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X-DREAMERS [mission 02: the otherworldly bazaar]

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Anders [ disrupting pets is unjust ]

 

“You don’t have to do that,” he said quickly. Ray was, what, twelve? Eleven? He couldn’t accept money from her, not when he didn’t even let Hawke give him extra money and when she probably needed it more. Scraping by with the bare minimum was something that he was used to, and just because he was in a different world didn't mean he couldn't keep doing it. 

 

But… if it meant that the cats were safe… “Thank you,” he said, quiet. 

 

Anders swiftly withdrew his hand, feeling both disappointed and a little embarrassed. Petting another person was weird, wasn’t it? It was definitely weird. Though… Keaton hadn’t exactly seemed opposed to the idea. He’d started to lean in, hadn’t he? Anders was pretty sure that he had, and Keaton had sniffed him, so that was something. Maybe he’d get another chance. 

Not that he needed one. Nope. Touching those soft ears wasn’t the most important goal in his life at the moment. 

 

He ignored Justice’s grumbling about how lying was unjust, even if it was to himself, because it was the truth. Getting supplies for the cats was the most important goal for him. 

 

“Well, I didn’t do anything,” he said. Though I would have if I could. “Maybe the box had something to do with it?” He eyed the box, which now seemed much more ominous -- aw, but he still couldn’t be wary of the box when Leonardo da Kittinci’s ears were poking over the top. Maybe it was best to avoid touching it if it could be something that Xenon would want to collect, but the kittens! He reached out a hand to rub behind Leonardo da Kittinci’s ears. 

 

 

Natsuki [ Kyurem Fight - Talking with Illidan & co. ]

 

Natsuki stepped back in shock, dropping their hands so that the taser pointed at the ground and away from Xander. Their eyes widened as though they’d been slapped and excuses danced along the tip of their tongue -- that they’d thought he was in danger, that Illidan had kidnapped him, that Illidan had gone rogue. None of that was worth the air that it would take to explain; they’d messed up, and apologies wouldn’t do anything to fix that. The best they could hope for was following their current orders and accepting that there would be more reprimandations later.

 

They took a brief moment to reorientate themself, swallowing and holstering their holster. Switching tracks of thought was made both easier and more difficult by the combat drugs; on one hand their mind felt sharpened, but on the other they felt excited, restless. Too many stimulants for the situation? They tried to damp the buzzing feeling in their limbs as they spoke quickly but clearly. “There was a dragon of some sort. I didn’t see it all, but it attacked and somehow absorbed Reshiram and is now going on a rampage. I’ve been helping civilians escape, but some others have been fighting the dragon. It’s powerful, whatever it is -- it’s fighting multiple people at once and doesn’t seem to be stopping. I saw it use some sort of energy attack.” Hopefully that was all the information that was expected of them, because they hadn’t seen everything and didn’t understand what they had seen.

 

They were still confused about what had happened with Illidan, and were sure that it showed on their face. Xander’s clothes were stained with blood, but Raine’s presence meant that he was fine, physically. Yet… They frowned. His face was more heavily lined than usual, as if he was in pain. It didn't make any sense, unless Raine hadn't finished healing him. Had he been that badly injured? Natsuki had plenty of questions about that, among other things, but didn’t deserve to ask or take up any more of the group’s time.

 

It took them a moment to answer Illidan's question, their brain still classifying him as an enemy and so reluctant to share information with him. “...It’s a taser,” they said. “It shoots out two prongs and then electricity travels between them. Usually it isn’t lethal.”

Edited by Zor

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[ ...taser, huh? Let's hope that doesn't give the goblins ideas. - Kyurem Fight - Illidan (& Nora) ]

 

The very thought of Xander going to defend him, of all people, made the heat rush to Illidan's face once more. How... noble of him. He truly was a king in all senses of the word... Truly fit for the throne of whichever world Nohr was located in. In one word, he was... perfect.

 

Perfect... A word he hadn't used to describe someone since... her.

 

Natsuki described the strange device, and Illidan couldn't help his concern. Lethal, no... but the very thought of it sounded very painful and, frankly, jarring. Here was to hoping the sound of what this "taser" did didn't give the goblins any ideas...

 

Illidan then spotted the familiar aura of one of his Illidari out of the corner of his eye. "Nora, I could've sworn you'd be out there fighting."

 

"Lord Illidan! I--" The startled man sputtered. No doubt about it - though pale skin made it clear that Nora is the same kind of elf as Oblivionix, the horns, bare chest, and runic tattoos clearly gave him away as another Demon Hunter, though strangely, he didn't wear a blindfold like his "Lord" did. In lieu of the blindfold were two emerald flames where his eyes should have been, too bright to see whether or not he actually had eyes to begin with.

 

Clearly startled, Nora had to gather his composure and try to ignore Xander's Fel lighting up in his own Spectral Sight like a goddamn Winter's Veil tree. He cleared his throat and began again. "Father had other plans. He told me to watch from afar. As I understand, he's helping to heal the one fighting that... thing."

 

"I see. Well, then, shall we catch up with the scene of the battle?"

 

"Aye, Lord Illidan... Against a creature like that? The one fighting it will only be able to hold for so long..."

 


[ Want to pet... so bad. - Lost in the Black Market - Ray ]

 

Ray, confident that she'd have plenty of money for cat supplies even after exchanging for the right currency, smiled at Anders before neatly putting her PokeDollars into one pocket of her bag.

 

"...ya think it's the box's doing? I mean, Akatsuki don't look affected... then again, he's technically already a cat, so..."

 

The urge to pet those cats was so tempting... Surely petting one wouldn't hurt.

 


[ Elsewhere near the Kyurem fight - Oblivionix (& ???) ]

 

Oblivionix had finally found a place that was high enough. There was lots of fuschia ink splattered across the place, but that wasn't important... What was important was getting that monster lined up in her scope, waiting for Noraeash's signal to fire...

 

Pale summer moonlight shimmers on the seafloor.
An octopus, unaware that dawn will bring capture,
Rests within a trap, dreaming fleeting dreams...

Edited by hikarinomemori
we need to get the ship sailing boys

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[ Sonic | Tails | Joshua - White Kyurem fight ]

 

The sudden eruption of the earth below them prompted all three to move as fast as possible. Which, unfortunately for them all, was not fast enough - to Sonic's chagrin; he was always fast enough! Tails was the one who avoided most of the damage; he was able to get up in the air fast enough for it to only lick his shoe, while Joshua and Sonic were not fast enough to avoid a bit of damage. Joshua's entire left leg was caught when he jumped to the side, and the human boy hissed in pain.

 

Sonic, out of all of them, simply got distracted. Out of nowhere - literally! - a certain blade came down and hit Sonic in the head hilt-first, accidentally causing him to take the brunt of the earthshattering attack. "Ow! Who threw that!? Seriously, that's just-- Caliburn?"

 

"Sir Sonic!" the blade exclaimed. "It is good to see you again, sire!"

 

"Who's that?"

