Logs: Awakening and Rage

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  Mikage-cho - West Side
     At first glance, this is Lunarvale. It doesn't take long for people to know something about this place
is not Lunarvale... or even their own world. It may have something to do with the flashing wall of colors
around the perimeter of the city.
     Fantastical creatures pulled from mythologies around the world, called "demons," prowl the streets. They
are often hostile, but can be convinced to leave one alone or even give assistance (...sometimes). The people
here seem largely untroubled by them, though places have started selling firearms and body armor. Yet, violence
between human beings here is unheard of. The Police Station doesn't exist, replaced by a forest of purple trees.
The area is less developed in places, almost like a trip back in time.
     A light haze clouds the corners of one's vision, giving the whole sector the sensation of being in the
middle of a dream. Given the demons and the nightmarish black wall blocking the way to the east half of town,
however, one could not confuse this dream as pleasant. Such is the nature of Mikage-cho.

When she met Miwa a couple days ago, the Seven Sisters senior had told her that the east side of town was *horrible*, far worse than the west side where A-ko and St. Hermelin High was located. A-ko was inclined to believe her, and had even thought of checking it out before Miwa had warned her that it was someplace she didn't want to go alone.

Cue to today. A-ko had absolutely no reason to think that anything was amiss today, so she'd gone to the convenience store to get something to eat, same as usual. ...and the demons were crazy. Apparently they were always crazy, but she never particularly had a problem with them, except now they're /seriously trying to kill her/.

A-ko is kind of freaking out here.

Currently she's hiding between buildings, peeking out nervously to try to watch for when the coast is clear. She is taking this seriously enough that her headphones have been left around her neck, the music left off. Her broom... kind of already got smashed to bits earlier, so so much for trying to defend herself? Her only hope is to try to get back to the high school--she doesn't *know* if it's safe back there, but it's never really had any demons before. It's as good a guess as she's got.

She takes a deep breath. Okay. No freaky-looking monsters out now. Time to make a dash for it! And so off the auburn-haired girl goes, leaving the cover of the alleyway to try to run a few blocks closer to her school.

Not a single freaky-looking monster, but a small girl. A small girl with blond hair, in a blue dress with a white apron over it. A very familiar girl to some; Surely a friendly face, even as things are getting so crazy in this town. So crazy, in fact, that a poor helpless girl might ask for help from someone.

So she does, stepping forward a bit, eyes already welled up. "E..excuse me, Miss?" She asks, pulling out a small teddybear from somewhere, hugging it in one arm. "Excuse me, but..I...um. I'm very lost, and I need some help.." She sniffs a bit. She is dangerously close to tears.

A-ko screeches to a halt when she sees that little girl. Consider those heartstrings *plucked*, little girl. She takes another nervous look around, before giving the girl a reassuring smile and offering her hand. "It'll be okay," she reassures her. "We shouldn't stay out in the open too long, but where is it you needed to go?"

The blond-haired girl puts her hand into A-Ko's, blinking a bit. She smiles, nodding as she's informed of her options. The teddybear is squeezed a bit.

"W...well, I..." She stops. "...I don't know. Can we play a bit first? I haven't played with anyone in a very long time..."

A-ko squeezes the little girl's hand a bit, also to reassure her. She's so cute! It's a shock she hasn't been attacked, but A-ko figures she's just been lucky, like she was. She certainly looks scared enough. "Sure, we can play," she tells her, "but we should get someplace safe first. If you follow me, I can get us to the school where I attend. There aren't any demons there." She thinks.

Alice pauses. Her head tilts. "But..but I said we play /first/." There's a slight stomping of feet. "You're just gonna leave me, aren't you! You're just gonna leave me all alone and never play with me ever!" She seems increasingly upset. What has A-Ko gotten herself into?

"Of course I'm not going to leave you!" A-ko's shocked at the very suggestion; how could she do that to a little girl? She gently tries to pull on the girl's hand and gives her another soft smile. "I know you must be scared, but we should be someplace safe before we play. I promise I won't leave you, okay? Just hold on tight to my hand."

"No! I'm not going! You're just gonna lie to me, just like..just like..."

Dark purple flames start to shoot up around the girl. They're...cold to the touch. Too cold. Like 'stop touching the girl because your soul is starting to get a little frosty with icicles on the bottom.

"No, you're not gonna leave me! You're gonna play with me forever 'n ever 'n ever 'n ever..."

Each iteration of eternity seems to spark another flare of the peculiar inferno around the girl, as she floats just that little off the ground.

"Just like everyone else will!"

	    - DEATH Reverse -
		- ALICE -
- The Little Girl In The Horror Movie -

- XIII -

Coming back from her delivery to Fort Junes was a bigger hassle than she thought. It had been smoother before, but whatever had the demonic residents riled up got them good. Avoiding conflict was the safer approach, keeping to alleys and less open ground. Himeru was a little glad for the map she made now. Not perfectly detailled, but enough that she could avoid some trouble. Her weapon was already covered with blood, as avoiding some is a far cry from being able to avoid it all.

She was maybe halfway to the school left to make it when something just pops on her radar. She's no talented spotter but this was a flare shot in a clear night sky sort of sensation, and definitly not far. Her eyes turn toward the direction her senses were tingling toward, as her feet advance at a jog. She doesn't wamt to charge blindly into something nasty either, but this clearly warrants investigation.

Demons can be talked to, reasoned with. That's what he keeps seeing and hearing. Has Blaise really given that a shot? Psh, no. They're /demons/. In his book, if something is called a demon, it shouldn't be trusted! And yet, he's finding little alternative as the days progress. Shiki is still missing, as far as he's aware, and he has some idea of who has the answer to where he is - it's just a matter of communicating that information to the right channels: i.e., Minato.

And maybe in the process, he'll give some indication that Archangel isn't evil. Just... independent.

Blaise has opted to try to communicate with some of the non-human denizens of Mikage-cho, to verify the information Daigan had given him, with Minagi for support. And also because they've not gotten to hang as much as they should! As for Daigan and his information, he's not displayed any /true/ malicious intent. So it may be worthwhile... just best to check ahead with the locals.

Imagine his disappointment when his suspicions are pretty much proven right when the demons get nasty with him and Minagi almost immediately.

He even said 'please' when asking a question!

Well, those encounters weren't entirely life-threatening, especially between the two of them. But they were also just pixies. Nevertheless, it seems more prudent to just head on to St. Hermalin to find Minato and present things as-is, using rooftops for quick trailblazing.

Problem is, he spies a girl at ground-level that he recognizes - A-Ko! An A-Ko with another girl.. who happens to be shrouded in purple flames. That's what we call a Bad Thing. With a sharp, meaningful glance towards Minagi, he turns to bound off the edge of the building to drop onto a fire escape with a heavy metal CLANG. He then grabs onto the nearby ladder entry and slides down to the ground level, moving in quickly towards A-Ko.

"Hey, what's goin' on?" For the moment, he's not pulling the ratty katana from its sheath.

Minagi was with Blaise, making motions behind him ...pointing to her mouth, and rubbing her belly at the Pixies...but too bad they seemed too crazed to actually consider the threat dangerous. Minagi was sad, perhaps it was because she didn't get to actually eat a Pixie, or because it was because they didn't consider the threat at all...

Or maybe she reconized one of the Pixies as part of Minato's harem...

However, the thoughts were interupted by the scream, and of course, the dark purple flames of...

"The hell...?" Of course there was A-Ko... Minagi seemed to shrink for a moment, before she realized that purple flames are bad!


Minagi, jumping from her rooftop landed behind Alice, while Blaise came from the front. Her body hunched, her eyes wild as she considered Alice. "I told you outside was dangerous." She says, coyly to A-Ko.

The St. Hermelin area has been haunted by many things lately.

Ritsue had gone into the convinenece store, which is by now a surprisingly familiar location, to both get a rice ball or two to eat, and to get another load of rounds, because she has been running low on "boolit" thanks to the recent problems with the demons. As she wipes the last flecks of onigiri filling from her mouth, she asks the Jack Frost with a satchel that has dogged her footsteps, "So how come you haven't gone crazy yet, either? All your buddies seem to have. You ate that one's face yourself."

"Well who's to say who's really crazy and who isn't, huh? It's a pretty relative question, hee-ho!" says Popsicle the tamed Jack Frost, merrily.

"Huh," Ritsue says as she reaches into one pocket, as she has several times lately, to feel the small cool curve of ornament hiding in there, and then steps out of the door --

To see someone with dark purple flames glowing and floating. And shouting. "Uh," Ritsue says, cogently - words of inspiration and hope to the future, indeed!

Kanon doesn't really want a cadre of demon slaves right now. She prefers to just trounce them and get cash which she exchanges for guns which are surprisingly useful. It's like all her gangster movie fantasies come to life. It's purely by coincidence that she happens upon her 'hobo crashing on her couch' and a Jack Frost. She (Kanon) has a pistol in her hands. She has found a trick where she can charge a boolit with mystical enegy before firing it, thus resulting in mystic exploding rounds. It's pretty great. She hopes she gets to keep the gun and maybe obtain a permit even though there isn't such a thing which is very sad.

"Hey, sup." She says, pausing to turn towards the purple flames of evil. "...Uh ... sup?"

       Hold on slow down again from the top now and tell me everything
       I know I've been gone for what seems like forever
       But I'm here now waiting

Minato Arisato, the Dorm Dweller, had been passing by on a side street to avoid the greatest concentration of demons as they suddenly got wilder on this side of town. He's already got some fresh stains on his already-tattered clothing--at least Shadows went down and dissipated, by and large--and doesn't particularly want to add to more of it. Besides, he's pretty sure he's seen a convenience store up here with some grub in it...

That's about when the Bad Feeling arrives.

Minato stops, looking to the right. The sudden flare-up was unmistakeable. He turns and starts at a jog, and then breaks into a run when he hears some commotion. His MP3 player keeps playing. Maybe he'll turn it off when his hands aren't full. He doesn't know where he's felt it before, but he just /knows/ whatever it is is bad news. After all, Death knows his own.

       To convince you that I'm not a ghost or a stranger
       But closer than you think

Minato skids to a stop at one end of the street with the purplish flames. He can see the figure they're threatening, and his heart immediately starts pounding. He pauses for maybe three beats of it before he runs straight for the girl-that-is-not-a-girl. His new sword leaps from it's scabbard with a glint of cold steel in the purplish light, held two-handed as he rushes forward entirely recklessly.

       She said, "just go on to what you
       Pretend is your life but
       Please don't die on me"

"GET AWAY!!" The shout is probably the loudest most people have heard him before. It accompanies the heavy diagonal slash, going upwards from the left side in a manner that is entirely not meant for subtlety or tactical combat.

COMBAT: Minato Arisato has activated Orpheus.
COMBAT: Minato Arisato misses Igor with his Slash Attack - Sword attack.
COMBAT: Minato Arisato has finished their turn.

Incorrect, Minato. The correct lyrics here were:

I love little girls
They make me feel so good
I love little girls
They make me feel so /bad/

Apparently you shouldn't /warn/ the crazy demon girl that you're going to hit her, because crazy floating demon girls can just, you know, float away. And then stare at you, with soulless horrifying eyes.

