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Nine Lives [Edited, Open, SANDBOX]

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~ Alice Chiura, Roxanne "Blood Sugar" Scarlett, Lilith  - Finally, food. ~ 


[Dining Room] 

    The sweet and savory aroma of Lily's homemade cooking permeated the air of the Great Room. Alice finds it hard to resist good food, especially if it's hers. The surprise of the huge banquet had made her almost forget about the skeleton remains, though her mind still fretted over the little awkward scene she made earlier, and whether she was behaving appropriately around Roxanne. 
    By Alice's family tradition, it was usually considered rude to begin eating before everyone had gathered, but here in the Shadow Seekers, everyone is always busy so no one really cared who eats what first. 

    "These look amazing, Lily!" Alice commented before sitting down on one of the chairs. "I bet they taste amazing, too..."
    Alice views Lily like a little sister—not that close, but one of the few she could talk to with ease. Though she mentally admits to herself that even the younger girl is more talented than she is. 

   "Yay! I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I'm done eating, so I will be in the workshop creating stuff I could think of." Lily then proceeded to put her plates away, and moved to the workshop near the portal room.


   "Ah-", Alice honestly wanted the girl to stay a little longer so she wouldn't have to be sitting alone with Roxanne, but Lily was already gone in sight.
    Disappointed, she let out a sigh, before whispering "Itadakimasu"—a customary phrase to express gratefulness before a meal—then proceeded to eat. 


   Roxanne made herself a plate before sitting at the table. She ate mostly in silence, as small talk was not a strength of hers. Alice thought that she would at least give remarks on the food or start a conversation but she was surprisingly quiet. 

    Wait... What am I thinking? Who am I that she would talk to me? What a ridiculous thought, Alice. Besides, you never like small talks either, so this is fine.


   Alice finished her meal, again muttering something Japanese, then put her plates away in the sink. She stood there for a while to think of what to do next now that her energy was refilled. She could spend the day doing her normal routine of landscape painting or sculpt the latest anime figurine out of clay, the latter of which she was shy to admit as a hobby but enjoyed doing greatly. 
   Alice quietly excused herself on the way out of the dining room. She decided to head to the workshop where Lily normally may be. There was something she'd like to inquire her about anyway... 

Edited by trmizu

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~Will Shadowen (with Mikasa361 as Aurelius) - Quick Battle~


Aurelius led Will away from the desk. “Okay, let’s go figure out your power.” As the two figures walked out of the main room, the door was closed. After walking further away, Will made his mind up to use his time for training as much as possible. "The suites are like bonuses to me, we can talk about it later. Also, thanks for the help, Aurelius," said Will in a soft whisper. “It’s not a problem. This is what I do, and I do what I enjoy.” He gave Will a warm smile, something he didn’t give often. He always loved it when people appreciated him for his work, it was fulfilling. At least he knew he wouldn’t become a Lost One unless he was attacked.

They continued onward until Aurelius came to a set of stairs. “Follow me.” Will nodded in agreement, following his footsteps downwards. Aurelius went down the stairs, checking to make sure Will was behind him. He made his way all the way down and found himself in the buffer room. There he began to walk to the training room. “Almost there. I know the base is large.” "I've travelled farther than this," said Will in response, getting a little bit more comfortable around him. It's been quite a while since he felt comfortable with anyone, but the first few moments of entering the base convinced him that this is a good organisation. Aurelius’ eyes widened. “No **** ,” he murmured in awe. There was so little Aurelius knew about him, but his researching mind would soon find out. “Here’s the room,” Aurelius states as he opened the door. It was essentially a large gym, with mats in one corner, weights, and other forms of gear placed neatly on shelves and racks. Aurelius walked to the center of the room, grabbing a sword from the rack. “Show me what you can do.” Aurelius prepared to fight.

“Let’s see what you can do with that sword.”

Will wielded his sword, "My body can't do much, but when holding this, my abilities improve greatly. I've tried using other weapons than this, doesn't work." “That must be it,” Aurelius murmured. “Attack me. It’s okay, I’m not horrible with the sword.” Within the blink of an eye, Will charged headfirst into battle, positioning his sword to his right, pointing to the ground, as if preparing to initiate a sword upswing. Aurelius prepared himself to block, spreading his feet to the sides and bending his knees.


With a burst of energy, Will swung his sword up against his opponent's, slightly tilting Aurelius's balance. To his surprise, Will took not even a second to recover from the recoil, he pulled back his sword, preparing to chain the attack with a forward thrust straight towards his chest. Aurelius ducked, holding the sword above his head.

“Try not to kill me, though, this is just practice.”