"No time!" Joshua said, standing up and looking at White Kyurem and Bowser. "This fight is far from over, and I think its time we took more of an active approach!"

 

A grin crossed the hedgehog's features and he looked at Caliburn. "You willing to help me out here pal?"

 

"Yes, sire!"

 

"Sweet! What's a knight without his blade and a dragon to slay?!" He was only saying that for show. He wasn't actually going to kill Kyurem.

Edited by catstreetCAT

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Sacred ~ Oath of the Ancients

 

The dragon roared, and it seemed that some other forces had joined her and the dragon-turtle thing. A giant wolf thing appeared before slashing into the dragon with daggers of light just as her feet reunited with the earth and she easily drew her sword in one fluid motion--too fluid--as the dragon roared. An immense pressure seemed to press from the bottom of her feet up, growing hotter--she sucked in a breath and spun, gathering her mana around her into a protective shield. 

 

The ground cracked below her, and there there the pressure disappeared as a gout of magma erupted. Sacred smirked and bent down as the magma flowed around her shield, then she used the plume to thrust forward at the ice dragon. As she leapt out of the attack, she held up her shield and concentrated the mana around her into it, expanding it into a huge construct that brought to mind sunbeams filtered through young forest leaves--BAM! She smashed into the ice dragon; The bright shield shattered into a burst of light as she did so, sending the concentrated power out.

 

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Sora | Safe Zone?

 

It was always amusing to see Cid get grumpy with someone else, turning his sharp growl onto a different target once in a while. Sora grinned broadly at Pascal as she saluted him, Cid's back retreating from sight. He wanted to ask what all the parts were for but he figured he would find out sooner or later and so let the curiosity fade to the back of his mind for now. 

 

It wasn't long, anyway, before Cid returned with what Pascal wanted and she paid with some sort of card. "Oh...!" Sora exclaimed softly, reaching into his pocket as Pascal thanked him for waiting and suggesting they spend the rest of the time exploring. "I have Munny; do you think the shops here will take it?" he asked, pulling out a small gold piece shaped into a rhombus to show Pascal.

 

Stepping outside of Cid's shop, he looked around at their immediate surroundings and shrugged. "You know this place far better than I do. Is there anywhere you recommend looking?" Absently, he shoved the Munny piece back into his pocket, a nagging thought starting to rise up. "Hey, Pascal? Do you know what the Heartless are? And Nobodies?" Neither creatures had shown up at the Gateway (with the exception of Hush) so he figured the world was safe from their notice. Maybe Cid had mentioned something about the Heartless, at least, to Pascal during one of her many trips here. 

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[VS White Kyurem: Round 3 - Let Wave 2 Begin]

 

 

White Kyurem screamed in pain. The icy dragon was knocked back, and snarled at the elven knight. Bowser pressed the advantage with a fist to the dragon's face, creating hairline cracks in Kyurem's facial ice. He was about to attempt something else when a claw lashed out to throw him off balance.

 

As Bowser spun away from them, White Kyurem caught sight of a group forming. A group? Better not let them team up. Kyurem's body became shrouded in icy mist, before something sped up the process. Lines of icy flame formed around Kyurem, who launched a missile of ice with a strange inner fire. A missile of both ice and fire. The icy attack was aimed at the forming group.

Edited by DuskOfTheStars

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"Natsuki," Raine greeted, nodding in return. When Illidan touched ground, she landed lightly on her feet, a little queasy but otherwise alright. It's not that she didn't trust Xander's friend, but she was skeptical about the fact that his arm was the only thing stopping either she or the king from plummeting into the market a hundred feet below. 

 

Despite her reservations, the flight was short and without issue. Arguably, she found Natsuki's caution an appropriate response, considering that Illidan didn't look like the friendliest being at the market, and it was likely that the officer had seen him wounded earlier. She listened to their account of what had happened since Xander was last here, and took the time to scan the surroundings for anything matching the description. 

 

It wasn't hard to see the white dragon. It was two or three times taller than a person, encased equally in ice and white fur, and the quarrel  between it, a turtle-like dragon, and a dozen other heroes had made a decent sized clearing in the crowd. Those who tried to stay and watch were quickly being ushered to safety.

 

It seemed to look towards them -- Illidan, Xander, Natsuki, and herself -- and its body sparkled with a glimmer of frost that seemed like it was gathering energy for an attack but, too quick! While the group was still talking, Raine swung her staff in a wide arc, projecting a barrier along its path just as massive icicles and searing flames shattered against it. She grit her teeth against the strength of the attack, feeling its powerful mix of hot and chill wind even through the barrier spell.

 

When the fire dissipated, she dropped her defensive spell. She yelled to her group, "Now's your chance!"

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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Keaton | Lost in the Black Market

 

"The box did it?" At the prompting of his friends, Keaton glanced skeptically at the box full of kittens. The box itself didn't look conspicuous in the slightest. Visually it appeared to be a perfectly normal cardboard box save for the little furry ears sticking out of it. Based on the reactions on everyone around him, Keaton assumed that he didn't acquire felineesque features until after he removed his head from the box. Sure, both events--him removing his head from the box and him becoming more cat-like--happened at around the same time but that didn't mean there was a direct correlation between the two. How could a cardboard box cast a spell on him? Did the kittens cast a spell? How could creatures so young even have the mental capability to cast such an elaborate spell in the first place?

Keaton opened his mouth, ready to dispell the idea of the box hexing just as Ray dipped her hand into the box. Within seconds, a pair of fluffy ears sprung from Ray's head and a long tail sprouted out of thin air. Keaton's eyes widened as he stared at the tail curling around Ray's leg, the tip of it twitching. He looked between the hand inside of the box and the pointy ears that had emerged from the top of Ray's head. There was no mistake; some sort of enchantment placed on the box was the direct cause of Ray's sudden transformation.

"Oh wow, you got ears too!" Ranulf cried. He leaped off of the crate and crouched down. He slowly began to prowl, crawling forward towards Ray's unsuspecting tail. Keaton's ears perked up attentively as he saw Ranulf inch towards Ray. He was so much bigger and muscular than her. What would happen if he tried to play with her tail with his claws unsheathed, let alone try and tackle her? In the few precious seconds Keaton had before Ranulf could touch Ray's tail, he made a decision to stop the laguz before anything terrible happened.


"No!" Keaton yelled. He launched himself at Ranulf, barreling onto the laguz's side. Ranulf let out a startled yelp as he and Keaton rolled across the ground. A burst of white light enveloped Keaton as he and Ranulf rolled. By the time Ranulf ended up sprawled on his back, Keaton had fully transformed into his natural Wolfskin form that towered over Ranulf.

"What gives?" Ranulf asked, his ears flattening.
"She's just a pup!" Keaton said. "You were going to play rough with her! You can't do that with a pup!"
"She's not a pup she's a kitten!" Ranulf countered. He struggled to free himself from Keaton's grasp, but the Wolfskin held him down. His gigantic front paws were strong enough to firmly secure Ranulf's front legs. While Ranulf desperately tried to bunny kick Keaton's chest in an attempt to escape, Keaton didn't even budge. "I wasn't even going to play rough with her!" Ranulf said. "Cats aren't like dogs, y'know? I was just going to—oh... oh man look at that! Look at your beans!"

