about you?"
 
"I'm staying here. The ground isn't too bad. I've done enough." She wasn't sure why the girl was so worried. Then she remembered what the thing had said to her. "That man is your mate? Humans don't like when their mates help them?" Humans were unusual creatures to her still.
 
"Wh-what?!" The girl was both confused and flustered once more as she said, "we're not- I uh, I think you're misunderstanding something. We're just friends- well, I think we're friends- anyway. But, um, I don't really think he'd mind anyway...probably."

 

"Friends..." Kasayee shrugged, an awkward maneuver while laying down, as Fen said that. That other human girl had talked about friendship as well, hadn't she? "Well go ahead then. Unless you want to lay here with me. I don't mind whatever you do."


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#17
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Ro’s eyes flashed towards the obelisk. Just moments earlier, Vincent had placed the gem inside of the pedestal, which sunk inwards. After pushing his arm down to almost the elbow, a clicking sound resounded, and simultaneously, a slot in the opposite obelisk slid open, revealing a golden bow.

“Vince, pull your arm out, now!”

As Vincent moved to withdraw his arm, it met resistance, as if his arm was gripped by tar. Thankfully, he was able to, but upon a look back at the obelisk, the slot had closed once more, masking the compartment. A look of silent understanding passed between the two. If they were to obtain the bow, Vincent would have to stay here to trigger the trap.

”Ro, go and grab the bow. I’ll stay here. Once you get there, I’ll trigger the trap again.”

Ro nodded, breaking into a run for the obelisk. Sliding to a halt on the other end, he flashed Vincent a thumbs up, and the other nodded, inserting his arm into the pedestal once more. The moment the compartment slid open, Ro’s arm snaked in, snatching the bow from its slot. It met with some resistance at first, but with a strong yank, the harnesses holding it down opened on their own.

The bow was a beautiful golden, its string the same color. Feathers adorned the top and bottom, finishing the wondrous look. However, something was unusual. He hefted it in his hand a bit. Despite seeming golden, the material was a lot lighter than he expected, similar to steel. Placing one end of the bow’s curvature into his mouth, he bit down, immediately wincing afterwards. The hardness was that of steel as well, not the soft leniency of gold.

Turning around, he waved the bow, showing Vincent. Swiftly, Ro leapt and ran back, rejoining Vincent back at the pedestal. He nodded, observing the bow himself as well. Ro shrugged.

“So what next?”

Vincent nodded his head back at the center pillar, the one the two had started out on.

”Go back over there. I’m getting a gut feeling something’s gonna fuck up when I pull my arm out, and I’m not responsible for you. I’ll meet you there, then we can discuss what to do next.”

Ro nodded, although Vincent’s tone stung slightly. Bleh. Hopping over, Ro landed back on the center pillar, showing the bow he retrieved to the other two back at the start. Nodding at Vincent, he waved with his free hand.

“Alright, I’m ready!”

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#18
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"Here we go..." Vincent responded to Ro's signal whilst yanking his arm free from the obelisk. A sudden rush of magical energy from the pillar quickly alerted him that he had indeed triggered some kind of trap. Turning on his heel and darting towards the edge of the pillar to leap to safety, the boy was met with a wall of force that appeared just before his body hit the edge. 

 

"s***." Stepping back quickly, Vincent growled in annoyance whilst studying the forcefield that had now revealed itself around the pillar. The air shimmered and wobbled to form the edges of a magic bubble, which was placed firmly over the top of the pillar to contain whoever had made use of obelisk, and in that moment Vincent was thankfully that he had trusted his gut... 

 

"Looks like you ladies are going to have to get your hands dirty after all..." The boy called over to his teammates. His voice seemed to be muffled slightly by his prison, and were punctuated by a loud thud from his attempt to kick through it.

 

It was solid. Sighing in annoyance, Vincent clasped his hands together and forged an arrow that was roughly the size of his arm. "Hm," The boy's eyes narrowed as he attempted insert the arrow into the obelisk as a substitute for his arm. The glowing construct struggled against quite some resistance, and quickly crumbled when Vincent tried to force it through. 

 

"Welp, worth a try..." Vincent grumbled before sliding his arm into the obelisk. Though this time he clutched the crystal in his free hand. Just like before, when he reached a certain point, the compartment for the bow opened and the barrier disappeared.

 

"Ro," Vincent sighed before calling across the pillars. "You better catch this..." After tossing the crystal over to his guild mate, Vincent slouched slightly to get comfortable. "Bring it over to open the next highest obelisk. Then give it to one of the girls so they can do the same."    


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#19
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Fen took a few deep breaths, getting ready to start crossing the giant gaps, she stopped as it appeared Ro was coming back to the starting area. Looking at him, he appeared to now have a somewhat extravagant looking bow in his hands. Curious about it, her attention was soon directed towards Vincent, as he appeared to be trapped in some sort of bubble, calling for Ro to come over so that he could hand off the gem to him. Nodding for Ro to go ahead, she said, "don't worry, I can um, I can get across myself." Nodding to assure, more to herself than anyone else, the girl looked over to the lizard girl to see if she was about to get moving as well, though she seemed less than interested. Letting out a sigh, the girl began to cross the pillars by jumping across them. The larger gaps, the girl was able to make with great effort, being able to grab onto the edge of the pillar so that she could pull herself up.

 

After much repetition of these manuevers, she would eventually be able to make it to the second of the obelisks. Once they got there, upon closer examination, they'd be able to see the hole on this obelisk as well. True to what the lizard girl had said, it was a light gray color, and the hole itself was on the northwest of the obelisk. Turning to Ro she asked, "so um, what do you think we should do here?"

 

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The others were figuring things out...Kasayee assumed. She couldn't actually see what they were doing as she was staring at the ceiling. Watching the various forms of life that made this place home. She was happy to see them. It meant this place wasn't entirely fallen from nature despite being used for a test.

 

With a grunt of effort Kasayee moved around so she was laying on her stomach. Resting her head on her arms she watched the progress being made.

 

When the bow one mentioned that they'd have to do things she just looked towards the other girl. "I think he means you." She told her as the girl seemed to come to the same conclusion and began making her way across.

 

Kasayee watched the girl. She wasn't very physically capable, was she? The only one who had made it across without help of those three was the bow user. Both the girl and the thing struggled more it seemed, the thing having used some kind of drug to bolster their strength.

 

The druid tilted her head a bit as she watched. They weren't all too impressive looking. She wondered if the other guilds were like this as well.

 

Then she started thinking about the smell of stone and got lost in thoughts.


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