"Hey! That's not very nice!" She says, arms on her hips as she points at Minato, just out of sword reach. "That's not very nice at all! Don't you know how to treat girls?"

The teddybear in her hands shakes like some kind of peculiar voodoo doll, emitting some strange dark energy towards Minato. Ideally he is thus left unready for when she suddenly lunges forward in a violet blaze of dark, chilling light.


COMBAT: Igor misses Minato Arisato with his Dark Break attack.
COMBAT: Igor misses Minato Arisato with his Die For Me! attack.

Deidra Doyle has followed the Dorm Dweller, much like her leader andf friend he's clothuing's in pretty bad shape but she's got an off companion an Angel in bondage gear is flying along after her. The idea of food was a wonderful idea that wasn't demon. She pauses at Minato and looks to to him as he heads off, her own player is still playing as she runs after him, something's got to be up.

The Volume of the young man's voice stuns DD as she looks at him okay what ever is going on it's going to be bad. The Angel just sorta smirks.

It is a little more dangerous than usual today, isn't it? Itsuka's sort of noticed, since she's actually left the school again, something she's made a habit of not doing quite so often. In fact, she left more or less with Minato! ...not that there's been a lot of conversation or anything in all likelihood, but she sort of needs to talk to him and she's not going to do that by not being around him!

So instead, she's going to follow him around all quiet-like. That clearly works much better.

She's chasing after him after those purple flames, though, noticing the /reckless charge forward/ at this poor little girl there by the...other...little..girl. And shouting.

And then the little girl goes after their fearles leader with a teddy bear. "...Right! Get away!" She slips her Evoker to her head and fires, though her hesitation means she didn't get in on the /ground floor/ or anything. It's water time.

COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara misses Igor with her Maraqua attack.
COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara has finished their turn.

When the purple flames shoot up, so cold to the touch that they burn, A-ko snatches her hand back in sheer surprise. As Alice gets angry enough to KILL, A-ko's expression shifts from :(;;;; to DDDD: rather neatly. The smart thing to do here would probably be to run away!

Of course, when a ton of other people show up once the purple flames start sprouting, which means that, in A-ko's mind anyway, it'd be mean to just... let them deal with this and save her own skin. She smiles when Blaise jumps down to join them, and her eyes soften at Minagi--but that changes quickly into a dirty look at her coy remark (and here she'd been planning on apologizing to her next time they saw each other!).

"It wasn't *this* crazy before!" she snaps, pointing at the crazy little girl. To Blaise and, well, everyone else in general--Ritsue and Kanon, who just suddenly appeared out of the convenience store she'd left earlier--A-ko declares, "This girl said she was lost so I offered to help her out, but she wanted to play and now she wants to kill me!"

This is around when Minato bullrushes in to slash at the little girl, Itsuka and Deidra hot on his trails. A-ko turns to look at them, and her breath catches in her throat, eyes widening as the Dorm Dweller screams and lashes that sword down towards the demon girl. And when that demon girl begins to counter with the darkness of the depths, she screams, "NO, DON'T!!"

Ritsue is momentarily distracted. "Kanon!" she says in frank astonishment, even as she unlimbers the rifle she's been toting around and hoists it up at the ready. Other people seem, she thinks, to just sort of - boil out and attack her; are they also demons? she wonders briefly, not recognizing any of the others.

Wait, no: she thinks she saw that one once, and, obviously, Kanon. She clicks the safety off the rifle as she tells Kanon, raising her voice fractionally, "You know any of these people?" Of course, when people are holding up glowing teddie bears and looking like psycho white girls, there are problems.

"Get down!" she shouts at the explanatory girl, even as she raises the rifle, sights along it, and then --

Shoots at the bear???

COMBAT: Ritsue Tetsumoto critically hits Igor with her Slash - Keyrings attack.
COMBAT: Ritsue Tetsumoto has finished their turn.

If she had doubts about trouble, those doubts are thrown into the paper shredder as she hears Arisato-sempai's voice screaming. That quiet boy, screaming. Bad combination. Himeru's pace accelerates as...a little girl is floating? "Trouble..."

Not human. Doesn't seem like Mai, although there's a bit of similarity in their stuffed animal of choice. Joining the battle at the sight that this clearly has become a group endeavor due to many familiar heads and some less so, Hime keeps her distance to midrange, pointing the bokken at the floating little girl. "Hannya! Impale!"

Something erupts from her body, the familiar sensation of something drawing of her strength to materialise. The masked demon Persona howls in joy as it leaps in the air, long clawed hand pushed forward to just drive itself through the child's abdomen. It only _LOOKS_ like a little girl, the highschooler reminds herself. "A-ko-chan, get away! You might get caught in the crossfire if she gets angry!" she warns, not that it's probably necessary.

COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa hits Igor with her Cruel Attack attack.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has finished their turn.

Minagi smiles towards A-Ko, "It's alright, it's alright...just stay back, and we'll take ca-..


Minagi turned her gaze towards the demon child. Her hands balling into fists...but she knew that resorting to blind attacking would not help anyone. Narrowing her eyes, she called out, "PERSONA!" and a large wolf appeared above her head.

The persona howled, as a strange feeling of primal energy would course through the party helping take care of Alice, apparently Minagi can learn new tricks.


COMBAT: Minagi Shimizu hits Minato Arisato, etc., with her Marakukaja attack.
COMBAT: You have been healed for 0 points of damage.
COMBAT: The Vitality Up status effect has been added.
COMBAT: Minagi Shimizu has finished their turn.

"Oh man," Kanon says, with regards to Alice, "is Strega recruiting little girls again?" It's a reasonable question, little crazy girls make up for at least a third of their roster. Sometimes, on rare occassions, they get a little boy too. She doesn't immediately open fire with her pistol because, well, it's a little girl and she isn't comfortable shooting teddy bears immediately either. It might into an evil Mr. Bear.

Besides, first things first. "Hey girl, get over here, I'll cover you--get back into the store!"

She has her gun at the ready, but seems more intent on making sure A-Ko doesn't get explodinated.

Blue-gray eyes shift to Minagi and a faint smile crosses his lips. She has some combat sense! It's nice to be able to work /with/ someone instead of just protect them for a change. So that's some definite approval in her decision to flank.

Blaise doesn't get any answers before Hell breaks loose, though. A Gekkoukan student is suddenly coming into view, sword a-swing, taking Blaise by surprise and forcing him to fall back a step. "Hey, whoa!"

Sparing a glance to A-Ko, "It's okay, don't worry about it! We'll handle this, just stay clear and keep down!"

Back to the girl, Blaise quickly draws the katana from its resting place, holding it down at his right side in a standby position. Her attack on Minato is observed with relative motionless - it's better to let him handle the onslaught and take the opportunity to neutralize the threat when she leaves her flank open! Whiiich she appears to do in passing.

But just as Blaise starts to move forward, a demonic figure has beaten him to the punch! Opting to keep out from potentially becoming an accidental casualty (and not yet taking the time to spot who it came from), Blaise just grits his teeth and falls back a step. "Nng.. okay.." His eyes narrow, left fist lifting as a point of concentration. The girl... no, it has to be a demon... it must be stopped. And what might a demon fear, but...


A figure rises from Blaise, clad in royal blue armor. The elegant, long sword gripped in his right hand is thrust into the air, cape billowing out behind him in an unfelt wind.

The ground trembles briefly, and beneath the girl, a pillar of white light erupts into the air.

COMBAT: Blaise Cameron critically hits Igor with his Hamaon attack.
COMBAT: Blaise Cameron has finished their turn.

Minato does the stupid thing and rushes in /exacty like he says not to, Itsuka/ and startles the witch.

Okay, plan B: Don't die.

Minato's sword catches air. He stumbles backwards and brandishes it like a cross at the dark energy, the howl echoing in his ears. He dimly becomes aware of the others around him, and of the Personae erupting into the world. It reminds him to go for his Evoker, watching the unlight blast towards him.

He gets his Evoker up just early enough. Minato presses it to the side of his head and fires, and the silhouette of the Master of Strings flows out from him and touches the blade. It cuts the blackness with it's keen edge and dips down, in front of the lunging girl, meeting her charge head-on.

Minato gets forced back by the impact. His body gets jarred but he doesn't actually get as messed up as he might have been. He grits his teeth, bracing himself and skidding back next to A-ko. He points his sword straight at the girl, the blade smoking and crumbling to ash halfway down the blade.

He blinks once, and throws the rest of it at her anyway. How do I shot longsword /indeed/.

Minato draws back, standing directly between A-ko and the girl. He looks over his shoulder and turns one eye to her, an expression of disbelief growing on his face as he gets a closer look. He opens his mouth to say something, but only makes a croaking noise like the words have caught in his throat. Was he... right?

COMBAT: Minato Arisato hits Igor with his Bash attack.
COMBAT: Minato Arisato has finished their turn.

The little girl seems to care not for aquatic assaults: She floats just out of the way, disdainfully, her arms crossed as--some kind of demon leaps her out of nowhere. She screams. She screams loudly, ear-piercingly, soul-shatteringly loudly in agony and pain. She will continue to do things once this issue has been resolved.

COMBAT: Igor hits Minato Arisato, etc., with his Mamudo attack.
COMBAT: You have taken 10 points of Dark damage.
COMBAT: You take less damage due to your Dark resistance.

It has given her a brief moment of reprieve. A moment as Alice straightens up, glaring at those around her. "Fine! You can all play with me! You can all--"

And she is lambasted into the air by a pillar of light. She apparently has a million ruffles under her dress, which undulate as she hits the ground for a moment, before resuming her floating. "I said you are /all/--" Keyrings to the face! She is an innocent girl what are you even doing, she flails to defend herself to no use!

It leaves her, finally, struck with the flat end of a longsword in the head. Strangely, she /catches/ this, but does little with it for now before floating towards Minato.

"You've given me a new toy? How nice of you." Her voice is getting that creepy reverb effect you don't want little girls to have in their voice, as she holds out her hand. "It'll be lots of fun when we play together next!" She starts emitting waves of shadowy energy, trying to knoc this /annoying boy away from her/.

COMBAT: Igor hits Minato Arisato with his Mudoon attack.

Well, at least the shouting explains what's going on. Itsuka was a little worried about attacking a clearly person-shaped target, and her aim wasn't all that steady anyway. "Um...Arisato-senpai, didn't you suggest that we not just rush in?" She says this quietly, amidst the battle, not really wanting to raise his ire but he did /say/ that, didn't he?

And now their leader is down one weapon, but at least the girl is moving over for safety. "Don't worry, we'll help you!" She calls it out, though she doesn't recognize some of these people, either. At least she sees Kanon out there! Kanon is basically the best, after all. As Alice gets that creepy glow to her voice, though, she has no particular retort. Instead, she steps back, calling forth another presence..and faces Minato, firing her Evoker into her head. "I-I've got you!" She doesn't really want to, uh. 'Play'.

COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara has activated Yaksa.
COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara critically hits Minato Arisato with her Diarama attack.
COMBAT: Minato Arisato has been healed.
COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara has finished their turn.

Deidra Doyle is following Minato right in if he's going like Leeroy, there's got to be a pretty good reason for it, right? She's got her shotgun ready and the Angel's hanging back, she already knows she's going to do most of the work but she's not attacking with the weapon just yet, she feels the force of Minagi's spell and then comes the Mamudo, there's a feeling of dread and a sickening interal twist as it hits her she manages to not go down. She brings up the shotgun and fires off a blast, at the demon? Girl.

COMBAT: Deidra Doyle misses Igor with her Strike Attack - Walking Stick attack.
COMBAT: Deidra Doyle has finished their turn.

Minagi shakes off the darkness aimed at her, grunting slightly.

"Gotta do better tha-..." Then she looks at Minato and winces. She can't do anything for him at this rate, but she still had options. This was the other thing she could do, to help support the group, other than punching the monster's face in.

Minagi once more howls, summoning out the giant wolf. The two howl in unison, as a second surge of primal energy would wash over her allies, and herself. The feeling was not unlike a beast being awakened, and hopefully Minato would feel moved to DODGE like the king of dodge he isn't. She looks to Blaise again, signaling her worry for Minato, but turned her gaze back to the target at hand.

"Hey you! Little girl!" she says, shaking her rump at Alice.

COMBAT: Minagi Shimizu hits Minato Arisato, etc., with her Masukukaja attack.
COMBAT: You have been healed for 0 points of damage.
COMBAT: The Agility Up status effect has been added.
COMBAT: Minagi Shimizu has finished their turn.

The dark shrieking washes over Ritsue, who -

Is strangely unaffected beyond a visible wince. She pulls the bolt back on the rifle, cycling in the new round, but she does not, strangely, attempt more girl shooting. Perhaps she can't bring herself to execute little girls the way she is willing to execute teddy bears.

"Are you a human, or are you a demon?" Ritsue asks the thing bluntly, before taking in a deep shivery breath and shrieking herself, briefly and sharply. It is less painful to hear than Alice was, most likely.

The emergence of the ghoulish black figure of Kali from her side, tongue agloat and swords prepared for what is probably slaughter, is probably less pleasant. However, Kali opts not to attempt to disembowl the girl, but instead to smite her with a swung blunt object which is, in fact, somewhat padded. That is because it is a severed head of an Indian man with a bushy mustache, but such, of course, is life.

"I resent that, hee ho," says Popsicle from behind heavy cover.

COMBAT: Ritsue Tetsumoto misses Igor with her Fatal End attack.
COMBAT: Ritsue Tetsumoto has finished their turn.

"Himeru-chan!" A-ko gasps, seeing her friend arrive on scene. Perhaps later she'll recognize Itsuka as the girl that Himeru was searching for, but for right now, her world's pretty much turned upside-down. She shakes her head, even when Kanon pipes in on how it would be a /really smart idea/ for her to run back into the convenience store. "I can't! Because--"

Minato is forced backwards by the exchange of attacks with Alice, coming to a stop nearby her. He looks at her, and their eyes lock. The St. Hermelin student takes a step forward, holding out a hand that is shaking slightly. "Are... are you...?"

Darkness wells up. It strikes her, and she cries out, falling to the ground as pain squeezes in on her chest--but the darkness is even more overwhelming for the young man in front of her, one whom the others call Minato. She isn't even bothered by people shooting themselves in the head at this point, or perhaps she never was; Minato did it himself just now when fending off Alice's monstrous assault from earlier. Minagi uses magic to support everyone's speed and defense, but A-ko hardly takes notice. She simply attempts to struggle back to her feet.

"Wait," she pleads desperately, "wait--"

Unheeding, knocked into 'play' mode by the impact, music begins to emanate softly from A-ko's headphones.

That scream! Augh! Blaise falls back a little, head turning away and eyes squeezing shut. His free hand sets over his ear, but not before he feels a little.. strained, weakened from the wretched sound. More than just a sound ought to do.

Once it has subsided, he gives his head a shake and re-assesses the situation. Everyone's still standing, everyone's still okay. Right? Minato seems to be getting the most attention from the girl. A quick glance to Minagi confirms the severity of that situation. As he looks back to the girl, fingers wrapping tighter around his katana, he can feel himself... slightly different. Lighter on his feet, more in control of his movements. Hn.

Why waste it?

Suddenly springing forward, Blaise leaps into the air while Alice's attention is on Minato. Passing behind her floating self in the air, his body twists in a single, quick spine, the katana's edge lashing out to slice deeply across her back before landing once more on Minagi's side, crouched at the ready and facing the hostile.

COMBAT: Blaise Cameron misses Igor with his Slash Attack - Sword attack.
COMBAT: Blaise Cameron has finished their turn.

Blink. That was...a little girl screaming. Inconvenient, annoying, slightly painful on her eardrums. Hannya dissipates after her assault, but that really did not feel powerful compared to the sense of danger Himeru felt originally.

The blackhaired girl turns her gaze away momentarily, "Given that the Rebellion base isn't far, I suppose she could be some sort of comic book villain...must be using only ten percent of her true power, I guess." The little girl seems to have a facination with playing with them. Maybe she's the Henchgirl of Toy Soldier! Makes sense. Sort of.

And then she cranks the creepness factor to 11. Energy washes over her not once, but twice, the source being...Shimizu-san? Huh. A silent nod of thanks is given before her gaze refocuses on Unnamed CreepyGirl. "A-ko-chan! Trust me, withdraw! He-" Bokken pointed at Minato, "is a Professional." She says it so seriously too. But really, Hime just wants her friend to suffer as little harm as possible both physically and mentally. Who knows what sort of lasting harm this CreepyDarkGirl could do to a person without the mental barriers of a Persona?

Best not to find out. Foregoing ranged Persona-based assault, the blackhaired first year gekkoukan student moves forward. Not to strike in melee but to retrieve her friend, trying to pull A-Ko closer to the store and away a little from the center of the brawl. It won't matter if she does more screaming type assaults, but if the others keep this crazy little girl busy enough. "Hang in there."

Minato stares at the girl from St. Hermelin. His expression gradually becomes something stunned or shocked. Is this real? Is this just a trick? Was the last time just a trick, too? This whole place is one big mess for the mind and the body. Minato has found the worst ones are the mental parts.

He half turns. Minato starts to reach for the hand, raising his arm slowly, as if hesitant to confirm either of their fears--or hopes, maybe, though it's difficult to say. He looks back at the creepy girl suddenly, raising his right arm to shield his face. The strange girl's powers hammer into him, starting with the ear-splitting shriek that causes a squeal of static from his head phones, making him pull them off, and then a more physical hurt from the darkness. It casts him back again, staggering one, two steps backwards, and then locking his legs and forcing himself to withstand it.

It's only through the sudden healing power that Itsuka brings to bear that he manages it. He gives her a desperate look before looking back at the girl emitting the darkness. His entire body still feels chilled after that. He raises his Evoker, the shot echoing in the street, forming the Master of Strings once again. Orpheus raises his lyre and plays a tune, a rapid melody to warm the heart and fight off the chill of the grave--and to summon up an eruption of red flame all around the inhuman child!

Minato steps forward again, standing ready. He advances on her in challenge, reaching behind him and drawing the old short sword he'd replaced, striding with purpose. Professional. Right.

COMBAT: Minato Arisato misses Igor with his Agilao attack.
COMBAT: Minato Arisato has finished their turn.

Kanon is hit by the power of DARKNESS. It gets her stomach rumbling but doesn't really hurt too much. It's just screaming, you know, nothing to get all huffy about. This is clearly not a normal human girl and, so, shooting her with a pistol is not the same as shooting a girl with a pistol. And more importantly, she's literally trying to kill people--and literally may succeed.

She drops down, intending to put her body between A-ko and Alice.

She fires a charged mystibullet for Alice.

"What is this, The Ring?" She asks. "Japanese horror movies, all the same!"

COMBAT: Kanon Itoh hits Igor with her Pierce Attack - Gambling attack.
COMBAT: Kanon Itoh has finished their turn.

Withdraw? At a time like this? Hell, why *not* at a time like this? One would think that a normal human being like A-ko would be all over this suggestion, but...

       /I kept digging a hole underground
        Without knowing where the hole would go on to
        With a spade wet with dirt in one hand,
        I searched for your arm/

Himeru helps A-ko up, whose ears are still ringing from the shriek of that little girl and so don't quite make out the lyrics being sung and emanating from her headphones; it seems like others were affected less than others. A-ko doesn't mind this, but it's when Himeru tries to pull away that she begins to struggle, looking at her friend desperately. "A professional? What are you talking about?" she asks shakily. Does Himeru know him too? Is this... Why do they all act like...? What is going *on* here? "You don't understand!" A-ko presses on regardless. "I have to stay here!"

       /While I scraped together and scattered my patched-up happiness
        I was crushed by your strength/

"That boy," she continues, pointing over at Minato, "how do you know him? How long have you know him? Why is he here? *How* can he be here? I--" Tears actually begin to form at the corners of her eyes as her breath catches in her throat. Kanon steps in between A-ko and Alice, something that under different circumstances she'd be grateful for, but right now... "*What's happening*?"

       /The burning
        The burning
        Imprint of a palm that won't come unstuck
        Cut between the clouds stained red by my riven wings
        And find me flapping them skillfully/

The little girl is progressively getting angrier by the minute. She is shot at. Shot at! She is a girl. Why would you even shoot at a girl. The shotgun spread peculiarly just kind of...doesn't touch her, just flying right around her with weird little ripples. It's best not to think about it, she probably just...got lucky? Lucky enough to fly back as if on a breeze as the severed head attempts to smite her with...something. We won't delve into what too deeply, cause that's a lil' creepy, and she's a little girl with hellpowers.

Blaise is parried. She's still holding the severed bit of longsword, and she just pushes herself out of the way of the rest of the blow effortlessly. ...This does not allow her to dodge the second mystibullet, which lodges itself in her dress in a peculiar fashion.

She is not happy. First she moves to Itsuka, her eye twitching.

"Stop upsetting my fun!" Sure, everyone else is too, but she's /undoing Alice's work/ this is unacceptable. For her troubles, Alice looks upwards, and brings down a trio of spear-wielding...cards? With arms and legs, no less, which attempt to impale her repeatedly and then vanish into the aether.

And then comes Minato. Oh, Minato. She almost /sweetly/ moves over to him...

"Oh~ You have a new toy?" She asks, looking to his evoker. "I...I want it! I want the new toy!" She brings that broken longsword out, moving inhumanly fast to stab it repeatedly into Arisato.

"MINE! MINE! MINE! I WANT IT! MINE!" Ideally he should try to avoid getting stabbed repeatedly.

COMBAT: Igor critically hits Itsuka Mizuhara with his Die For Me! attack.
COMBAT: Igor hits Minato Arisato with his Call of McGee attack.
COMBAT: The Damage Over Time status effect has been added to Minato Arisato.

The girl demon...thing...was focusing on Minato.