Keaton blinked in confusion as Ranulf tried to nudge his paw with his nose. Gingerly, Keaton lifted one of his paws off of Ranulf. To his surprise, his normally black toes had magically turned into a bright pink. It seemed as though in addition to his wolfskin body also getting cat ears and a cat tail, his paws inherited the pink toes normally associated with a cat.


"They look so squishy," Ranulf said in awe. All of the tension from his and Keaton's rumble completely dissipated as Keaton climbed off Ranulf so he could properly inspect Keaton's paws. He cautiously poked one of Keaton's giant toes, his face alight with elation. "Hey, did something happen to your hands?" Ranulf said to Ray as he turned to look at her. Keaton tried to touch Ranulf's toes in return, but when his paw brushed against them, Ranulf quickly pulled his paw away. Keaton tried to touch Ranulf's other paw and was rewarded with a quick bap to the head.
"Oi!" Keaton said, but Ranulf paid him no heed. He kept his attention fully on Ray all the while swiping, claws sheathed, at Keaton who appeared determined to touch Ranulf's paws.

 

Xander | Kyurem Fight

 

So his eyes hadn’t deceived him. Xander pressed his lips into a line as they began to summarize everything that happened since Illidan stole him away to the gate. Whatever that dragon was, it had somehow absorbed Reshiram and was now using the poor Pokémon’s powers to reign destruction on the marketplace. Even though the majority of the people wandering around the market weren't warriors, it was unsurprising that the few fighters in the market were taking up arms against the dragon. As much as Xander didn’t want to involve bystanders in X-Dreamers's affairs, he knew he would also join the fight if he saw a dragon terrorizing a market he was shopping in. Xander couldn’t help but feel a swell of pride in his chest when Natsuki mentioned they were helping people escape the dragon’s wrath, but that pride was soured when Xander saw Natsuki’s expression.

 

Xander knew Natsuki for long enough to know when they were in distress. Their eyes were wide with shock, their lips quivering as though they were barely keeping themself together. Xander expected them to own up to their mistakes, but they weren’t acting like they were trying to come to terms with accidentally pulling a taser on a fellow agent. No, their pain was plain in their mien. Instinctually, Xander took a step forward. It was in his nature to comfort anyone he saw in distress. While he would normally let Natsuki stew silently if they were in the wrong, it was clear that there was something that had been miscommunicated.

 

Just as Xander opened his mouth, he saw Raine swing her staff around her, causing a magical barrier to sprout out of the ground and materialize around the group.

 

“Gods!” Xander yelled as he saw the strange, flaming icicles plummet towards the barrier. Gritting his teeth, Xander ran towards Natsuki and grabbed their arm. He dragged them along with him as he hurriedly pulled both Illidan and his companion towards the center of the barrier. Xander did not doubt Raine’s abilities, but seeing her cringe as the icicles crashed against the barrier made Xander think everyone would be safer right next to her as opposed to the edge of the barrier.

“Is everyone alright?” Xander asked as Raine lowered the barrier. Xander looked between his companions, trying to make sure none of them had been hit by debris from the ice. Illidan’s face was horribly flushed, but he didn’t appear to be bruised or harmed in any way. Then again, he did have purple skin. Xander wasn’t entirely sure what a bruise would look like on Illidan’s skin.

 

“Now’s your chance!” Raine yelled once all the ice was cleared.
“Right!” Xander said. He unsheathed both Siegfried and Quel’delar, purple magic bursting out of the former and completely coating the blade. He glared up at the monstrous dragon. “Give Reshiram back or I’ll rip them out of you!” Xander growled as he steadied his blades.

Edited by Doctortear

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Anders [ science ]

 

Well, that was a bit troublesome. Anders probably should have stopped Ray from sticking her hand in the box, but he had been a little occupied by the way that Leonardo da Kittinci leaned into his hand and closed his eyes. Some things in life were just more important than stopped small children from acquiring potentially permanent magical body modifications. Things like kittens yawning and nearly falling over, sweet Maker. Had he died? 

 

No. 

 

Anders repressed a sigh. Eight years and Justice still hadn’t gotten the point of a rhetorical question. He probably wouldn’t any time soon. 

 

As distracting as Catilla the Hun knocking over Leonardo da Kittinci again was, Keaton shouting and tackling Ranulf was enough to draw his attention. At first his heart leapt at the sight of such large creatures fighting each other, but it only took him a moment for him to realize that it wasn’t a true fight. There wasn’t any blood, for one thing.

 

It did give him the opportunity to see that Keaton’s wolfskin body, though still massive, had been blessed with catness as well. He craned his neck to try to see the beans in question, but Keaton’s body blocked the view. How disappointing. He supposed it was a bit fortunate: he wasn’t sure if he could’ve resisted tackling and cuddling Keaton if he saw the giant beans.

 

“Aren’t we supposed to be looking for cat supplies?” he asked, but his voice was weak. Truthfully, he didn’t want to leave the cats. It was nice to relax, and he hadn’t in… quite long time. Not that he’d had the opportunity too; it had been vital to finish their plans without delay. Every second that Hawke had tried to make him sleep or visit the Hanged Man was another moment that mages were in chains. 

 

Sloth!

 

Picking up cat supplies didn’t have the same urgency, whether he’d promised or not. 

 

Somewhat grudgingly, Justice agreed. It helped that Justice wasn’t entirely invested in the cats the way that Anders was. Maybe Anders could convince him. 

 

Though, Ray getting ears did give him an idea -- 

 

Do not.

 

-- the ears were rather cute, and -- 

 

Stop it.

 

-- twice could just be a coincidence, right? They couldn’t be sure that the box was some magical artifact that gave people tails if he didn’t test it. Why, it would be wrong to not try it out. 

 

We don’t know -- 

 

Ignoring Justice’s protests, Anders quietly slipped his hand into the box. 

 

The first thing he noticed was that his eyes were far closer to the ground than they should have been. The second thing he noticed was that he was fluffy orange tabby again. 

 

Justice, predictably, was upset. Anders was a bit on edge as well; being a cat did make him feel much more vulnerable in most cases. The cat instincts begged him to run and hide from the multitude of people and noises, but Anders managed to stay put (albeit with a very bristly tail). It wasn’t like he couldn’t just turn back -- 

 

Huh. Well then. 
 

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[ The battle commences. - Kyurem Fight - Illidan, Noraeash, Oblivionix, Noreillan, Saen'theas, Nora, & ??? ]

 

The attacks and barrier happened so quickly that it was all a blur to Illidan, but it didn't take him long to figure out who it was that had dragged him behind the barrier. Again and again, Xander came to his rescue. Even after what he'd done to him, the king came to his rescue. Even with his unpleasant appearance,  he still came to his rescue.

