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Thread: Ryozanpaku

  1. #311
    He wasn't playing with others, but rather, hurting them? That had to be nonsense, right? All the others had such an amazing time as life left their eyes, only to be replaced with the light of his familial bond. All those faces which were now fading away, seemed so be suffering due only to the fact that they were no longer able to be with him. Yes, that surely had to be it... but those faces were so similar to the ones he remembered, from when they lost their original selves. Perhaps there was some accuracy to the Oni's speech. Oh well; it didn't matter at present regardless. "This isn't the time... to lecture me," he said in a voice that faded as quickly as segments of his body. He was dying, and there was no point trying to convert him now. Only moments of life remained in the boy, and for the duration of those few moments, even h is flesh floated away and disintegrated the same way his innards had been doing for a minute or so prior. The final piece that would remain of him for some time, would be his left eye─ the very same eye bearing a special marking in characters from another world. . .

    Meanwhile, the center of Ryozanpaku was being encroached upon from multiple angles at once. Three total groups made their approach, some earlier than others, but... they would not be the only ones here. A large, withered tree filled an otherwise open space in these lands, and in it sat a peculiar Youkai with a very human appearance. Well, at least he seemed human outside of ridiculous hair, black aside from a dirty blonde top, all of which protruded off the back of his head. Who was this you man of a Youkai? He seemed to be awaiting a few arrivals, as he had been for quite some time.

  2. #312
    The death of this Spider Youkai lad seemed to be quite set in stone. Even so, Ibaraki scoffed at the idea that she was in some way wrong for her lecture. "Baka! That's a lesson you should carry with you, into the next life!" she exclaimed. Whether she meant this in the traditional sense or knew something more wasn't really up for debate. She watched as all but that lad's singular eye disappeared into dust on the wind, and then that eye followed. "Eeh, I didn't understand that weird writing, what a strange kid. I hope he does better next time..." she said. Finally after his body disappeared her hand returned to her body and reattached though with an even stranger pattern than it had before. No matter, they'd done what they'd needed to. Shuten for her part in this tilted her head back and sighed. "Yare yare, I didn't drink enough for this. Come on Raki-chan, time to meet Nii-san and Nee-san and let them know the jobs all done," she said happily. "You did good!" exclaimed the purple haired lass as she walked up and gently sat her hand atop the other lass' head. It was a gesture which didn't quite fit her current frame but was definitely one which would have been completed by the original of her Origin had he been capable. Of course, this caused Ibaraki's face to turn an intense shade of red, and she simply followed along after backing away quickly. "Ha...HAI!" she managed after a second or two. This reaction caused a chuckle from Shuten, "Fufufu, I guess that brother of yours wasn't too big on praise. Maybe I'd let you borrow mine if I didn't have plans for him already!~" she joked as they began moving towards that same tree.

    At the tree, there was already a single lad present. But who of the existing group would make it there first? A certain Tengu approached from the west, and a certain duo of Celestial and Kitsune approached from the east, though they were taking the 'scenic route'. Though the Kitsune's eyes did indeed catch sight of the top of that withered tree in the distance. From the north a Yuki-onna carrying a slime was also making their way. The first speech to be heard would be that of the Tengu. "Sou ka, there is an unknown factor present..." she mumbled. She wondered if the others knew of this one. His hair was quite strange. She wondered if he was the one missing from the board before? She supposed they'd have to wait for the appearance of the Kitsune to let them know. "Do you have information on this one?" she asked assuming a certain snake related lad was nearby.

  3. #313
    Many bodies approached, and a single question was asked of one who could not yet be counted among this group's roster. The masked lad with a snake wrapped around his person had his attention brought to the strange male in that tree, and did indeed recognize him. Alas. there was one thing he dreaded to admit. In all of Ryozanpaku, none had acquired more information than him about anyone/anything... except perhaps the Orochi. This singular male, however, was an exception to the information he had. "No. He just sits there, like he's waiting for something," the lad spoke. In fact, many Youkai knew of this one's existence and location; there were simply none who saw fit to approach him, or this tree.

    The Slime being carried along had also seen the one in the tree, but was overall less concerned with the whos, whats, whys and hows of it all. He was squished under a pair of twin mountains with a softness to rival that of his own body; there were no concerns at all to be had by the odd Slime. Of course, this didn't stop the 'Great' Rimuru from a bit of commentary along the way. "There they are! I see my loyal followers coming from each direction!"