"HEY BRAT! I GOT A GAME FOR YOU!" Minagi screams, trying to get the attention of Alice again. Her hand comes up, pointing right towards the little girl for a minute. "It is the best game in the world, better than your little stupid game you are playing now. Your game now is EASY Modo! And that is only approprate for little girls!"

Wait what?

The wolf is summoned back again, As it flips into the air and aims to try and bite Alice right in the head, and gnaw on her tasty brain meats for a minute. "Tag! You're it!" Ok, so....not very original.

COMBAT: Minagi Shimizu misses Igor with her Skull Cracker attack.
COMBAT: Minagi Shimizu has finished their turn.

A comic book villain? "I don't know about that, Himeru-chan..." Itsuka gets the joke after she makes her response, and well, that is just going to have to be that. But A-ko--"Wait? Wait for what?" There isn't much time to actually worry about the answer for the moment, however, because of /things happening/.

And the music. It finds Itsuka's ears pretty easily, especially with the fact that the usual song she'd be listening to is strangely absent, but so do the questions. No time, though, as Minato looks over her way after the healing, possibly...did she actually do something good for him for once? What's he going to think now then, he--

Alice shouts at her, and Itsuka has a chance to look over to her before the cards appear out of /nowhere/ and start stabbing her. "Aaaah!" The SEES member is knocked to the ground by the force of the attack, dazed. She'll uh. She'll be up in a minute, that really hurt.

COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara has finished their turn.

Strangely, Ritsue is unable to beat a little girl into a coma with a severed head. This is a pretty big problem, and Ritsue kind of has to reconsider her entire strategy in how to deal with the whole little girl problem. She turns her head back for a moment to look at Kanon --

And is NOT horribly maimed.

Ritsue judges something quickly, namely that this girl is, at the absolute best, 'not in her right mind,' and is more likely 'some kind of a new horrible demon.' She worries for a transient moment that it might be Mai -- -- but let's be honest, not all little girls are the same person.

She raises up the rifle and attempts to smite Alice on the back of the head as she lunges in to stab that kid over there. Kali, meanwhile, evanscences back away, just like my immortal.

COMBAT: Ritsue Tetsumoto misses Igor with her Pierce Attack - Rifle attack.
COMBAT: Ritsue Tetsumoto has finished their turn.

The blade whips and strikes metal! Blaise wasn't quite expecting that, but it didn't distort his landing. It just made him a little irritated. "Tch... this girl's tougher than she oughtt'a be."

Minagi's yelling catches his attention, looking up at her from his crouch. ...Hah, his girlfriend can trashtalk. Awesome. Now with a wry smile on his face, Blaise raises to his full height again. He catches sight of A-Ko being tended to by a few girls-.. Himeru. Eyes narrow just slightly on her, but his attention quickly re-sets onto the girl. As she's freaking MURDERING Minato.

"Good /God/! LANCELOT!"

The blue-clad figure rises again, sword brandished tightly in the right hand. He sweeps in quickly towards the girl and draws the blade to his left side, clutching the handle in both hands. The weapon is swung broadly, deeply out in a horizontal cut to the right, hoping to force her away from Minato.

COMBAT: Blaise Cameron hits Igor with his Mighty Swing attack.
COMBAT: Blaise Cameron has finished their turn.

"Uh, you're right." Kanon admits, "I don't understand. But I can't let her kill everybody." She pockets her gun. "It's just not my style. What do you want us to do? What do you want to do?"

She eventually settles that this battle is clearly not lucky enough for our heroes, so she summons up the mighty persona Urdr!

"Urdr!" She shouts, "Revolution!"

And suddenly everybody is Itohkajaed gloriously! Kanon returns to glance at Kali, and then to Ritsue. "So uh... having a good time so far?"

COMBAT: Kanon Itoh hits Minato Arisato, etc., with her Revolution attack.
COMBAT: You have been healed for 0 points of damage.
COMBAT: The Luck Up status effect has been added.
COMBAT: Kanon Itoh has finished their turn.

Deidra Doyle startes at the for a moment he looks at the other girl. She's getting more angry, she can't even hit her. She knows if Minato's just flat out attacking here. She looks at Alice for a moment as she talks about toys and starts moving like she's not even human to stab at Minato! Okay it's go time she focues and summons her persona once more and as the persona appearss she moves to heal Minato. "Hang on!"

COMBAT: Deidra Doyle hits Minato Arisato with her Diarama attack.
COMBAT: Minato Arisato has been healed.
COMBAT: Deidra Doyle has finished their turn.

The influx of question is a bit surprising. The music is ignored for now, as Himeru gladly uses the human cover granted by Kanon to get A-ko a bit of distance.

"Trust me, he'll be alright. I only met him about two months ago, but, trust me on this. We won't be far." says softly Himeru, TRYING to be reassuring. Further power washes over her, this time from Itsuka, before she focuses her gaze on the crazy little girl demon thing. It is true however, Minato might not look terribly intimidating but he was Hime' Sempai by a mile or five.

Still staying near A-ko, the gekkoukan first year student points her Bokken, calling forth her Persona once more. Hannya materialises, howling in joy once more as the masked demon rushes forward, claws brought forth to bludgeon the little girl with excessive force. The weapon edges actually so dull it wouldn't even cut cheese.

COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa hits Igor with her Masque of the White Death attack.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has finished their turn.

The sweetness of the girl is completely lost on Minato. The sharpness of the sword, even broken, is not.

Minato stands his ground, and this proves to be his undoing. With his Evoker in one hand and his sword in the other, he's confident he can take this girl on. He lifts the short sword, swinging to parry the first thrust of the broken blade. Easy. Now he just--

The sword plunges into his side, directly beneath a piece of armor attached to the patchwork stuff he's acquired. Minato staggers, spasming from the strike. His eyes go wide, and the air rushes out of his lungs. The broken blade withdraws, red droplets spilling out onto the ground--and then bites into him a second time.

And a third.




Minato manages to slide a foot back beneath him before he crumples. He hits the pavement like a sack of bricks, arms and legs splayed out around him, front of his clothing quickly soaking red. The healing power hurled at him stems the flow somewhat; he's probably not going to die here, from that. Maybe he's lucky tonight.

Or maybe he's not quite so. He's left unarmed. His arm and sword clatters to the ground out of arm's reach. His other hand comes down, fingers releasing the Evoker in his grip. It bounces and skids across the ground, colliding lightly with A-ko's foot--which is well behind him, and out of reach of the sinister girl.

The biggest problem is, he's not really moving. He manages to let out a choked cry, coughing wetly and twitching jerkily on the ground, trying to get back up while his body refuses to let him.

COMBAT: Minato Arisato has finished their turn.

No, Kanon, A-ko is kind of not having a good time at *all* right now. It wasn't her intent for them to *not* attack Alice anyway, so when Kanon responds to her as if that's what she had meant, A-ko simply stares at her in agitated incomprehension. She doesn't even notice that Itsuka doesn't get what it is she's asking them to wait for; after all, things are going so quickly irregardless of her wishes that everything's going over her head. "What? I didn't say that--"

       /Where will the eternity I drew confined in a cocoon
        Bud and blossom, I wonder?
        At last, the morning will bring back the dark night
        And steal away my sight/

Alice flashes that broken sword out at Minato. Time stops. A-ko watches in a moment of horror so perfect, so awful, that it seems as though all sound washes away, even as it plays below and around her. Tears streak down the auburn-haired girl's cheeks like shooting stars as her breath strangles in her throat. Minato drops to the ground, his chest soaked in red, and red colors the entire world for that shard of eternity. Himeru's reassurances fall back into background noise with the rest, and when she leaves her side (though not too far away) to attack the monstrous girl, A-ko collapses to her knees, eyes wide and twitching. That Deidra just used some kind of healing magic on Minato is lost on her; she's not familiar with magic, not that kind or what Blaise and Minagi and Kanon and the others have been using, doesn't know anything about this save that that boy just got violently stabbed multiple times right in front of her. No... No, no, no no no nononononono this can't be this can't be /this can't be/--

       /I believed
        By my fumbling, the moonlight would overlap and tangle
        And thus could become the place where you are/

The Evoker--or as far as A-ko knows, some sort of gun--clatters away from Minato's hand, that toy that Alice had wanted so much she'd stabbed him repeatedly for it, and comes to a halt at the teenage girl's knees. She stares down at it, picking it up with one hand uncomprehendingly. There is some blood on it, too. Instead of dropping the weapon, her grip tightens on it. He's over there, bleeding and crying and struggling as if he's a thread away from death. This was his. It was in his hand. She's touching it. There's blood on it. That means... that means......

The teenage girl clutches the Evoker tightly to her chest, shaking her head back and forth, before she arches it back and *screams*. It's the kind of scream one usually associates with someone who herself is dying, and it cuts through the air.

       /The igniting
        The igniting
        Promised place that won't come back
        Run through the earth stained black by my riven pain
        And find me flapping my wings skillfully/

Alice settles, once she's stabbed him a few times. He's bleeding now, and his toy's gone so /whatever/ she doesn't even care anymore. He'll bleed to death soon enough anyway~

"One down! Soon you can all play with me /forever/." She swishes out of the way of the wolf Persona, letting it just pounce. "I don't like tag! It's no fun at all." Arms cross, as she fixes back on Itsuka. She floats back towards her at alarming speed, narrowly dodging the rifle bullet. The heal is noticed, and forgotten; it just means more playtime. And then...

Interfering claws. These interfering claws are completely unacceptable! She's beaten back for just a second. She's not going to have time to deal with him right now, though. That silly girl needs to become her playmate /forevers./

So she'll try again. First the teddybear comes out, shaking at Itsuka unnervingly. If her psyche is not strong enough, the sudden flash of darkness that follows is probably going to hurt.

COMBAT: Igor hits Itsuka Mizuhara with his Dark Break attack.
COMBAT: The Dark Break status effect has been added to Itsuka Mizuhara.
COMBAT: Igor hits Itsuka Mizuhara with his Mudoon attack.

"I guess," Ritsue answers Kanon, even as she is reinforced yet again -- it's sort of like DRUGS, but they're FREE. Of course, the situation is getting more dire. When that boy starts falling, she feels her face contort.

"hhhhyyaaaaahhh!!!!" Ritsue breathes out, which turns into another high pitched wail. The shimmering black form of Kali manifests itself, rippling with a pulse of eye-searing light over pitch skin, before Ritsue swings one of her hands downwards towards the small girl's head. Whatever it is, she thinks, it's a murderer now.

Ritsue's punch isn't where the real force is; instead, it is Kali slinging one arm, this one bearing a club of iron, down towards the girl's head, a rumbling crackle-SLAM of thunder coming with it. "You want to play, you little bitch?! Come on!!"

So no, probably this isn't a lot of fun.

COMBAT: Ritsue Tetsumoto hits Igor with her Thunder Crush attack.
COMBAT: Ritsue Tetsumoto has finished their turn.

Minagi is helpless to watch her friend and person she doesn't actively currently dislike get mauled.