 

It didn't take Illidan long to realize that he was in love with Xander.

 

...he shook his head and tried to shove those thoughts aside. Now was the moment to fight a beast, not gush about his latest crush! He felt the energy build up near his eyes...

 

"Now's your chance!"

 

...and let loose a Eye Beam, fueled by his own Fel, the moment Raine's barrier fell.

 

That was the signal for everyone to let loose on the dragon-like beast, and let loose they did; Noraeash went from healing the dragon... turtle... thing and poured his Light into a single attack that Oblivionix recognized from her scope as an Execution Sentence. Oblivionix herself lined up the scope and fired an Arcane Shot. Noreillan and Saen'theas flung some standard spells - Oblivionix could see a Frostbolt and a Scorch spell among them - while Nora flew in close for a decent melee strike.

 

And then... a flash of fuschia as a girl with fuschia octopus tentacles for hair literally rose up out of the ink and hurled four pyramid-shaped containers at the beast. When those containers came close, they exploded, seeking to drench the dragon in more fuschia ink.

 

Closer to pyramids than spheres—
Let fly the bombs! A sigh, then calm.
A pillow stained with ink—or tears.


[ Ears and a tail?! What am I, a Litten?! - Lost in the Black Market - Ray ]

 

Ray was halfway through petting one of the cats - a blond-furred one - when Keaton's comment got her attention. Ears?? On her???

 

She lifted her hand out of the box and scrambled to get her hand mirror out of her bag. Sure enough and true to her own reflection, Keaton's words rang true. She had ears and a tail, not unlike a Litten's except hers were the same color as her hair.

 

She'd also lifted her head in time to see Keaton's tussle with Ranulf, with the former now in that strange Lycanroc-like form of his... except now it more closely resembled an Incineroar than a Lycanroc. Ranulf then asked if anything had happened to her hands. She looked, and while she was sure she had the retractable claws now (there wasn't much of a way to make sure as she didn't quite get how they worked), they otherwise didn't look any different. Just normal human hands. "N-No... They don't look any different... I think."

 

...and then she watched as Anders stuck his hand in - before she could warn him against it - and went full Litten. Not just ears and tail like her and Keaton, but full-blown Litten.

 

Arceus dammit, some of the adults were more naive than she was.

 

...either that or Anders just really liked cats.

 

She looked back at the blond-furred cat, which was now meowing at her loudly, as if it were taking offense to her ears and tail and sounding like it had some sort of inferiority complex.

 

"...you would've listened if I'd warned you about the box, right?"

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Pascal -- Wandering around the Market

 

"Money?" Pascal repeated. She found it curious that Sora had dragged out the first syllable with a slight upwards inflection -- pronouncing it strangely, like it was spelled differently. "People trade all sorts of things here, so I think you'll be able to use your floaty gold piece," she continued. "Though, depending on who's looking at it, you might not get its full value. The standardized currency here is the galactic Pixel, because of how you can break materials down into Pixels as well as craft new things with them if you have the right machines. It makes it have a standard value everywhere, you know?"

 

"Around here there's some pretty good food places, like that one run by the turtle guy that Xander really likes, and you can find things like grilled chocobo, frozen bananas and deep fried rage candy bars..." Pascal prattled on and on, mouth watering from thinking of the exotic foods. When she trailed off, Sora used the opportunity to ask about Heartless and Nobodies were -- and Pascal barely had a clue. "No, I don't think I know much! Cid did mention them in passing, so I know Heartless attack people, but that's about it."

 

She looked at him and raised her eyebrows, expecting him to elaborate.

 

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[ Sonic + Caliburn | Tails | Joshua - White Kyurem fight ]

 

Seeing all the attacks on the creature made Sonic grin. It was finally time for some action; no more waiting around! Gripping Caliburn by the hilt, Sonic idly wondered how much of his knight training he actually remembered as he rushed toward the Pokémon. Clearly, he didn't remember much at all, as his attack was wobbly and definitely lacking practice, but the hedgehog could only hope that his attacks actually did any kind of damage. "You need more practice, Sir Sonic!"

 

"You're getting told off by a sword," Tails laughed, setting up Chu² Bombs to chase down and explode around White Kyurem's feet, all while snickering at Sonic getting yelled at by a sword. It was hilarious to him. He wasn't taking this seriously at all.

 

Joshua, unlike the twin-tailed fox, was taking this more than seriously. This thing was bigger than Anguis Cantus, and probably at least as powerful as Panthera Cantus. Even with his strength, the Composer knew one thing: he was not going to be able to take this thing down alone. Good thing he wasn't alone. Pulling his phone out of his pocket, he tapped in a stream of digits, a smirk crossing his face punching in the last number. "You're done!" A beam of light came from above, seemingly out of nowhere, to strike White Kyurem.

 

"... Jesus beams. Huh. That's impressive. Nice one, J.!"

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Ranulf | Lost in the Black Market

 

Hearing Anders mention the cat supplies snapped Ranulf out of his bean obsessed stupor.

“Right!” Ranulf exclaimed. “We need to go shopping for these little guys!” A white light engulfed Ranulf’s body as he scrambled to his feet. The light grew upward as Ranulf’s body began to morph into a humanoid shape. Within seconds the light dissipated, revealing Ranulf in the form he had when the group first encountered him.

 

“I know a shop not too far away from here that sells everything that we need,” Ranulf said as he began to wipe down his wrinkled clothes. “Well, maybe not everything, but the owner’s a feline too!” Ranulf paused, frowning to himself. “Well, I think he’s a cat. He looks like a cat, but nevermind that! More importantly, he knows a thing or two about weird magic boxes.” If there was anyone who could help Ranulf and his new friends about the box’s powers it had to be Kaden. If Ranulf recalled correctly, Kaden and his daughter set up a stall in the marketplace a few years back. Turns out spending time hopping from dimension to dimension was great if you wanted to learn about foreign topics such as magic transformations. Although Kaden’s stall primarily sold pet supplies, Ranulf was sure he’d lend his expertise if asked nicely.

 

“Let’s grab the box and get going!” Ranulf said with a grin. He lowered his head and turned towards where Anders had been standing. “Anders would you mind grabbing the—” Ranulf blinked in surprise to see that Anders had apparently vanished. No wait, that wasn’t it. Glancing down, Ranulf saw a bright orange tabby sitting where Anders had been just a minute prior. It only took him a few seconds to realize what had happened and once he did Ranulf snorted in amusement.

 

“I guess the box affects everyone differently,” Ranulf said before glancing over at the wolfskin who seemed preoccupied with his own pink beans. “Keaton, could you hold onto Anders?” Ranulf was immune the cardboard box for obvious reasons, so he wasn’t entirely sure what other additional side effects there were beside the obvious change in appearance. Still, he could see Anders’s ruffled tail and his folded ears. Ranulf knew irritation when he saw it. Keaton, thankfully, was quick to scoop Anders into his arms. Keaton secured Anders tightly against his fluffy chest.