"Yeah, I understand," Will replied as he retracted his arm and took a quick step backwards. "Should I try to go full strength or simply basic sword technique practising?"

Aurelius stayed in a defensive position, but he took a quick breath. “Let’s go all out. I wanna see what you can do.”

Slowly, Will's sword and he himself emanated an ominous, but visible, aura. He began charging up, his sword radiating a faint glow. Next, he charged in against Aurelius in the same manner as his previous attack. Aurelius backed up this time, blocking with the sword. “Damn!” He shouted. “That’s your power....” He countered with a move of his own. The force of impact was slightly stronger than before, and as he was countering, Will had already begun sidestepping with impressive agility to his right side, about to perform a horizontal slash. My God, Aurelius thought, just barely managing to block it. This was Will’s power, and it was impressive. I got you this time! He did not perform the slash; it was a feint move. Will was not building up energy to attack, but rather to quickly move about. He shifted to the opposite direction of Aurelius's rotation as he turned left, pulling his sword with him and then perform a forward thrust. With reflexes quick enough, Aurelius turned around and managed to block it.

“Well, you’re certainly better than I. I prefer other weapons myself.” He put his sword down. “I’m convinced. Well done.” Will, showing a bit of awe, complimented his practise partner back. "Your reflexes are not bad too. Not many are able to block that last attack, guess I’m just not fast enough this time." After a short pause, Will let out a small chuckle.

"Nevermind, my opponents in my life so far are only what you call as Lost Ones. I don't seem to know more of myself in combat, aside that I have increased agility and reflexes and that I cut them until each of their parts are fully disembodied."

“Thank you, that means a lot. From what I see, that aura is impressive. Your power is with that sword. We will continue research, I will attend you in battle. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure you know more about your power.” He nodded. “I’ll report this to the boss after I take you to your room. You will stay with Lucian and Roxanne.”

Will did not want a break, but something tells him that he should take one for a different purpose. "Alright, I'll take a break. But only for a short while."

“That’s fine. Let’s head off.”

Will put his sword back to the scabbard, assumes a normal pose and proceeds to walk with Aurelius upstairs, leaving the training room and heading towards one of the many suites available in the base. Aurelius soon found the suite Lucian stayed in. He knocked to see who was home.

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   [Bloodbathe and Skwerl] Some Kind of Recruitment Process

   Nico thankfully obliged in going through the portal without more urging from her. She sighed, feeling some dread of having to answer so many questions - what were they again? Oh yeah - and hoped she would have the patience for this. She usually didn't introduce new, potential Seekers. She was just in the organization for the free hospitality and the fights.
   Heather didn't check the base's hologram to see if any ordinary people were around, but thankfully the tree was free of curious eyes and people when they both walked out. She reactivated her animus's cloak and shuffled in the grass to let Nico know she was still there.
   "People can't see me, obviously," she explained, "but we can still chat. Just be quiet." She threw Sister Turret's gaze over the area, watching for activity, and was pleased about how vacant the park was. "So, I said I would answer some questions, but you have to answer mine. I'll start, since you're so persistent..." She paused to see if her animus had any input, but they were simply observing. A few seconds passed as Heather thought about where to start.
   "I would have to kill you because this place is home to a secret operation," she began. "You're not allowed to know about it unless you're part of the organization. Our work is... rather unbelievable." It's hard to figure out what to say, her mind briefly complained, and one of her animus snorted; derisively or in amusement, she wasn't sure. "Because of that, I won't tell you who I am or what this place is, but yes, it is a base, and it was attacked recently. At the moment we're hunting down the culprit. The reason I look like a machine is because I am one." Not a lie, she told her conscious. "And no, I don't want you touching me.
   "Now, will you answer what I want?"

   "I've seen robots and weird monsters roaming around the streets. Killed a few of them. So I sort of believe everything now. What is it that you want to ask?" Nico asked, while observing the robot intensely.

   Heather initially was going to give him her first few questions, but his response caught her off guard. Seeing weird things walking around was one strange thing, but to go a step further and slay them?
   Don't ask redundant questions, one of her animus told her, What does this tell us?
   That this kid IS a supernatural. They're the only ones who can see Lost Ones, and some guy with a shotgun can't take care of even the weakest ones by himself. Plus, he fell through the portal.
   Do you think he's the attacker?
   What good would that do him?
   She didn't receive a direct response, but the flurry of emotion that her in an instant gave her a good idea of her animus' theories. She tried to disregard them, even though they somehow knew something more than her.
   "You saw monsters?" Heather finally asked, keeping her tone guarded. "What sorts of monsters? How could you kill them? Even felling an animal isn't easy."