She had to try harder...had to try and get the attention of this monster...it was ignoring her, and it was PISSING Minagi off. Fists clench as she looked at her persona. The two nodded to each other, and the wolf shot out first, aiming to try and leap into the air. Minagi would leap in, aiming a few quick swiptes from her fists, she would attempt to uppercut Alice into the air...

And the Wolf of Gubbio woul come crashing down, aiming to sink it's terrible teeth into Alice, trying to pin her to the ground and take out chunks. "How about Red Rover! Send your splean right over!" she says, more trash talking.

COMBAT: Minagi Shimizu hits Igor with her Primal Force attack.
COMBAT: Minagi Shimizu has finished their turn.

The assault, though successful, wasn't successful /enough/. Minato is down, and Alice is making her move on Itsuka. Blaise's eyes narrow on her, drawing his katana closer to himself in both hands.

No matter how much punishment they put the demon through, she just keeps going! Not even slowing down!

"Don't worry," he calls to Minato. "We'll eliminate'er soon! Just hold on!"

And Itsuka is put through Hell. "H-hold on!," he yells to her as well, a little more urgently. "Gh..."

Focusing on Alice, Lancelot emerges again. Though this time, the knight's sword is sheathed. His right fist sets into his left hand, head bowing. From the Persona, shimmering light drizzles down over Blaise as he lets the battle wage around him. Just a moment... a moment to collect his strength and focus...

COMBAT: Blaise Cameron hits Blaise Cameron with his Tarukaja attack.
COMBAT: Blaise Cameron has been healed.
COMBAT: The Strength Up status effect has been added to Blaise Cameron.
COMBAT: Blaise Cameron has finished their turn.

Minato is down, on the ground, somewhere over there, Itsuka knows it. But then, so is she, and there's that awful, awful screaming like somebody just died, over from where the girl she doesn't know (A-ko) was standing just a moment ago. There has to be blood, she can smell it, she can see it. Still dazed, though, there's not a thing that the SEES member can do when Alice rushes back towards her.

"I...I don't want to play..." The teddy bear comes out, and Itsuka psyche is not exactly the strongest there is. It's unnerving, and she stares at it, eyes wide open in fear as the blast of darkness slams straight for her. It's pain, again, and the still-purple-haired-girl can barely stay conscious. What she doesn't realize, of course, is that the blood that's all around her isn't the blood currently freaking someone else out--it's hers.

Her Evoker has fallen in the confusion, slipping out of her hand, but her weapon...she still has it. And...she doesn't really know how to feel. Shiki needs her, but...It'd be easier, woul--No. "L-Leave me alone!" She coughs out those words and brings her axe down, one-handed, to try to deter the /creepy little girl/ in one last shot.

COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara misses Igor with her Slash Attack - Axe attack.
COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara has finished their turn.

Kanon's ears are ringin'. She isn't getting much--

Oh wait.


Alice is using lots of darkness attacks. That means...Kanon frowns, but forces herself to remain calm. Don't flip uot. Stay cool. Minato is a tough guy. He isn't going to die that easily. Itsuka is a tough girl, Deidra will support her. It's time to bring on the offense the way that your Persona is uniquely suited to handle.

"Persona." Kanon says, "Hamaon."

AW SNAP MEGA LIGHT ATTACK! Several pillars of light erupt around Alice, threatening to encompass them in their holy glow! "Sorry," She says, "But you can't play with people forever. Real life? People grow up. You move away from some of your friends, get new ones. Stasis? Ain't how the real world works."

She tips her fedora up with an index finger, looking past it for Alice's eyes. "How about you play with me?"

COMBAT: Kanon Itoh hits Igor with her Hamaon attack.
COMBAT: Kanon Itoh has finished their turn.

Way to go, Arisato-sempai. Trying to reassure a poor normal girl under shock, worried for some unclear reason about you, and you have to go off and get yourself halfkilled and then some. Himeru expected A-ko to stay behind, not to rush at him, catching her by surprise and leaving the first year student to raise a hand as her lips move in an unspoken warning. 'Don't go'.

She finds her voice later, when the young girl is screaming so strongly she can't help but to think A-ko shot herself with the Evoker. I mean, what DOES that thing do for normal people? Isn't it a horrible idea? "A-ko!" is yelled, feeling icy dread in her veins.

Gaze turns back toward the little creepy girl, she's clearly more dangerous than she plainly looks. Then again, lately, little normal looking girls have the primary threat or help in this city so who knows. Letting Hannya 'rest' for a moment, the notion of keeping distance is thrown to the four winds as Hime moves in for the close quarter wooden sword strike. Itsuka may or may not be exerting a BAD influence in such actions, or maybe this is a calculated move. Who knows...

COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa hits Igor with her Strike - Bokken attack.
COMBAT: The Cursed status effect has been added to Igor.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has finished their turn.

Deidra Doyle has been lucky she's not got the wrath of Alice just yet, she looks at Kanon she looks at Itsuka and is still going to try to save her comrade. Hey she can heal it's what she does even if it brings the wrath of alice. She sees Itsuka is pretty badly off and since there are people who can do a lot more damage? She's going to do her best to keep her comrades up. Sure she might piss off Alice but hey she's a hybrid mage! Still the girl disturbs DD on a very deep level there's something wrong about her more than likely being just a demon.

COMBAT: Deidra Doyle hits Itsuka Mizuhara with her Diarama attack.
COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara has been healed.
COMBAT: Deidra Doyle has finished their turn.

The presence of Minato's friends, comrades, or even acquaintances is comforting. Even Blaise, calling out like he is, manages to add a little to it. He doesn't really like Blaise, but, he reflects, he never gave him a chance. He feels sort of like he's floating, oddly enough; everything seems hazy, like a blanket that covered all his senses was thrown over him. His head is awfully light. Maybe he's just waking up, or going to sleep, or...


Could he be dying? That would be... well, maybe not bad. Expected. Death is, after all, not a hunter that is unbeknownst to it's prey. Minato isn't sure it would be bad at all. Maybe it would be nice. Maybe he could get some rest for a change. This is strange, though; part of him wants to just let go, but there's another part, another piece, that simply... will not.

The strange sound that Minato could not quite place comes into crystal clarity in his ears. The scream that pierces the air, cutting through the cacophony of the battle, of someone who sounds as if they are dying, though they are clearly not. Minato turns his head and looks back, seeing the girl on her knees. The familiar girl. She's... got his Evoker. She's sad, or...?

"...a...ko." Minato's voice is quiet and strained. He raises a shaky arm off the ground, slowly reaching out to her. He opens his hand, blood-flecked fingers splayed, extending it palm up. Is she real? Is any of this real? Maybe...

Just... maybe...

COMBAT: Minato Arisato has finished their turn.

The scream dies. So, almost, does Itsuka. As A-ko's gaze is torn inorexibly in her direction, she finally recognizes that girl--the one from the picture that Himeru showed her, that friend of hers that she'd been searching for. She gives that friend of hers a plaintive stare as Himeru calls her nickname before running back into the fight, as the others wail on Alice as best they can, as Deidra prevents Itsuka from /immediately/ dying and even that is not a guarantee with what Alice did to her. Everyone... everyone's fighting so hard. Maybe if she'd handled that demon better from the start, it wouldn't have come to this... It's perhaps a ridiculous thing to think, but the brunette can't help herself.

       /If you cannot hear me even if I scream,
        I want you to break me with your own hands
        While I can still call myself "me"
        Your arms, which caught me, changed into calm dust
        And I just quietly
        Gazed up at the heavens/

She hears her name--or at least part of it. She snaps her blurred gaze up over to the boy reaching out to her, and crawls over to him on her hands and knees. Her shaking fingers slip into his hand, and both of them are solid--both of them are warmth, though the warmth is draining from the blue-haired boy. Fresh tears course down her face, and she sobs, "N-no... don't die... Don't die and leave me alone *again*, Minato...

"Big brother...!!"

Clutching his hand under her chin, the girl can feel both his fading, fading warmth, taking with it the place where she is, and the coldness of the Evoker. She can hear her labored breath. She can hear, finally, the music around her shoulders. She can feel the ratatatat of her heartbeat, hear the roar of blood in her ears. She is here. She is alive. But this demon will kill everyone if given the chance. If she could only... have the same power as him--but--but--she...



The girl bows her head, breathing out a long sigh. With it come three syllables:

"Per... so... na......"


       /The burning
        The burning
        Imprint of a palm that won't come unstuck
        Cut between the clouds tinged red by my riven wings/

Crystalline light, energy given form, shatters out of A-ko's head and spirals around her, upwards, blowing her auburn bangs--for the rest of her hair is pinned back--and frames the long-haired female and the boy whose hand she still holds being that emerges from within the mysterious girl's heart. Though the Persona's mouth does not quite move, her voice reverberates for all to hear:

"I am Eurydice, Maiden of the Abyss.

Even through the darkest nights, I shall walk with you, for you and I are one."

Not wondering, not questioning, only knowing what it is she must do, the girl who has been calling herself A-ko as a joke stands up and thrusts her hand towards the demonic little girl. "EURYDICE!!" she snarls, tears flashing as they're flung off her face. "Save them! We won't let you have your way anymore!!"

At her mistress' call, the Persona spreads her arms. Light and wind burst outwards, bringing with it a healing wave to clear the darkness and sooth the pain, and it covers Minato and whorls around Itsuka.

Not far from the conflict, in the open but invisible to all but two, a young boy in striped clothing gives the newborn Persona-User a long, considering look.

       /The igniting
        The igniting
        Promised place that won't come back
        And find me flapping them skillfully/

COMBAT: You hit Minato Arisato with your Cadenza attack.
COMBAT: Minato Arisato has been healed.
COMBAT: The Heal Over Time status effect has been added to Minato Arisato.
COMBAT: You hit Itsuka Mizuhara with your Cadenza attack.
COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara has been healed.
COMBAT: The Heal Over Time status effect has been added to Itsuka Mizuhara.

"Uhh...." Alice just kind of watches as this new girl uses /her toy/ and something really important happens but she doesn't quite know what it is cause she wasn't there for the important bits.

"Stop it! Stop it stop it stop it!" She throws her hands down. While she's not paying attention, her defenses seem to falter. She's struck with the wooden sword, can't seem to get out of the beams of light that tear into her form, nor even the lightning club. She's not /done/ yet, though, and Itsuka's axe meets nothing but a whiff of air and a furious expression.

"You! You lay down now! You lay down and die!" She's introduced to a final wave of darkness. Perhaps it will not fell her; Alice likely won't have time for another blow.

In the meantime, she goes over to Minato again.

"Huh? You think you're gonna stop me? No! I'm taking these two with me! Maybe I can't have all of you, but two of you will do /just fine/."

Minato seems to be gaining hope. This seems as good a time as any to just hit him until his hope goes away.

COMBAT: Igor hits Minato Arisato with his Strike Attack - Slap attack.
COMBAT: Igor hits Itsuka Mizuhara with his Mudoon attack.
COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara has been knocked out!