  4. #314
    "Oh? That is strange..." finding out that the lad in the middle of this place simply sat in place was an interesting new fact. It was simply crazy to her that this boy in the tree had been sitting there without much movement. What was he waiting for? What were his motives? The questions created by this lad's existence would likely be questioned by the leaders of their group. Beyond that, given how those two people were choosing to deal with the problems presented, they would likely help that lad as well, as long as his motivations properly aligned with theirs.

    In the meantime, a certain large chested lass was carrying a slime squished underneath her massive bosom. He still seemed to be saying quite a lot about his group, but he had already admitted to having no idea what the plan was. It was obvious by a long shot that he wasn't in charge, but he at least recognized the faces approaching the same tree they were. "Hm, you're still talking pretty big for a guy who has no idea what is going on..." she mentioned. Still there was the real problem of this tree so imagine her face when she noted that same boy still atop it, where he had been since her arrival to this place. "Eh?! That guy is still here but there is still a problem!?" she managed to be confused. She thought that the boy in the tree understood whatever was wrong there, yet another reason she'd never really bothered. This area was far too massive to take control over, there was only a small area she could even be bothered with.

    There was a pink haired fox approaching rather casually close to a certain white haired male. "Hm, seems like we aren't even late... so much for the scenic route~" she teased gently. They'd been walking in this moment hand in hand while she leaned her head against this man's right shoulder. Strangely she'd perk up the closer and closer she got to the tree, standing straighter and taking in the sight of the young lad in the tree. "He's the one... the one who is aligned to that extra piece from the gameboard," she said those golden eyes of hers shining. "I wonder if he's been here the whole time?" she questioned. This was quite an interesting newfound bit of information. And only once she'd straightened up, would the pair be properly witnessed by Shuten and Ibaraki.

  5. #315
    "It is. I consider it the strangest thing in Ryozanpaku, even with Orochi around," spoke the snake-themed male accompanying Kuroka. He had never encountered this person directly, but he had been watching for quite some time. This individual arrived, reached this very tree, and had not moved once since that day. The reason behind this was as much a mystery as where this strange male came from, but now that they were getting closer... he could tell what sort of person they would soon be dealing with.

    Rimuru had no idea the overarching plan, true. He did, however, have an idea where he stood in the hierarchy of this group... at least in his mind. If he wanted to, he could devour the group as a whole at any given moment. If he did something like that, their collective powers and abilities would be his to command. He wouldn't bother with something like that, though; that would require too much work being done by himself! Now then, what was this speech of his new minion he acquired? "What do you mean still here? There's been a guy who could fix these problems around the whole time?!"

    The 'scenic route' seemed like it could have been made a bit more scenic, considering how quickly everyone else happened to be arriving at the tree. Kou sighed during his approach alongside Tamamo, thinking he could have relaxed for a few more minutes. Alas, they were here now, and there was also another face at the center of their would-be meeting. That extra figure on Tamamo's earlier display was this random Youkai; Kou had figured as much. What purpose would they serve, though? If they were waiting this long, then what they were waiting for had to be. . .

    "Smells like the start of another questline. Mendokuse."

  6. #316
    "Hm..." the fact that the snake child thought the man in the tree was truly odd, was something that Kuroka hadn't anticipated. In fact, it was well and truly something which made the child in the tree that much more of an oddity. If a person who knew everything about anyone in an area didn't know something, then there was something truly extraordinary taking place around that person.

    The excited utterance of the slime beneath her bosom made the Yuki-onna blush. She couldn't help but squish him a little more to try and quiet him. "Shush, I don't know about all that. But I know he's been in that tree since I arrived. I figured knowing that the tree was the main problem that he was taking care of it," she muttered. Perhaps she'd put a little too much faith in other people as players doing the right things, that being said, it was still very unreasonable that she'd been in this place as long as she had, and it was still in this sort of condition. But by the time she'd realized something was properly amiss, she was locked into the storyline she was already working on, with no way of shifting or changing it.

    As Kou and Tamamo made their approach, her words seemed to give the lad a bit of thought. He claimed that this lad being here seemed like the start of a questline and Tamamo could do nothing but agree. "Ara ara, you don't seem like you're too happy about the potential extra quest, Mikon~" she teased lightly. If she as being honest, she'd admit that though she'd accounted for something like this happening, she still didn't like how many intertwined moments this sort of thing created. The only real positives were potentials for them to steal more moments together. "Though I agree, this could get bothersome. Shall we find out what everyone has come up with so far?" she asked of him seeming to be in a reasonable mood even with the assumed task which was coming to them. "Oi oi! Nee-san!" Tamamo heard and her brows rose at the approach of Ibaraki and Shuten. "When you said Spider problem you didn't mention, Youkai Child Demon thingy, minus TEN points!" she said pointing an accusatory finger at the pink haired Kitsune. "I lost points? How many did I have to start with? Is this one of those moments were I protest, because the job obviously got done in a relatively short amount of time, with nothing but growth and progress to show for it?" Tamamo questioned unsure of what to make of the accusation. She'd been informed of a Spider Youkai not anything related to Demons, but given how advanced into the plot this stage was, she wasn't really surprised. Though she admittedly was expecting something different for this portion of the story.