    Nico knew that answering this would bring him a lot of trouble, so he put on his 'It's so obvious' look, and responded.
    "I was raised as a thief, more specifically, an assassin. I can kill humans with ease. Those monsters, they attacked humans, and turn humans into them, but even then they're still only a stronger version of a human. I can outsmart them."
   Nico showed the mech his twin daggers, and continued his story.
  "This is what I use to kill those beings. Not so hard, if I say so myself."


   Heather restrained Sister Turret's urge to flick the blades out of Nico's hands as he showed them. It didn't sound very believable; more like the guy read a fascinating book and decided to adopt the persona of the protagonist. Still, that didn't change the fact that he was a supernatural. So the question is, do the daggers give him his powers, or is it something else? It can't be just the daggers; Ice Spirits were walking knives and teeth, and she lost a life trying to take down a Lost One while morphed as one and alone. She didn't like the look on his face, but it at least wasn't very fake.
   "Surely that's not all of it?" she said skeptically, "I'm just one fighter out of several who meet the monsters quite often. We see them too, and they're pretty formidable. Something with rat's eyes on its butt is hard to assassinate." Her tone turned sour at the reminder of her experience. She was still ashamed of getting so cocky during that fight...

   "Well that's all of it. My movements are much more nimble than them, even the fastest one couldn't catch me. Not that I've tried being caught at all. They don't think at all. It is easy to outwit them, as they move purely on animal instinct. You just have to be faster, you don't have to be powerful."
   Unconsciously, Nico smirked a bit while stating his story, he just loves messing with others so much that lies come out like the truth.

   Heather dismissed the smirk; Nico obviously had an attitude. "So your power is superior agility" she guessed, rubbing her invisible fingers together, "and you focus your aim on weak points?"


   "Think again. Simple agility won't help killing them. I've tried using other weapons, they won't kill them at all."


   "So there IS more to your ability of slaying these monsters," she said. She listened for her animus' input, but they were still quiet, only sending muted feelings to her.


   "Well, my weapon seems to be working fine with killing them. They can't heal if my weapon struck them."


   The Archivist whispered a small hint, and Heather couldn't help but let loose a laugh; albeit a disappointed, annoyed one. Looks like they were just running around in circles!
   "All right, let me say this: we don't give two carps who attacked the base, as long as he fesses up. Otherwise he has more to worry about than a slap on the wrist. I'm still not sure if you have anything to do with it, but you're clearly avoiding something," she accused. "So you have your knives, which prevent healing, and you're quick; what else? You clearly know something about the monsters. Ordinary people don't know they're there and shift their deserving blame onto demons, karma, or fate. You can see them, you can touch them, you can hurt them; and, you can go through our portal, and only supernaturals can go through there. That makes you a supernatural, and a pair of fancy knives doesn't cut it. So what is it? Five-second future predictions? Superior physique? Self-regeneration?" She decided to slip in something less hostile, and added: "I should say, we know about the monsters because we hunt them too, so if you can casually slay them, that would be useful to us."


   "What do you mean 'useful to us'? Is hunting them like your day job?"


   "That's one way of putting it," Heather answered, not wanting to confirm or deny anything right away.


   Nico was considering to tell the truth, but he still have the organization to hunt down, will they be able to help?
  "If I join you guys, what will my role be?"


   "I don't know, I'm not the guy running the place. All I know is that management has been picking up supernaturals left and right." She looked at him dead in the eyes, even with the cloak on. "They will want to know why the base was attacked though, and no one is joining until we have some answers." She couldn't pin anything for sure on Nico, since he hadn't admitted anything yet, but she was mentally noting how he had yet to deny it. He seemed to be deliberately skirting the topic, which proved that he knew something about the base she didn't. There was the chance that one of the Seekers was a double agent and was leaking information, but she still wasn't sure why anyone would want to do that... if Nico was connected though, he might have some answers.


   "You guys don't know about any child trading organizations? They sell child to use as slaves. I'm currently hunting them down."
Nico decided that if they don't know anything about it, he was going to tell them the whole truth.


   Incredulous alarm flashed through Heather's mind, and she completely lost her composure, sputtering.
   "Hah! Uh-? What?? In the States? You don't look like you're from the Middle East, or Africa, or...!"
   Good job staying confident, Krysis congratulated.
   Oh, shut up! Heather waved a hand to try and regain composure. "Child slavery? You have to be making stuff up now. That stuff's been illegal for years!"
   So have some drugs. Look at the black market go~ Elara pointed out.
   You're still not helping!
   That would explain why he so casually proclaims being a thief, another animus pointed out. Heather's shock turned to discomfort as they began agreeing with one another on the plausibility.
   No amount of laws will stop crime, he said simply. Heather huffed, pawing at the ground and fidgeting with her hands.
   "Okay... I guess it's possible... marginally possible..." she stressed, "I've never heard of such an outrageous thing though, not way out here. That's third-world country stuff, and we're not even near either border."