It's true--Itsuka is pretty tough. She's been through pretty bad situations before, and she always comes through, coasting in because she's willing to take the risks and let her spirit drive her forward. ...Only...Since being here, she doesn't have that spirit anymore. She's second-guessed herself the entire fight, herself and Minato, even as he charged right on in there ahead.

The music from Minako's player still reaches her ears, a sort of a soothing sound, even as...something happens. A persona, a Maiden of the Abyss...and the darkest nights are pretty much here, aren't they? The healing energy flows around her, even as the SEES member can't really lift her axe to make another strike after she already tried, and she feels a little better. "Th-..." Thanks.

And then Alice is screaming at her again before she knows it, Itsuka lifting her eyes to give one last look to the little girl. She doesn't say anything. The darkness slams into her, and with a weak trail of breath, Itsuka crumples back down onto the ground where she already was.

She doesn't say anything.

Minagi feels like she is contributing!

The words uttered by A-Ko catch her off guard...Minato said he was an orphin...but...

Well, even if it is true...that's good...and she's apparently already able to kick ass. Smiling, she turns her gaze towards the witch...he sums up her intentions. Minagi's eyes narrow, her voice becoming scratchy...

"You will get NOTHING and LIKE IT!" She says, and with her persona appearing over her again, they both speak in unison. She dives in at the Demon again, punching repeatedly, before aiming a second uppercut to send her up.

Then both persona and user scream, letting loose a red wave of sound and force to try and tear through the monster.

COMBAT: Minagi Shimizu hits Igor with her Brain Shake attack.
COMBAT: The Magic Down status effect has been added to Igor.
COMBAT: Minagi Shimizu has finished their turn.

The girl's observed, Blaise's anger coming to a slow boil.

Nothing should be surviving this much punishment. Surviving this much punishment and wreaking such havoc on these others... who've proven themselves capable, competent fighters. It's inconceivable.. it's frustrating! And Itsuka is given more pain for her trouble. Itsuke - he had something of a tiny spat with her just earlier, but she didn't seem bad or anything! Certainly not deserving of this! And yet, everything he's done so far to stop this devil child has been futile!

"Beast from Hell...," seethes Blaise, eyes burning. His hands grip tighter, knuckles blanching white. "...You.. will.. not.. survive."

Something in the teen's stormy blue-gray eyes begins to stir. The color intensifies, the blue starting to take over the white. If Blaise is aware of this change, he gives no indication.

Nor does Blaise give any indication of noticing the katana's steel grow brighter, illuminated... /WHITE/. Bright, radiating /WHITE/.


Blaise suddenly dashes forward, bringing a newfound savagry to bear on Alice. The first slash comes as a horizontal cut from the right to the left, blade leaving a brilliant streak of light in its wake.

Then a second one, angling a diagonal gash from the left to right shoulder.

Another cut, bearing down as if to cleave the girl from skull to torso.

A single spin, and a finalizing horizontal cut blazes from left to right.

With each connection, a bright flash of white light erupts from the blade.

COMBAT: Blaise Cameron hits Igor with his Crusade attack.
COMBAT: Blaise Cameron has finished their turn.

Ritsue's attention flicks momentarily towards Himeru when she moves in to administer a stick based beatdown. The situation appears to be growing exponentially graver, even as most of the teenagers seem to be suffering. And this creepy little blonde girl --

Just killed that girl.

Ritsue breathes in. But she doesn't scream. Instead, she drops her rifle with a clatter and fumbles in her pocket, eyes narrow and intense. "Fuck this," she mutters, before drawing out - a little shiny thing which rests in her palm. She says, deliberately and clearly, "Erusaer Tsymmom."

The bangle sparkles, brightly.

The dust around Itsuka moves strangely, as if retracing its path. There is a glittering hint of the dark wave that struck against her, but it's rolling backwards, and it swiftly, rapidly fades, even as Ritsue's head turns around, feeling a subtle, strange tingle at the act. She has no idea if it will even work. And yet there is some feeling -- She clears her throat, once, and then speaks, loudly and firmly.

"Get the fuck out of here, you little psycho bitch. You get nothing. I give you til five or we're gonna beat you to death. You understand me?" She pauses as Blaise helpfully provides an example of what to expect.

"Three," she begins the count.

COMBAT: Ritsue Tetsumoto has finished their turn.

To die, to sleep, to sleep perchance to dream.

"Woah hey there." Kanon says to A-ko. "Careful--unless you have the potential that thing could--"


Oh dayumn.

She steps back, startled, eyes widening. "What the--but, the people here--" She shakes her head, calm down Kanon! You're too chillax to be perturbed by this sort of shenanigan, or any sort of shenanigan. That's why you put all your points into Moxie.

Someone shouts a familiar magical phrase, but Kanon surprisingly is not one who has heard it before. "What was--" She says. "What was THAT?"

Being chillax in this situation requires more points in her MoxieMeter. Kanon makes a mental note to add more after this battle.

"Eat more sunshine, bitch!" Kanon shouts, having rolled a 10 on her oneliner die.

She flings more explosions of light for the loli. This is painful stuff.

COMBAT: Kanon Itoh misses Igor with her Hamaon attack.
COMBAT: Kanon Itoh has finished their turn.

Big brother? What?

Persona coalescing above A-ko, as her scream HADN'T been caused by shooting herself. What?

Minato slapped while he's down? Well that's just mean...but still, what? These last few moments have been a little confusing to say the least. While she would LIKE to help Arisato-sempai recover some strength, Hime's healing abilities consisted solely of a roll of bandages and some band-aids she carried in her backpack. Not TERRIBLY helpful in this situation.

And then...the little creepy girl tells Itsuka, the closest thing Himeru has to a Best Friend, to die. It'd be one thing if it was just kept to a verbal threat, but the wave of darkness, the strike, and the effect it has on Itsuka. That's crossing a line.

"Playtime's over, girl. And you know why? Because you're not even /FUN/ to play with! You hurt people, you're a stupid, selfish, ugly little crybaby with a /STUPID LOOKING BEAR/." she yells, anger and chillingly cold rage twisting her mind to try and draw the enemy's wrath upon herself, so she can get a GOOD look at this horrible child as she draws upon Hannya once more, leading her to fight fire with fire. Childish with childish, darkness with darkness. "Now come on, brat. Do your worst."

The masked cruel Persona howls in joy as power leaks on the wooden weapon, the bloodied blade's turning as black as the little creepy girl' soul. "Embrace annihilation, worm." is the softly uttered prayer as the Bokken is empowered by dark energies, the lunging strike having enough force and the tip empowered sufficiently to punch through flesh and even steel alloys, before the darkness on the blade is just shot from hilt to tip forward assuming she can get a good hit in.

COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa misses Igor with her Vile Assault attack.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has finished their turn.

Minato takes her hand. He feels a lot... better, all of a sudden. Like God is in his Heaven, and all is right with the world. But... it isn't right. He's still... there. But then, so is she, so it's going to be alright.


Minato sees the display that could, to anyone else, only be a vivid hallucination. He recognizes it as something else. The burst of wind and the brightness causes him to wince, but the warmth that washes over him counteracts the blood loss, finally revitalizing him enough to make the feeling of floating go away.

The first thing that snaps Minato back to reality is the touch of the sister he thought had died years ago. He cluches her hand like she would disappear if he let go, holding on desperately.

The second thing that snaps Minato back to reality is the touch of the girl who has decided that slapping him to death is the best idea /ever/.

Pain is an excellent motivator. Minato lifts his free hand, wincing and kicking at the ground to try and get away from the girl. He flails for a second with it, and then grabs something solid near the base of a building, in a pile of refuse that is, fortunately, still bagged. He clutches the hard object, and then brings it up and around.

Minato has decided that Minako can borrow his Evoker. He has a two-by-four that he would like to make fall into two pieces, split by Alice's head.

COMBAT: Minato Arisato hits Igor with his Skull Cracker attack.
COMBAT: The Magic Cost Up status effect has been added to Igor.
COMBAT: Minato Arisato has finished their turn.

"No!!" Minako gasps, red eyes widening as she sees Alice pour more darkness on top of Itsuka, drowning her in it even with the healing that she and Deidra gave her. And then that *bitch* has the GALL to come on right over here and *slap* her brother, saying that she'll take these two with her. She snaps that crimson stare back over at Alice, lips curling up in an infuriated snarl. She isn't so eloquent as Himeru or even Minagi or, hell, even Ritsue who is cussing up a storm over there in telling that little brat to screw off. The song has ended; what comes on next is an intense instrumental. All she snaps as she whips the Evoker back up to her chin to join in on the group beat-down is, "Hands. OFF!!"

  • BLAM*, and once again Eurydice appears, all metal limbs and flowing hair. Her reddish eyes glow as she raises her arms, and light and flame spark in the heavens. They whorl there for a moment before slamming down, unleashing a massive nuclear explosion right on top of Alice's head, hot enough to sear flesh from bone from mundane mortals. Lucky for Alice she isn't one?

When the heat clears, Kanon's words register belatedly in the St. Hermelin student's mind. She blinks at her, then gives her a sheepish sort of smile. "Sorry? Thanks anyway for the warning, even if, uh..." It didn't really get through in time? The smile vanishes quickly, though, the moment already lost when the girl who called herself A-ko turns her red eyes back to Alice, hovering protectively near Minato. Her hand slips its way back into his, gripping just as tightly back as if afraid he'll fall again without her. When Minato cracks Alice over the head with that bag, *then* Minako grins again, just a tiny bit, as she looks back at her long-lost, long-thought-to-be-dead brother.

COMBAT: You hit Igor with your Freidyne attack.

Alice is..struck. We need not repeat the details; she is cut with light, cut with sword, bashed over the head, her dress is /torn/, she is very angry....

But she brightens. She brightens, and she floats to Minato. "Oh, no, no, no! It's not time to finish play, yet~ Not unless he's coming with me..." She rubs her hands together, looking over at him.

She is not ready to kill him just yet, though. She needs to gloat, so...

"You are all so silly~ I just wanted a couple playmates..."

COMBAT: Igor has finished their turn.

Is this...what it feels like to die? Itsuka doesn't know; she hasn't really done it before, that she remembers. But Alice told her to, and then she felt awareness slipping away. Perhaps she'll have a nice dream, maybe of the people she...no.

She missed everything that happens after she closes her eyes, even her good friend Himeru's speech. Itsuka tended to have a bit of a shaky history when it came to doing what she was told. But, she did her best.

And then things are different. The light settles around her from Ritsue's incantation, and the bloody girl on the ground sits up with a start, gasping for breath. "I--" What? And then Itsuka is coughing, blinking to a world that she wasn't expecting to see. Is she dead? Is this place really...? Everyone is out there, everyone is still going. And there's Alice, right before her eyes. ...The one who....The short girl glances around, still dazed. Her eyes settle once on her Evoker, but she doesn't pick it up. She goes for her axe, instead. "I-I..." What's this feeling? It doesn't hurt. Someone who looked closely would notice that her wounds have healed up.

Of course uh. She doesn't actually swing it. In fact, she kind of looks for it for a second, still confused by exactly what the hell just happened. She has exactly no idea what is going on.

COMBAT: Itsuka Mizuhara has reset their health to full.