  7. #317
    "You're a Player, and you were gonna trust somebody else to get the job done by themselves? Well, that makes sense when I remember how you thought just dealing with one problem would be enough to fix everything." The Slime's senses were open, as always, and perceiving all that happened in each part of their overall group while they moved toward each other. The only entity that didn't suffer a single shift at all, was the Youkai in the tree. Strange as this was, he figured the importance of this fact would soon make itself known.

    Kou, on the other hand, was mulling over the fact that they would be dragged into another quest very soon. Tamamo agreed, but also thought to tease regarding how he felt about the matter. "I don't exactly mind it, but I hope this doesn't become one of those tropes. If every quest we end up having thrown at us is 'do this, then this, then go back this way and do this,' then this world is going to end up being more WoW than the AoE I like. That could happen just as a byproduct of chance," he explained. "I'm thinking everyone's done with their ends, except... Kuroka. That guy with her must be the one behind that Artifact, which means... he needs us to do something for him."

    And lo, Shuten joined the fray. She naturally wouldn't do so without presenting a complaint or two, which Kou wanted to shrug off, though the end result was... as normal with this pair of siblings. "Urusai, boke! You can't just go drafting people into the points system! What about our thing? Fifty point loss, and another twenty for complaining about a job that wasn't even yours!"

  8. #318
    "What, I figured it'd be like a group project. Everyone do their own parts and then it comes together at the end..." she said, obviously though she was a girl of school age, she wasn't used to being the sort of person who actually organized things like group work. If she'd ever done it, she would have known that some level of coordination was necessary to make sure everyone was on the same page. Ah, but that was something she'd learn over the next few moments.

    In their conversation, Kou and Tamamo were discussing the nature of these additive quests and he expressed his misgivings about the potential situation. She understood this well, her own happiness in the AoE game was that she didn't have to take every single quest that came her way and the world would evolve and keep moving around her in that case. The only problem she saw in this particular point now, was wherever there were players their bad decisions had huge effects and it was like turning a PvE game into full co-op without everyone being ready or capable of communicating. And obviously not everyone was ready, willing and able to make the best decisions for the world at large, but that was an entirely different issue. "Hai hai, there is no doubt he'll require something more. I also understand fully, I have noticed though that things only seem to go so wrong around other players and their bad decisions. Maybe eventually we'll find the ones who got it right and we'll get to just relax when we arrive..." she said. Perhaps this was wishful thinking, perhaps this future was a bit closer than she realized. Whatever the case, the return of Shuten had brought a strange bit of comic relief back to their outing which wasn't at all a negative in the Kitsune's case. She had a gentle chuckle behind her overly large sleeved hand while these two bickered about the nature of this points system. From what Tamamo was able to gather, this was some sibling based system in which points were awarded and taken away at random. That made sense. "So, like House Points at Hogwarts... do you win a prize?" she couldn't help but wonder aloud.

    In the meantime, Shuten managed an overly dramatic sigh at her brother's reaction. Didn't he see this lass could easily fit in with their nerd things? Was he trying to keep himself from properly bonding? Was he trying to make her pull out all the baby sister stops to get this lass on her side. He was underestimating her. Aiba Yumi was excellent at getting people to like her, besides that she had years of being the youngest child and little sister on her side. She'd use these wiles in this world of magic, to guarantee her future sister, even if her brother wouldn't. Her eyes burned with momentary fury. This moment was so familiar to her, and then just as suddenly that fury was replaced by devious light, she was silent to her loss of points and her brother's rhetoric. "Nee-san!!! You don't mind being drafted right? Even if Nii-san doesn't want to share this with you I do!" she said, giving the lass the biggest puppy dog eyes in that startling purple color while giving her the most unexpected hug of her life. She'd just lost 70 points but she was about to win a war. Battle tactics! Tamamo's heart thumped in her chest as she took in this sight, it was already well known that she had trouble resisting cute things, besides that being included was a huge point for her, she couldn't really turn down this girl if she wanted to, she felt moved beyond words. "Of course not, include me wherever you wish!~" she chimed hugging the other lass back, while Shuten looked at her brother and stuck her tongue out at him that same devious light in her eyes.