   Nico summoned one of his skeletons, and smiled. Heather jerked back at the sudden materialization, both annoyed and glad for half a second before Sister Turret reacted with an explosion of hostility! The teen nearly lost her control and the machine opened her primary panels, aiming all four barrels at the naked creature. Threats to attack were flashing so loudly in her mind that the machine was shaking as she tried to restrain it, their shared vision literally turning red, cross-hairs fixated on its neck. Wait! she cried, we're getting information!

  "Based on your reaction, I'm guessing you're telling the truth, so that's good. I'm the one who attacked your base," Nico explained, "thinking it was one of the organizations, or maybe the lair of the monsters. Sorry if I offended or troubled any of you, but I needed to make sure you're not one of any of them."

   Threat! Threat!! the animus screeched over Nico's voice and the clamour of the others. It was hard to hear even Zhera! Heather tried to shut out the panic, still listening.

   "The organizations are real, I'm one of their slaves. I found out my powers when I found out I was taken from my family, rage boiled in me and I summoned the skeletons accidentally. I've been honing my skills since then. That was 5 years ago."

   A few seconds passed where Heather didn't answer. She was temporarily paralyzed by her own animus. She couldn't talk, because the animus was mute and was fighting fiercely for control. It was taking all of her willpower to keep both feet glued to the ground!
   She finally forced the machine to break posture by sacrificing some of her focus to force its image to destabilize. Thankfully, Sister Turret hesitated to fire in the brief moment of full control. The cloak dropped and the entire form shifted slightly for a moment, like an object viewed underwater, and the sudden withdrawal caused machine to slacken and drop her aim to the ground. Heather gasped out through the speaker, seized control, and immediately stopped her fall when it resulted in her stature crumpling.
   Heather's memory wasn't very good, but she was remembering now why she had to practice using an animus every day.

   She took a moment to push the agitated consciousness to the back of her mind, ensuring she had regained all control, and closed the primary panels. "It was you..." she breathed, not getting up yet. "All right... took you long enough...! A simple investigation would suffice rather than a horde of that!" She pointed accusingly at the skeleton, even though she was exaggerating a bit, having not known how many skeletons there were in the end. "You're dang lucky you came back otherwise the entire organization would have been hunting you!" She grumbled to herself about his attitude, and was mentally countered by an animus pointing out her lack of sleep and how she wasn't thinking very well. She roughly shook herself to rid of the thoughts and finally picked herself up, not explaining why she had nearly fallen in front of Nico, and brushed off the dirt that stuck to her knees. "I'm guessing you want more answers," she grumbled, straightening up. "So, we're the Shadow Seekers. We hunt Lost Ones: the monsters you see. Most of us are fighters, so chances are good you'll be one too, which further extends your chances of vengeance, if you really care for that. Dissolving a human organization isn't our specialty, but you could always ask management about it. They leave us to our own devices - for the most part - during the day.
   "So now that we shared all of that, you get a fantastic two options: go through that portal and train as a monster hunter, or get attacked by me. Honestly, I'm not thrilled by the last choice," she added grumpily to herself.
   Booo, an animus teased, fight more, boooo.
   You're such a butt, Soren.

   "Alright, let's get in. I want to know more of you guys. Oh, and Doggo needs to come back, I'll send this guy to call him back."

   I'm not a butt, you're a butt, the animus jested, but Heather prioritized Nico's voice, and she was glad he didn't mention the sudden stumble. She glanced around the park again, and was becoming unnerved by how conveniently ignored they were.

   Nico proceeds to take a piece of paper from his camping bag, and wrote,  "Return now, I'm introducing myself -Nico"
   He then give the paper to his soldier and it ran away, searching for Doggo.

   "Quickly," Heather ushered, pointing to the tree. "I'll be behind you." She watched the skeleton as it ran off, wondering how the heck it wasn't going to be stopped by civilians or confused policemen. Maybe it knew some kind of hidden path through the city.
   Nico went through, and Heather contemplated what exactly his intentions were. He was a weird kid with a wild story, and she knew the Seekers could take care of themselves, but she hoped Aurelius gave him a rookie status instead of getting excited, just in case he wasn't up to any good.
   She tried to shove down the wave of anxiety, hostility, and distrust that flowed from her animus at the thought.

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