Minako glares at Alice as she floats forward back in front of Minato, and takes two decisive steps forward and to the side, placing herself between the demon and her brother. "And here I was trying to be nice to you," she says angrily, pulling the Evoker up again. "Get /lost/!"

Not one to do things by halves, that Minako, she essentially blitzes the demon girl with more of the same. Silly Alice, trying to get hugs from a girl with nuclear arms!

COMBAT: You hit Igor with your Freidyne attack.
COMBAT: Igor has been knocked out!

The crusade of light and steel comes to an end, Blaise clutching the katana at a downwards angle by his right hip, the tip of the blade resting on the ground. Panting, broiling, he'd likely press his assault... were it not for a sudden appearance of firey death. Blaise pools his strength and leaps back suddenly, legs kicking off the ground to land in a crouched slide.

The blaze washes over the girl... and then a second one from that A-Ko.

By now, the white has burned out of the sword's blade, and his eyes have smoldered back into their normal (albeit still intense) blue-grays. Nevertheless, he doesn't look content to leave the demon as-is. Instead, once the explosion clears, he rushes forward and quickly up-ends the katana in both hands and drives it down - intent on bringing her down and stapling her to the earth.

COMBAT: Blaise Cameron hits Igor with his Slash Attack - Sword attack.
COMBAT: Igor has been knocked out!

The manifestation of that figure impinges itself on Ritsue's consciousness. Her head turns - and for a dim moment she wonders if something like that happened to HER, and she merely forgot. No wonder she doesn't remember that evening very well.

"Shit," she says dimly, tucking that compact into her pocket again quietly as she watches Minako's brutal strike -- And then, helpfully, she says aloud, "Four."
COMBAT: Ritsue Tetsumoto has finished their turn.

Playmates? A few? She little girl managed to avoid the strike (Damned float!) but her attempt to make herself 'cute' or 'pitiful' if that IS her goal at all are not finding root in Himeru's mind and heart. Said heart wants the creepy little girl broken, crushed, lamenting, battered, and left so little that the rats won't even find a meal worth. This is actually the first demon she actively wants to kill to the last heartbeat, and not simply hurt until they repent or flee. This one deserved no mercy, kindness or second chances.

"Gremlin." is uttered between clenched teeth, as a small impish creature materialises with a far too large for him M1 Garand rifle and an ankwardly fitting oversized army helmet that clearly had been dented and battered in imaginary trenches. Yet the Persona does not level his weapon toward Alice, no. He speaks instead, a soft tone, yet a voice that carried years worth of horrors.

'The daim called for me again. It was a dusty, grim day in this demon-cesspool of a city. Blood had been spilled, I could smell it mixed with the bitter smell of salty tears, souls had been laid bare. Sons would not see the loving embrace of their mothers again.'


'My rifle had been readied twenty minutes before dawn. I knew I wouldn't get any sleep again, knowing the bastards were out there, itching to kill us all. It was no longer a war of men, kill or be killed.'


'There was no simple solution, no peace treaty, no surrender to the demonic bastards anymore. They would slaughter us to the last or we would carve a bloody swath through their lines to achieve our objectives. I wil-'


Properly motivated, the diminutive summoned beast aims the rifle, aiming for the forehead. 'She'll never know how love can bloom on the bat- "Just shoot." The first round goes off, followed by a second, and a third before Gremlin FINALLY vanishes, Hime looking completely exhasperated by him. Or by herself. It's complicated.

COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has activated Gremlin.
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa hits Igor with her Twin Shot attack.
COMBAT: Igor has been knocked out!
COMBAT: Himeru Namikawa has finished their turn.

Alice explodes.

Well not quite, but rest assured, that is one defeated demon.

"Holy shit." Kanon says, again. This is so much out of whack that even additional points of moxie may not help. She fails to unleash any more light explosions. "I guess that kind of WAS like golf." She quips MULTILINGUALLY. She looks towards Ritsue, the compact, then Ritsue again.

"Did you just ressurect the dead?" she asks.

Kanon waves off Minako's thanks. "Don't worry about it. Apparently you can, well, unleash personal nuclear assaults? So the warning? Probably wasn't all that neccessary after all."

Minato is still bleeding and the power of Eurydice is still keeping him from bleeding /out/. The nuclear fire blasts away the demon-girl--fortunately, he closes his eyes for that--and is followed closely by the sound of gunshots and a blade. Minato rolls out of the way of the last one, since she was practically on top of him and Blaise was aiming downward. And then... all is quiet. At least for a few seconds.

He's not sure what to do. He's in a fluctuating state between relief and despair. He's pretty certain Itsuka just got /killed/ by her, yet he just discovered his sister is alive and well after all these years. He wasn't just hallucinating or anything. She was really here all along. How did he never know? He has so many questions.

Minato sits himself up, wincing. The sucking chest wounds are more like flesh wounds now. He's dealt with those before. He looks up and over at Itsuka, who is... whole, and a little clueless. He stares in disbelief, and then turns to look at Minako, the same disbelieving look. He squeezes her hand as if to make sure she's still solid, and lets out a quiet chuckle, against all sense.

This very quickly turns into painful laughter. Everything is okay. Everything is all right.

Is that a...Itsuka can sort of hear Himeru's voice over there, talking to somebody else, but it kind of flies over her head at the moment. Most things do, right up until the point where that big blast of power just shoots out, blasting Alice. Itsuka turns around, immediately looking to see the source of those fires, and--

It's that girl. Itsuka doesn't really have any idea who she is at this point, but that doesn't seem like a secondary concern, despite the matters at hand. She does not actually look at Minato at first, considering that she's still pretty nervous around the guy in normal circumstances. But then, he starts laughing, and Itsuka turns her head to stare at him in some amount of disbelief, too. Like the obsessive person she kind of is at heart, though, Itsuka would pick up Kanon's voice anywhere, and it cuts through the confusion.

Resurrecting the... "U-um..." Itsuka picks up her axe. She doesn't do anything with it, but she picks it up, and sort of sits there. They're done fighting, right?

Inhale, exhale, it's gone now. FINALLY gone. Gaze looks around, assessing the situation as a semblence of calm returns to Himeru's mind. Itsuka seemed...alive, rather well strangely enough, almost unscratched. What sort of healing magic did THAT much effectiveness? Her friend looked like she had been run over by a truck, and then punched while she was down a couple times. Someone had clearly done something for her...

Cue Kanon-chan speaking to someone of...ressurecting the dead? What? Head turn, once more with feeling as her eyes set on a woman she has no recollection of having seen before, "Is that true, Kanon-chan? Did she save Itsuka-san?" she asks, sounding a mix of amazed and baffled. The name-unknown woman looked...humble for someone possessing such assumed raw power. No, not humble, simply nonchalant, as if using such power might be a hassle. Then again, appearances can be deceptive. Hime's mostly looking at Ritsue, then Minato, A-ko-chan, Itsuka, then back at Ritsue.

She pinches herself, not entirely sure if everything that just happened was really real anymore. With the events of the morning, she's getting a bit of a mental overload.

Ritsue rubs the back of her neck. For some reason this is embarrasing; she isn't even entirely sure what she did. "Yeah well," she says, "it came - It's like this thing, it can deal with barriers, and like, space, and time, and shit? So I thought..."

She trails off, eyes going to the side, as she puts her hand from her neck onto her hip. "Look," she continues, mostly to the people now looking towards her, "I was sick of that bitch's shit." Then towards Itsuka, quickly!! "You're OK, right?"

Back to the others - Minato, the other girl, Himeru. "I uh... You were in the subway, right?"

The sword, stapled through demonchild, is abandoned for a moment while everyone else unleashes havoc upon her. It's only after everything is said and done - and the girl is completely destroyed - that he steps forward to retrieve the katana. Whisking it to the side, he scatters demon giblets and blood from its edge before sliding the weapon back into its sheath.


Turning to take in everyone assembled, the knight just... stands firmly. "Let's get the injured to the school. Quickly. We don't want another one of those catching us off guard."

And it's to Minato he first approaches, leaning towards him. "You okay? Need a hand up?" His girl counterpart is given a curious glance... "..And you. Nice work."

Everything *is* going to be okay. Minako sees Itsuka get up, apparently more or less fine, and relief sweeps across her face. Perhaps she was not as dead as previously believed? And let's face it, there *is* such a thing as resuscitation. A person can be "dead" for up to ten minutes before the brain conks of oxygen starvation, depending on how the death occurred. It looks like Itsuka was lucky enough that "death by extreme darkness" is not quite permanent.

Minako doesn't really think these things. She's just glad she's okay, and the smile she gives her, as well as Ritsue and Himeru, is warm enough to dispell the chill of this world. Kanon's response earns her a giggle from the brunette, and Minako looks over at Minato, meeting his eyes. When he laughs, she starts to laugh more too--so hard that tears start coming out again.

And then she kneels down in front of him and flings her arms around his neck, completely unheeding of the bloodstains that are likely get all over her uniform. She is at least mindful enough to be gentle. "Minato...! I thought you were dead all this time...!"

When Blaise approaches, Minako spares him an effusive smile and a nod, happy tears still leaking out. "Thanks!"

"Well." Kanon says, smiling. "I guess I can feel how that'd be like." She rubs at her own eyes. "Remember when I first found out I had siblings."

She pauses for a moment, and then she waves, "Be right back." She heads off for the convenience store so she can get all emotional in private. Coolishly.

Minato just keeps laughing. It takes him a good minute or two to calm down enough to stop. He waves off Blaise politely--he can handle it--but looks up, face streaked with tears and blood, thankful. He doesn't have anything to say. He's overwhelmed. Minako says it for him--and then hugs him. He holds her like she'd float away otherwise, tight but not as much as he might if he was in one piece. "Y-yeah. I thought you..." He doesn't bother finishing the sentence.

Minato looks up at Ritsue, nodding. Thinking about it may place him as the one driving the cooler but less reliable car. He looks between her and Himeru and Kanon, even as she starts to be cool and walk off, and just says, "Thank you." It's about as heartfelt as he can manage in his present condition.

Blank stare. Barriers, space, time, shit? You had Himeru's attention at Barriers. "You're the...you g-" Words are choking her in the throat as this piece goes and changes a few things in the puzzle. Limitations and hindrances suddently might just well have met their match, and added to previous information... "You...I have no idea how you would have gotten such ability, but it is quite a gift. Cherish it."

"I was not in the subway assault itself unfortunatly, I had been...sidetracked, by a Pixie thief no less. I am Himeru, Himeru Namikawa." she introduces herself, extending her left hand to the woman who just saved the life of someone fairly important in her mind. "What is your name?"

Shaken or not, her gaze turns briefly as A-ko-chan laughs, causing the blackhaired Gekkoukan girl to crack a bit of a smile herself. Contagious smiling, maybe, but she was glad to be here right now to see her recent acquaintance and friend find someone really dear to her. "Choices, huh..." she mumbled softly, before something akin to realisation flashes in her eye and she pulls out a small notebook from her jacket and starts furiously writing something at the endpage. Wierd.