“Is this alright?” Keaton whispered soft enough so that only Anders could hear. “I don’t want you to be uncomfortable. Being picked up isn’t always fun.”

 

Meanwhile, Ranulf walked over to the cardboard box and carefully picked it up. He let out a strained huff, eyes furrowing as he tried to lift up the heavy box. A loud mewl sounded from the inside of the box as one of the kittens, the blond one with no name tag, dug his claws into the cardboard as he began to climb out of the box.

“Uh, hey there little guy,” Ranulf said as he peered down at the escaping kitten. “You need to get back in there. It isn’t safe to wander around the market.” The kitten, being a kitten that probably couldn’t understand a word of what Ranulf was saying, doubled his efforts. He frantically kicked at the inside of the box as he dragged himself onto one of the box’s flaps. “H-Hey! Get back here!” The kitten completely ignored Ranulf’s plea as he threw himself out of the box, landing unceremoniously on the ground. “Ray!” Ranulf cried as the kitten began to make his getaway. “Grab him before he gets lost!”

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[ Gotcha! - Lost in the Black Market - Ray ]

 

Ray was relieved to hear that not only did someone have pet supplies, but he also knew something about the enchantment on the box of cats. "Well, that's a relief... Oh, wait! What if this is permanent?!" She didn't want to be stuck with cat ears and a tail forever! Hau would tease her about it and she'd get all sorts of ridicule from Gladion. "I don't wanna be part-Litten forever! Oh, this is horrible..."

 

And then the blond cat with no name managed to escape from the box after Ranulf picked it up. Ray didn't need to be told to catch him - what if the cat carried the box's magic with him?! She was quick to run and scoop him up - she remembered Akatsuki making his own escapes when he was a Litten, so it wasn't too unusual to her.

 

"Gotcha! Gave us quite the scare, little guy..." She held the cat with one arm momentarily while she used the other to grab Akatsuki's PokeBall and call him back. "I think you've had enough fun for one day, big guy..." She then returned the PokeBall to the inside of her bag and returned to holding the cat with both arms.

 

Then she took a closer look at the blond cat. He had a little black headband on... and the most beautiful maroon eyes she'd ever seen! "Oh, your eyes are so pretty!"

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~Kouji- Attack again!~

 

Kouji grinned as he looked at his work. The strange liquid that he could only infer to be blood oozed from the wound in a very satisfying way. Was this how it felt to protect a friend’s companions? Well, the boy had to help more often, this was quite thrilling! ...Okay, he wasn’t a psychopath, or at least he assumed he wasn’t. He hoped he wasn’t, anyway. Still, this was an enemy he was trying to beat, of course this was going to give him some sort of rush. Tara still stood, the nervous wreck that she was, which drove him to further try and kick this monster’s ass. He certainly appreciated the fact that he had some help though, otherwise this would be a nightmare.

 

The thing tried to attack with… Was it a shroud of mist? A blanket of flame? How were the two able to exist at the same time, did water not snuff out flames with ease? Yet something blocked the attack before it could reach the warrior of light. Kouji snarled at the beast. This was a very strange beast indeed, it didn’t help that it looked like some sort of Digimon. But did Digimon bleed? He never quite knew. They always got hurt, but he had never seen an open wound on one. Did they perhaps bleed fractal code? That was always a possibility, one that was all too real. So then what was this thing? Was it perhaps something completely different that Kouji would never come to understand? Did TARA know? Who in this group knew what this thing was-- oh. Perhaps the person that had just been reduced to nothing but stone. He did see that, in all of the confusion, and wanted to enact some sort of retribution on the one who caused it to happen, which was of course this giant beast.

 

He prepared his saber again. Lobo kendo. Except this time the beast was ready for his attack and prepared to dodge. Kouji didn’t miss completely, though, but he only left a small scratch. More blood oozed from the wound, but not quite like the other one. No, not even close. He wondered how much longer it would take for reinforcements arrived. Kouji did notice a group forming nearby, after all. Were they going to help? Would Tara get her **** together and MAYBE join the fight? He really wanted to know soon, before the thing tried to attack at him again.

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Lightpon ~ Which of these are fresh?

 

She followed Qaksh as he walked over to the strange round cat-eared thing with the ribbon, past the Pascal-sque-haired lady with the orb containing swirling dragon spirits and past the simian thing wearing Empyrean garb and a paper mask. As her gaze settled on the fruit, her eyes widened and ears shot up, and then she blinked a few times to make sure this was actually a thing. Are fruit usually this big?! That apple is more than twice the size of my head! Light looked at the other fruit displayed on the dark cloth--all of them were absolutely HUGE! We're going to finish shopping in no time! Light grinned.

 

"Oh!" The shopkeeper gasped, then split into a face-spanning grin as Qaksh set the apple down. "Take a look at my cherries too!" She(?) urged, turning and using both hands to pick up two dark cherries from a bag behind her(?), still connected by their stems, and both of them big enough that Light doubted if she could carry both at once. She reached down and picked up a bright strawberry, turning it around to examine it. Is this good? These seeds look much paler than they're supposed to be. She set it down and eyed the fruit worriedly, face twisted into a frown. What did Arisia tell me about fruit again?  The darker the color, the safer they are to eat? Light looked at the giant bananas with narrowed eyes. Bananas are supposed to be black to be safe, then? But everyone kept telling me that black means it wasn't safe to eat, right? Light stepped back, tapping her foot and crossing her arms as she tried to sort through what she remembered about fruit. That light green circle thing with the weird T-shaped stem probably isn't ripe, then? But the skin looks all weird and tough too. Do most people eat that part? There was something about if it looks tough, don't eat it, right? But bananas and oranges aren't tough when they're ripe and I can't eat those peels. Light bit her lip and shuffled, looking down with her ears pressed against her head. Why are there so many things I'm not allowed to eat? I can't remember all this... 

 

Sacred ~ WKyu Fight

 

The dragon shrieked and fell back from her; she landed firm on the cobbles. It snarled at her, and she saw an icy mist start to gather around its jaws, but the dragon turtle took the opportunity to smash a claw into the side of its face, cracking the ice there and forcing the dragon off-balance. Sacred ran forward and quickly reformed her shield, giving another spinning strike with it as she got close--the energy from her repeated attacks was flowing through her more strongly now, surrounding her in a soft ripple of green light--and as she spun, she concentrated, summoning the same power as that of ancient oaks, of wizened willows, of venerable maples. The dragon breathed a barrage of icicles covered in cold fire--her green light flared, and as the dragon stepped back from the giant wolf's attack, she unleashed the power she had stored--the energy exploded outward from her sword as she spun and swung at the dragon, following it up with another strike from her shield as the aura around her brightened even more.

 

Edited by Pyrowings

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Sora | Heartless

 

A lot of that made sense to him. Mulling over what he knew when Pascal revealed she wasn't familiar with the Heartless, Sora lightly tapped the tip of a shoe against the ground. "Well, Cid's not wrong; Heartless attack just about anyone because of the Darkness in everyone's hearts. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors which are all based upon the world they're in. Typically, they look like monsters and there are two kinds: Pureblood and Emblem. Purebloods are just dark, shadow-like beasts with yellow eyes with nothing special like colorful designs. It's the Emblem Heartless that vary most in appearance but you can pick them out due to a symbol located on their bodies."