    A gentle cough would come from none other than Kuroka who made her way to this group without much fuss. She'd been standing here long enough to know the sort of sibling manipulation taking place before her. "There is more, unfortunately, but it seems things went well on your ends."

  9. #319
    "It's something like a group project, yeah," Rimuru agreed, albeit with a disagreement to accompany it. "A project is only gonna be as good as the people involved, though. If a team is good enough, there's not really a need for too much planning. Everybody gets their role, and everybody accepts that everyone else is capable of doing theirs. That's the setup we have going here, I think." The more he spoke, the more Rimuru realized he couldn't actually be 100% positive. He put his faith in these newcomers without giving much consideration at all, as if he knew they were trustworthy without much proof at all. Well... it would probably work out in the end; it had been working thus far.

    Tamamo was right; things were only ever so bad. If he gave it proper consideration, this way was probably best. They would be bored out of their minds if every other player to enter this world had made the best choices at every turn, considering how quickly so many people would have created a virtual utopia. As such, it would always be worthwhile to accept these quests... even as annoying as they were when piled up in such a way. Speaking of annoyances, it seemed even the Avatar Shuten-Doji maintained the abuse of power employed by one Aiba Yumi. Kou's brow twitched alongside his lip as he observed this display of manipulation. Surely Tamamo wouldn't fall for that, right? Wrong. She was hooked like a fish, just as all the others had been in their original world. "Kisama. Listen here, you little─"

    Ah, an interruption! This one came, oddly, in the form of Kuroka. The unfortunate addition of 'more' in whatever context, was just about what Kou had been expecting. He looked in the direction of Kuroka's current companion, who thought to introduce the issue at hand. He would have done just that, if Kou hadn't opened his mouth before there was even a chance. "You work directly under the last faction's leader, and they're responsible for the disparity between the four corners of Ryozanpaku. Either you can't take them down, or they can't be taken down at all, so you want us to step up with the only thing that works," Kou said, much to the serpent's surprise. He couldn't even say a thing; all he managed was to stand there, dumbfounded while setting his sights on Kuroka. Surely she could explain why their group already knew what was going on here. Did they have elite information gatherers as well?

  10. #320
    "You think? But you're not sure either... hm," these were the words of Mizore shared. She found it strange that this lad was also so trusting, obviously simply trusting wasn't enough. It was quite strange to consider that the whole team needed to be the same level of good for it to work out. Perhaps this was why this area overall wasn't taken care of. Did others not know what to do? Were there players missing from the area, was there an action which needed to take place? She didn't know, but perhaps she'd find out in place of her leader.

    Did Tamamo or rather Kimiko know she was being manipulated? Absolutely! But that didn't make much of a difference to her. She knew to stay out of sibling situations, but still she couldn't quite help herself in this case. Ah, but the sibling fight was coming, could she quell it? Did she try to? Everything she'd witnessed of siblings said it was best to leave them to their own devices. But before they could even get into a proper argument it was broken up by Kuroka. She was good at such things, mediating, but what even she wasn't prepared for, was the full understanding of one such as Kou about the problems of the Snake lad she'd accompanied. It was so accurate.

    "Sou ka, he's really clever. Actually, they are both fairly good at problem solving. It shouldn't have surprised me as much as it did," she mentioned, having no real explanation for this, especially knowing the lad wouldn't want his identity revealed for this sort of thing. Even so, it seemed that Tamamo was about to prove her own thought processes in the same moment. Given what Kou had to say about the situation, Tamamo had a fairly easy follow-up as well, gained by combining the information she'd received from Kuono and the complaints which came from Shuten upon arriving. "So is the Snake a Demon or a Dragon? Those are the only possible problems which could mess with the strategy and explain the reason for why this place is so defunct," she narrowed down their potential interactions. She'd not expected the Spider Youkai Demon that Shuten had mentioned, but knowing that she'd encountered one opened it as a possibility that might need addressing. All the while the others were close enough now to hear and Mizore managed to look surprised as well. Ibaraki who had been quiet seemed stunned by the conversation and quick thinking of everyone present. The only one who didn't seem surprised by the statements and questions presented was Shuten herself. "Eh, nerd time does wonders... huh? At least it is beneficial, is one more of a problem than the other?" she asked in her usual fashion. "And what does it have to do with this dead tree?! And who is that guy?!"

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