Deidra Doyle is just glad they are all alive, there was something about the girl who came to help them. She pauses for a moment at the mention of siblings for a moment. She looks sees the family resemblance and blinks several times looking at her leader and friend. "Wait...sister?" She looks over Minako sees the MP3 player any signs of doubt vanish from here face. "Hi and well see something good has come out of this place. Hi I'm Deidra Dyole a clasmate of Minatos..."

That's true, people can take a lot of things without technically staying dead, and that's a really good thing, because how many times can you count on somebody to have some sort of magic like that? But there is no time to think of these things! Because Itsuka also doesn't. Instead, she thinks 'hey what?' because Ritsue is talking to her all of a sudden and she is /really cool/ and seems to have just totally saved her. "I-I'm fine!" She calls this out in a pretty healthy voice, if a little rushed because of words not working properly. It's not brain damage! Just awkwardness.

But a lot of other things fade away at seeing the pair reunited, and Minako's happy smile. She still doesn't know who she is, but Itsuka feels herself letting go of a lot of her worries just at the sight. She finds a few tears coming, too, that she didn't think she'd had anymore. Somehow, it feels like everything is going to be alright after all.

Itsuka gets up, leaving her weapons where they are, and watches the group. She does start edging towards Ritsue (and Himeru), though. It may or may not be noticeable. It is not entirely subtle.

Aaah, she's being left alone!!

Ritsue decides: be cool. She steps a little closer to Minato, making a vague wave with a hand. She gives Himeru a brief, slightly baffled look, and then says, "Yeah, I - I know. Uh..."

She trails off for a moment. "Rits," she decides to say. Then out comes that little notebook. Himeru the Spy?!

"What are you writing down?" she asks, even as she lets her eyes cut fractionally towards Itsuka. She doesn't speak up, though, instead nodding slightly in acwknoeldgement and then putting her attention back on Himeru; her hands go into her pockets.

Blaise nods gently to Minato, then to Minako. "...I'll make sure the highschool's got somewhere ready for you two to rest."

Taking a step back, he glances at the others - and immediately Itsuka. He starts towards her quickly, but brings himself to a halt.

She was down on the ground, seriously injured.

Now she's standing.

She's okay. A relieved smile sets to his lips, and she gets a nod as well, whether or not she notices it.

That done, he just starts on his way back to the school to do as he said he would. He already gave his advice to the rest of the group, but in the end... they'll do what they want. Just like him.

It's going to take a lot of catching up between these two. It *has* been ten years. Minako had never quite *entirely* put the matter behind her, but she'd moved beyond it enough to be able to enjoy her life. She has friends, she has a good school, and despite not having any parents, she was good enough at her grades to get a scholarship! If she can just get transferred into whatever school Minato attends, then everything really *will* be perfect.

It never enters into Minako's mind any doubt that they might leave this world to get to that point, or that there might be any trouble in doing so. It is fact, unshakeable and carved in the granite that is the force of her belief.

Slowly, she leans back on her heels and slides her arms down Minato's, drawing her brother up with him as she gets up to her feet. Her smile is encouraging and gentle and adoring, like she knows he can do it. He is, after all, the big brother who's always protected her when they were little.

...well. Except for that one time. But Minako's long since forgiven him for that.

Blaise gets a nod. "Thanks! I really appreciate it, Blaise," she tells him, the sentiment reflecting on her face. She gives another warm smile Itsuka's way, but focuses on Deidra as she introduces herself. "Hi! It's nice meeting you, Deidra!"

And then she faces the group in general. Himeru's writing in her journal, so she may be a bit distracted, but the auburn-haired girl bows to her and everyone regardless. "Sorry for the late introductions! I called myself A-ko as a joke." An apologetic smile over Himeru's way. "My real name is Minako Arisato, and I'm Minato's younger twin sister!" Her smile graduates into a grin. "If you're all friends of my brother's, then I'm really happy to meet you all!"

No handshake? Oh well. "It is a pleasure, Rits-san." is said with utmost politeness. Give Himeru a name and she will call you with it with absolute seriousness. This may have led to some pranks in her childhood however.

"Compiling findings of the day. Combining facts, adjusting known information and making a report of sorts so it's not lost." she answers, ripping the finalised page out and folding it in four, then keeping it in her hand for now. Weird girl, if very intense when she suddently gets into a mental connection mode. "I had to do it now, while it was fresh, while everything fitted together. Pattern. Could not be lost. Your ability might be the key we were missing to retrieve Ichimonji-san - a classmate of mine." is said stupidly fast as if she's purging adrenaline remnants through her voice. Of course, by saying this, she might be making Itsuka hug Ritsue even worse, who knows.

Attention switch as A-ko-chan - apparently Minako Arisato-chan - explains what just happened. Some pieces had been pieced together from the whole 'Brother' scream, but it was nice to have a calmer explanation. "I...suck at jokes." is said a little sheepishly, but there seems to be no offense taken. Hime' sense of humor rarely found many takers, so she's simply realistic about it. "But it's a pleasure to meet you Arisato-chan, again." She could not really claim a bond of friendship with Arisato-sempai, but they weren't hostiles either. Simply acquaintances who worked together, for now. Plus, he thanked her although she wasn't entirely sure why, it was nice all the same.

Minato is sure that the perfect life will soon be upon them. How many night has he dreamed about having a real family after the accident that took them from him? And now he has his sister back. It's been ten long years... but she's back. They have to just sit down together and... what? Talk? Yeah. That sounds like a pretty good idea.

Also, he was kind of screwed in that one time too, so she couldn't hold it against him /forever/.

Minato stands. He smiles pretty much constantly, just happy to be nearby. He looks back at Ritsue and says, "Minato," though Minako took care of that. "And... thanks again. For this, and the... tunnel." He's pretty sure everyone should be thanked for the tunnel. He could probably keep saying that all night.

If he didn't collapse from exhaustion soon, anyway.

Slowly, Itsuka creeps towards her savior, smiling a little over the very happy moment. ...And over what Himeru says, at a real hope for actually saving Shiki. So it's at that moment that Itsuka chooses, now that she's closer, to just move forward and attempt to give Ritsue a very big hug. "Thank you!" Ritsue is now on her list of the best people.

And she's going to stay that way, for a few, even as the touching moment continues over with the Arisatos, Itsuka chiming in, "..It's so great!" Later, she might go be sad about something. Right now, that is kind of hard to do. "W-wait, siblings?" Twins, too! Itsuka beams. She has presumably not let go of her new friend unless Ritsue has attempted to wriggle free (or prevented /hugs/ in the first place, which will be a monetary setback), but she can talk, too. "I'm Itsuka Mizuhara!"

"Yeah, hey," Ritsue says to Minako with a nod of her head. "How you doing." Himeru may get the sensation that she is a little tense, or else is deliberately trying to Stay Cool. She is succeeding, but that may explain the denial of handshaken.

"So - are you like good at all this shit?" she asks Himeru. "Because I mean, I've been here like two weeks and I'm still putting shit together. You probably just - uh - anyway, later on, I gotta ask you some shit." Her attention goes to Minato. "Dude, take it ea--"

She gets suddenly glomped. She smells slightly sweaty, and seems astonished. "Uh - you're welcome," she says, staggering a step -- she feels skinnier than she looks, and seems a little eager to avoid being deeply embraced. "I'm Rits, yeah, uh, hey, you'd have done it for me, am I right?"

Well, if she could, maybe.

"Oh hey," Kanon has returned at the worst possible time. "You made a friend."

Minako laughs at Himeru when the younger girl admits to sucking at jokes and when she calls her 'Arisato-chan.' Now that the moment of trauma has passed, it seems like everything's funny--everything's fresh and new and wonderful. Like a fool taking that first step on her journey. She won't be alone, either... because she's got her brother by her side.

"Arisato-chan? Really? *Really*, Himeru-chan? You know you can just call me Minako-chan, you know!" the brunette chides her, winking. She turns thoughtful and adds, "Or I guess Minako-senpai. I'm not staying at St. Hermelin when my big brother's at another school, so I guess that means I'll become your senpai too, Himeru-chan?"

A grin over at Ritsue and Itsuka as the latter glomps the former. She's just so happy for *everybody*, right now. She smiles back over at Minato. Her eyes soften when she sees how exhausted he looks... There's one more thing for her to do for him, though, before they can head back to the school. She looks back at Itsuka first, nodding once. "Yup! Nice meeting you, Itsuka-chan~ And you too, Rits!"

A nod back at Ritsue. For someone who was screaming as if she was getting murdered like ten minutes ago, she's sure back in high spirits. Still, maybe that's just her way of surviving. She laughs, too, at Kanon's remark when the older woman makes her way back.

But for now, Minako will let the rest of them have their own moments. She turns back to Minato again, smiling tenderly at him. She slips her headphones out from around her neck, hits the forward button a few times, and then tilts his head down to meet hers. If he goes along with it, she'll silently offer him one of her headphones as she listens to the other. The gentle tunes of a piano dance out into their ears.

They'll get to listen to their own world for a while, before they head back and finally get some much-needed rest.

"Yeah," Ritsue says, before seeing - the sharing of earbuds. Damn, she thinks, that's just gonna ruin all the stereo effects. Shit.

"Good? No. Capable? Yes." is her answer. "In unknown territory, knowledge is wealth. Lack of information superhighway to share is inconvenient, but I gather all I can. Ignorance can lead to mistakes, mistakes here can be more costly than just a bad grade so I have been keeping notes, sharing data, cross-referencing with others who have been willing to share. It's not perfectly scientific but so far has served well." explains Himeru, although with apparent amusement at Rits' predicament, only enhanced by Kanon's added reappearance. "If I can explain or clarify some of your uncertainties, I will. It is the least I can do for you, Rits-san."

It was common for her to err on the side of caution for names, although the -chan had remained from their previous encounter. "I suppose so, Minako-chan. I hope you will take good care of me." She won't call her friend 'sempai' juuust yet, but maybe after the transfer.

"Anyway, we should head back..." part in due to remaining danger of demon presence, although the skirmish likely caused a 'do not approach unless you're this brave' buffer zone and none had yet taken the bait, part due to let the reunited siblings have their moment. Himeru does pass however awfully close to them and is empty handed again once passed the two Arisato siblings.

"Great to meet you, too, Minako-senpai!" A little pause, and a smile. "Twins shouldn't be separated, you know?" But with that, she'll let them have their little world, not really worried about the headphones at the moment. Instead, she looks to Ritsue. "...O-oh um, yeah!" Except that she can't. ...But...actually, no, she pretty much totally would have. Itsuka has not thus far shown anything resembling respect for the rules of reality. We're looking at you, Argilla Berry.

And then there's Himeru being all smart about things, which is probably a good thing to do. The idea of heading back, though...Huh. Well, there is a certain amount of moment that ought to be there, isn't there? Itsuka nods. "Buddy system, and all. We'll see you soon." With that, she'll creep back over to get her stuff (yes, she is no longer glomping Ritsue), and heads out, too. To Kanon, on her way, "Yep!" A friend. That's pretty important.

But seriously, it's a nice day to be alive.

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