 

He had no way of drawing out the emblem for Pascal to see and he knew he wasn't going to be able to describe it accurately enough. Hopefully they wouldn't come across any Heartless but, if they did, he would make sure to point out the emblem to her. "They rarely travel alone, almost always attacking in swarms, and many can use magic." Folding his arms over his chest, he tapped his idly tapped his foot again. "They'll go after anyone's heart but what they're really attracted to are the Heart of each World. If they consume the World's Heart, it'll be consumed and destroyed by Darkness. So it's my job to lock the doorways leading to each Heart and prevent the Heartless from consuming them."

 

Sora didn't know much about what Organization XIII wanted, or how the Nobodies truly lined up with the Heartless. As far as he could tell, they were two separate entities but he knew there was still something more, something he was missing. Shaking his head, he gave Pascal a grin. "I could use some food. Man, I haven't eaten in... well, I don't know how long honestly. You tend to lose track of time when you're jumping around worlds," he laughed.

 

-----

 

They could feel it, almost smell it....

 

Antennae twitched, bodies jerked. Magic hummed with eagerness. From the Darkness, they tracked down the Light. It had disappeared but that couldn't be. Where there was Darkness, there was always Light. A ceaseless battle. A constant struggle. They wanted - no, needed - to consume it. They were anger. They were despair. They were rage. They were hunger. 

 

Finally, they found it, or it resurfaced. They followed it, traveling farther than they were aware of. Many of them became distracted, drawn by the temptation of other worlds, of the Hearts that glistened from within their cores. These ones had doorways, left wide open for anyone to walk through. As if these worlds knew not of their sacred treasure, knew not of the threat that had finally come. These worlds were strange, some even twisted by some... Other.

 

The Light drew closer, or they drew closer to it. They could feel it, could smell it. It called to the Darkness just as the Darkness called to it; always a balance, always a tug here and one there. Maybe there would never be an end to it. 

 

-----

 

Speak of the Devil and he shall appear.

 

Sora barely took two steps before he heard it. It wasn't so much a sound as more of an instinct, a sensation that bordered on actually being audible. Reflexively, he jerked his head to the right, gaze trailing with the motion. The Black Market was dubbed thus for its dark shade of color, illuminated only by lamps and the patterned qualities of its inhabitants. But he could still make out the pool of Darkness that expanded and spun on the ground, the Corridor that allowed a too-familiar shape to pass through and manifest in this world.

 

Heartless.

 

"Pascal!" Sora called, crouching as he swung his hands up, Oathkeeper flashing into existence. Where there was one, there was always more. His eyes swept over the first small Shadow, the cat-like creature already beginning to dash forward in an attack, and quickly spotted the rest of the Corridors spreading across the ground in a noticeable ring around the boy and Pascal. Grunting faintly, Sora sprinted towards the first Shadow and slashed with his Keyblade, taking the Heartless out with a fast one-two strike. It vanished in a cloud of wispy tendrils, fading from existence. 

 

Looking for Pascal, he spoke quickly. "We have to get rid of them before they spread through the Market!"

 

Circuitraider | Observations

 

"So I've noticed," Circuitraider commented, briefly marveling at the orange beast's non-physical handling of a rather large apple. The fruit looked like the organic substance found on Earth, with only size being a major factor of difference. Humans had a way of evaluating such forms of nutrition, it was vital to ensure their good health. Only, as she watched the pointy-eared human slowly become further distressed, the bot realized she didn't know much about how to help the situation. 

 

Leave it to the organic to figure it out, anyways. This isn't truly your problem to be concerned with.

 

"I don't require organic sustenance," the Autobot stated after a few moments, glancing at the - wasn't he called a "dragon"? Human mythologies included several dragons, didn't they? And here was one in the flesh? Looking away from the "dragon" and back towards the fruit stand, she continued talking. "However, I can assist in carrying back whatever you procure today. You have no bags to carry with." 

 

Is this really better than standing at the Green Gate? 

 

You're interacting with organics, are you not? That's something to be proud of.

 

Organics are pesky and obnoxious things.

 

What did she know about Earth fruit? "... Try checking for scent. You don't want anything rancid. And... and getting riper fruit requires being consumed much sooner, if not immediately," Circuitraider explained slowly, thinking over what she was saying. Okay, so she might have studied a few things while on Earth. She had been a scientist first, after all. 

 

I still am a scientist.

 

Are you so sure?

 

... No.

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Pascal -- Black Market

 

"I get it!" Pascal snapped her fingers, then reiterated: "So you're also the one who fights them to stop them from spreading and taking over worlds. That's a real big task, with so many worlds to keep track of." Her stomach growled, interrupting her thought. "We can get you a savory pancake or something," she sheepishly added after the boy mentioned mentioned food. She was hungry again too, even though she didn't eat too long ago.

 

While they were walking towards a nice jeon stall Pascal was a big fan of, Sora's expression changed. He had suddenly froze, his eyes following something unseen. Pascal titled her head, trying to figure out what he saw or heard but quickly enough she too could see the pools of darkness from which the creatures would emerge. Carefully, she tucked away the fuse in her hand, and unlatched the staff from her back. Her companion already had his weapon out, effortlessly dispatching one of the yellow-eyed monsters. If what Sora said was true, then the presence of aggressive monsters here was far from a good sign.

 

"I'm on it!" she answered when he called her name. She leveled her shotstaff to her eye, watching for movement through her aligned scopes. Shadows crawled through from the dark portals and she pulled the trigger, sending two quick bolts of fire that pierced and ignited the catlike creature.

 

Pascal then hummed, twirling her staff back around while she cloaked herself with magical energy -- eleth, mana, whatever they called it here -- and using it to weave a spell. The blue energy rose from her feet and tousled her scarf and hair like a powerful wind as she focused, calling upon the power of the spirit of fire.

 

Regular magic users tended to attack from a distance. Pascal turned that idea backwards: like anything else she did, she was at her best when she was in the middle of the chaos.

 

"Get'em all close to me and I'll give'em a world of hurt," Pascal instructed. It was all about timing, right? But holding back a spell was as precarious as trying to hold back a sneeze.

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[VS White Kyurem - Round 4]

 

The barrage of attacks sent White Kyurem reeling.

 

Bowser growled as he got up, a bit of blood trickling from one nostril. He ignored the bleeding, turning back to the marauding ice-fire dragon. Unfortunately for him, his lunge missed and he felt something both burning hot and freezing cold grab his tail, causing him to hiss a bit and grimace. Bowser tried to jerk forward, but he felt himself being... lifted?

 

And then he was being swung through the air. Bowser was almost reminded of Mario that one time. His brow furrowed, before relaxing, and his eyes widened as the painful hot-cold grasp disappeared - and he was flying. He didn't scream or roar, nor could he react beyond clamping his muzzle shut as the ground and a blue creature rushed towards him.

 

And then he hit the ground plastron-first, and something squishy. A shock of pain - a dull ache - he couldn't focus, his eyes blanking. The hit had stunned him, and he lay there.

Edited by DuskOfTheStars

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[ Well isn't this just lovely. - Kyurem Fight - Illidan, Noraeash, Oblivionix, Noreillan, Saen'theas, Nora, and Agent 8 ]

Seeing the dragon-turtle being thrown like a ragdoll caused Nora to duck down and back up. He was not about to get squished! "Lord Illidan, I think we might be in over our heads on this one!"

"When have we not been in over our heads?! This is no different than with the Legion... Now pay attention, my Illidari - you are about to see how your Lord fights!" Illidan once again shoved his crush on Xander to the back of his mind - he had to remain focused - as he drew the Warglaives of Azzinoth and decided to get up close and personal with the strange dragon.

 

The paladin Noraeash decided to follow Illidan's lead, letting his Light flow into a melee strike, while his more magical son Saen'theas decided to test the limits of the dragon's fire with his own, casting a Pyroblast spell at it.

 

The others were not so lucky - some of the fuschia ink had gotten on Oblivionix's scope, making it impossible for her to aim. Noreillan had been planning to cast another Frostbolt spell, but it backfired on him, went off prematurely, and left a mess of frost in his hair that he knew was going to take a while to get out.

 

Wait... where is that octopus girl?? After wiping the ink off her scope, Oblivionix saw her jump down from the rooftop to the marketplace terrace below, shooting away with what appeared to be dual pistols. Unfortunately, the girl misjudged her trajectory and slid a little on her own ink, causing her aim to be off and her shots to miss.

 

Where love could blossom, spite congeals.

Faced with these thieves, I aim and heave

A cluster bomb right in the feels.

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~Tara- Put that foot down.~

 

Tara had officially had enough of this creature. It was clearly reeling, but she noticed Kouji struggling a bit. After the first good hit, he managed to get a lighter one in. She could feel the second hand disappointment as the strange blood began to run. But her legs were frozen, there was no way she was going to be able to help, right…?

 

No, no it was just anxiety. Thinking of that made her legs move a little bit. It was all in her head, she was able to move. The creature didn’t freeze her legs into position. No. No. Tara was going to do something useful today. She thought about the idea of her friend yelling at her about how she did nothing during the battle, how he had to go out there and risk his own life, as well as looking out for the others who were joining in. She took a step forward. Her leg seemed to freeze again, but she moved the other leg and it swung forward. Not today. She was not going to panic for the umpteenth time today. Her eyes steeled, although anyone close to her would know for a fact that she was terrified.

But she already did something outside of her shell and badass today. Why not do it again? It was much easier for her, knowing she had managed to scare someone out of scamming her companion. Now she was going to assist in beating the snot out of some gigantic bully that hurt another of her companions. She was unsure of names, but she was sure of faces. That person she knew was her teammate. This was her time, she was going to help her teammate whether they wanted it or not. She was unsure if they wanted help, but anyone who was forced into a stone wouldn’t like it, right? The girl made her way, slowly, one step at a time, towards the fight.

 

Tara took out her D-Tector when she was close. EXECUTE,” she shouted. Kouji had whipped his head behind him, but the next thing he saw was the form of Sakuyamon, armored in gold and holding her staff. Sakuyamon approached the being, preparing an attack. She had to think for a moment of what attack she wanted to use. The beast appeared to have some sort of ice crystals on its body, so maybe fire? Then there was what appeared to be a generator, a heat generator? What was this thing? How was it able to stay alive? She had absolutely no idea, it seemed to use attacks of fire. But the ice crystals. Great, now her anxiety was shining through. Okay, Thunder Kick it is.

 

It was a direct hit. The creature seemed to scream and writhe in pain. While there was no thunder, the speed of the kick was enough to do some damage. She managed to smack one of the stab wounds Kouji left, which made some good progress. She hoped she could save the person this creature hurt, she truly hoped so.

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Ranulf | Lost in the Black Market —> Kaden's Wares

 

“Whew! Good catch!” Ranulf said. He smiled at Ray who was firmly holding a distressed blond cat desperately trying to scramble out of her grasp. He wasn’t entirely sure why one out of the six cats had a headband instead of a name tag, but it didn’t seem to be a problem worth pondering especially considering the current predicament at hand. Hearing Ray’s wail of distress over her ears, Ranulf’s mein grew sympathetic. “Hey, hey, I’m sure it’s not permanent!” Ranulf paused, eyebrows furrowed in thought. “Actually,” he said after a moment. “I’m not actually sure how long the magic will last. It’s been a few days since I’ve had the kittens and they’ve all stayed the same. Although, I could have sworn I only had five…” Ranulf’s ears pulled back as he pursed his lips thoughtfully. The laguz managed to look contemplative for all of four seconds before a goofy grin reappeared on his face. “Whelp! No matter! We’ll know what sort of magic you all have been enchanted with when we find my friend.” Ranulf turned around, gesturing for the others to follow him. “I can guarantee he’ll know what it is,” Ranulf said proudly. “Now that I think of it, I’m certain he’s a cat laguz just like me!”

 

 

“I’m not a cat.”

“What?!?” Ranulf pounded his hands on the wooden stall. Ranulf had led the group to a small stall not more than five minutes away from where they had been prior. The stall itself didn’t seem too impressive what if the majority of its inventory being trinkets and masks hanging from the back of the stall. The sign above the stall simply read “Kaden’s Wares” in thick, white font. A small orange fox who had been peacefully dozing on the edge of the stall jumped up startled by the sudden noise. The owner of the stall, a man with orange hair, pointed canine ears on his head, and a bushy orange tail, gave Ranulf a stern look. Ranulf smiled sheepishly.

 

“Sorry for waking you up, Selkie,” Ranulf said. The little fox glared at him but seemed to be easily sated when Ranulf began petting her head. Selkie closed her eyes, leaning into the touch. “I could have sworn you were both cats considering how…. cat-like you are,” Ranulf said. Kaden shrugged. “Foxes are sorta like cats, but not really, y’know. We’ve got more of the mannerism of a canine with some feline instincts mixed in.” Ranulf nodded sagely to hide the fact that he had no idea what Kaden was trying to say.

 

“Well!” Ranulf said, tapping his fingers alongside the cardboard box. “Could you, perhaps, figure out if my friends are going to stay as cats forever or if this is just a one-time thing? They’ve been enchanted by some sort of magic that gave them feline-like features.” Turning away from Ranulf, Kaden turned his attention to the three people behind Kaden. He hummed aloud, rubbed his chin as he looked between the three’s ears and tail. Gingerly, he leaned forward and scratched behind Anders’s ears, retreating quickly in fear of getting swiped by an upset cat.

 

“Well it certainly isn’t illusion magic,” Kaden confirmed. He placed his hands on his hips frowning at the afflicted people. “The enchantment definitely gave everyone real ears and tails, but I can’t really determine how long they’ll last without knowing what kind of spell it is.” Kaden glanced over at Ranulf expectantly. “You wouldn’t happen to know if anyone else touched the box when you weren’t—” Before Kaden could finish his sentence, the blond cat that was squirming in Ray’s grasp was suddenly enveloped by a white light. His body grew in size and changed into a humanoid form. When the light finally dissipated, Ray was left holding a young, blond man with a dark cape, silk pants, and a thin piece of cloth that could scarcely be called a shirt.

 

“Gods above!” the man said, struggling to free himself from Ray’s grasp. “Unhand me this instant! I refused to be treated like an animal any longer!”

“Well,” Kaden said as the man tried to pry himself from Ray’s arms. “I guess that answers the question of ‘is the magic temporary.’”


 

Xander | Kyurem Fight

 

The massive green turtle snarling ferociously at the strange white dragon was batted away like he was a fly. Xander felt a lump form in his throat as he watched the turtle be flung through the air and landed what appeared to be one of the poor bystanders who got caught into the fight. Xander exhaled through his nose, tightening his grip on his blades. It would be pointless to try and assume the role of an authority figure into a multidimensional market, and yet Xander felt as though he was responsible for the damage the dragon caused. They had kidnapped Reshiram when Xander was preoccupied and now they were causing havoc with their and Reshiram’s combined power. Ever since he brought Reshiram back to Ylisse, it was his job to protect them no matter whatever obstacle they came across.  Not only had he failed Reshiram by not protect them, but he had also failed them by allowing some monster to use their powers to hurt innocent people. Though Xander wasn’t sure how exactly to get Reshiram back, he knew that stopped the ice dragon’s rampage had to come first. Once that was over, he was going to get his friend back no matter the cost.

 

Even with the giant turtle knocked out, the other fighters weren’t deterred. Xander stood back and watched as Illidan took out his warglaives, speaking a few choice words to his companion before launching himself at the dragon. Others followed suit; flinging magic, shooting ink (was that pink substance really ink?), and kicking the dragon. Normally, Xander would be on the front lines fighting alongside others, but his steed was absent and there was already a cluster of people around the dragon. Xander glanced behind him, staring sternly at Natsuki and Raine. He knew Raine was more than capable of taking care of herself, especially considering what she did just a few moments prior, and Natsuki was a trained officer; however, Xander couldn’t expect Raine to maintain a protective barrier while casting other magic and he knew that Natsuki didn’t have the means to protect themself from another magical attack. Xander couldn’t leave his friends’ side in good conscious, but that was fine. He knew his true place on the battlefield was protecting others, being their wall. It was what he was best at.

 

Still, even if he was going to protect his friends, that didn’t mean he was completely defenseless. Keeping close to his allies yet not so close as to accidentally hurt them, he lifted Siegfried until the blade was in front of him. A deep hum emitted from the blade as the natural purple glow surrounding it began to intensify. Red sparks danced alongside the edge of the blade. Gritting his teeth, Xander clenched his hand on Siegfried’s hilt. Instantly, red lightning shot from Siegfried and skyrocketed into the air. The lightning rushed towards the dragon, striking its upper body in a flash of red.

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[ The cat's a man?! Hot damn. - Lost in the Black Market -> Kaden's Wares - Ray ]

 

"Thanks... Had to catch my own Litten plenty of times, so..." The blond cat was in clear distress but there was no way Ray was letting him go for fear of him spreading the box's magic throughout the rest of the Bazaar. Stranger still was when Ranulf swore he'd had only five cats. When she, Keaton, and Anders had arrived, she'd seen six, counting the distressed blond cat in her arms.

 

Oh well. Hopefully Ranulf's friend could help sort out this whole mess...

 

~~~

 

Well, this was depressing.

 

It turned out Ranulf's friend had features closer to a Fennekin than a Litten. This only made things harder - were her cat ears and tail going to be permanent, after all? The very thought scared her. Still, at least she had a way to relieve the stress. Petting did nothing to relieve the cat's stress, though...

 

And then a white light enveloped the blond cat. Ray shut her eyes tight, being so close to it... and when she opened them, the cat was gone, replaced with a... man?

 

It didn't take long for her to buckle under his weight. She was soon on the ground with his legs squishing her left arm. She glanced at him...

 

He was kind of hot, no doubt about that. His hair color - besides being the same blond the cat's fur had been - looked strikingly similar to Xander's. Come to think of it, his outfit - sans the headband - looked like it could be from the same universe Xander came from, too.

 

But his eyes...

 

~

 

"Oh, your eyes are so pretty!"

 

~

 

The man's eyes matched the cat's! They were the same shade of maroon and everything! It hit Ray not long after that: this man, like her, Keaton, and Anders, must have been affected by the box's magic. It was the only explanation for him becoming himself again in her arms... and it did explain how Ranulf had six cats when he only remembered five being present.

 

Well, at least now she knew the magic was temporary.

 

"...if you don't mind, your legs are making my arm fall asleep!"

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Raine -- Kyurem Fight

 

Raine surveyed the battlefield, squinting her eyes and following the movements of various heroes throwing themselves at -- and in one case being thrown by -- the dragon of ice and fire. Illidan himself seemed to be the commander of a small squadron and was quick to dispense commands. There were others, too, including two humanoids in armor (one a yellow fox and the other a blue wolf) who took their chance and struck the monster in a vital spot.

 

She was grateful that Xander had set himself in front of both she and Natsuki. He was aware enough to change formation and offer her a moment to recover from the drain of her barrier spell. An intelligent move... as expected from a commander. Since there were so many people engaging the fight, it was better for everyone to play to their strengths.

 

The healer stilled her breath and blocked out the shouts, falling into a familiar tranquility as she gathered magic and focused on Illidan's scythelike blades. Bright runes traced themselves in red at her feet and mana welled from the ground, lifting the tails of her cloak with a gentle upwards wind.

 

"Sharpness!" she shouted, calling out the spell. A few seconds after Illidan was finished with his current attack, mana condensed around the half-demon's weapons to sharpen their edges and enhance their properties.

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Unfortunately, the ice dragon had picked the dragon turtle up and threw him into what looked like a bystander. Sacred swore, letting herself have a momentary distraction as she flicked her eyes over. No, Ponbiscuit can see to that. This dragon cannot continue sapping the life of the other! The screaming in her head from the white dragon was stronger too, though--Sacred pushed the ramifications of that to the back of her head and swung her sword back, charging and invoking the essences of the tangles from the wildest edges of the world--the dragon is distracted, there are many others who had joined in quelling it--before grasping the hilt and slamming it into a crack in the cobbles. The energy gathered around her flared brightly, and as a red bolt of lightning struck it, gigantic ethereal vines erupted from the ground, wrapping tight around the dragon. They struggled against the restraint and some of the vines dispersed back into mana, but the majority of them held firm. 

 

 

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