[PM][Open] Week 240: Walled In

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lilmangoseed

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“It looks like we won’t find that control room just yet.” Lilith’s voice interrupted the silence as the two captains scaled the eastern wall.

Ishin, standing a few meters ahead of her, turned back to the Mystic woman and raised an eyebrow. “And why not..?”

She was silent for a moment, breathing in slow, trepid waves as she sensed the delicate spirit particles around them condense. Then, like one singular jolt of energy, she felt several fighters shift directions. She sucked in one tight breath, and then stated, “...They’re coming...”

In the following instant, a massive rush of energy flashed toward her and the prison lord. The storm of scrambling feet, the tsunami of fear, anxiety, anger flared like a violent monsoon that would aim to sweep them in the gales of their intensity.

The dark-haired woman tensed, readying herself for the enemy that surely followed behind the coming stampede. Hisoka had told her that the others had the battle under control – a statement that evidently held no more bearing.

Orchid eyes lifted to the corridor as she made a mental synapse with Hisoka, reading his thoughts as he drew toward her.

“There are two of them...” she described to Ishin. “...humans. Arano is slowing them down, but he’s losing himself in the process.” The Mystic’s own reiatsu flushed down in a forceful wave to her palms. She turned to the prison captain and winked. “I hope you’re ready for round two.€


[245]​
 
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Rob

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“Round two?” Amaterasu Nana asked softly as she came to a slow halt right next to the Mystic’s captain. “Sounds like you two have had it rough, Maikeru-taichou, Katsjusi-taichou.” Bowing slightly in Ishin’s direction first, she then turned to Lilith and bowed ever so slightly more deeper.

Not that she didn’t respect Ishin, but... well, she didn’t really know him well enough to warrant anything more than the bar minimum. Which, in hindsight, was probably still more of a courtesy than she would receive from the prison captain himself.

Turning around she realized that Manzou and Hisoka were still not anywhere near as close to this room than she was.

[110]
 

Chef Bryardee

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The raven-haired Herald surfaced from his last flash step, the young Mystic held loosely in tow by the collar. His shoulders swiveled halfway back toward the corridor as soon as the teeth of his sandals made contact with the stone floor just a few meters behind his noble counterpart. Beneath his furrowed brow, his eyes traced every inch of the corridor vigorously, searching the darkness for the bulking silhouette of the stoic human and his equally-gargantuan blade.

The low cadence of his breathing was all that was registered---for the moment.

A sigh of relief was far from his lips.

Situating the congregation at his left and the egress of the corridor in the corners of his vision, Manzou surveyed the Tenth and Seventh Division captains, pondering what they had learned of and found in the bowels of Dunan.


[138/138]​
 

Shadowthread

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As they came to quick stop, Hisoka simply looked up at the captains. Well, hello there, Lilith-sama, the boy telepathically greeted his captain.

"Thank you for getting me out of there, Kagetoki-sama," the young mystic calmly acknowledged the one, who had managed to drag him away from a very threatening situation, even if it was only momentary. Managing to collect his thoughts, he was kind of worried of the situation if the humans would follow them, even if there was many very strong shinigami on their side.

[87]
 

lilmangoseed

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Lilith nodded to both Hisoka and Nana, pleased that they were both safe and well. “I’m glad to see all of you, but I was expecting more to come along.” Hadn’t there been a group of them? She also met the gaze of the male Herald, and from Nana’s thoughts, Lilith recognized him as Kagetoki Manzou, Third Seat. Acknowledging the onyx-eyed warrior, she nodded to him as well.

“From what I understood earlier, there were many of you in the other room – with an enemy.What happened since then?” The question was directed at no one in particular, but her hasty expectations darted through her words.



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Rob

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“Correct, we bumped into what I assumed was the human who fought you, Arano, and two others calling themselves Kyoujin and Kazimir respectively. The human seemed to know this Kazimir, and after the girl decided to take one of the kid’s friends hostage...

“Let’s just say things escalated way more quickly than I had hoped, and I wasn’t really sure if it was my place to intervene.”

Nodding slightly in Hisoka’s direction she continued, “If not for your little subordinate here we might have not been in this mess to begin with. You might want to take him through a full crash course of 'Hostage One-oh-one', Maikeru-taichou.

“That said, Manzou and I remained relatively in the background, answering questions from the more docile human named Kazimir, and once an opportunity presented itself we decided to go look for you guys and the exit.”


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lilmangoseed

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Lilith nodded with one eyebrow raised. She would discuss the happenings with Hisoka privately later. For now, more pressing issues were at hand.

"How is Arano faring against the two humans? Is he alone?"

She looked past the group, staring down the corridor from which they just emerged. Despite her battle under the claret shade, Lilith felt bound to the human somehow.


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Rob

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“Just before I left I read the signature of Matsumaru-taichou,” Nana replied curtly. “So, I am pretty sure he’s not alone, and he seemed to be doing all right, but shouldn’t we be trying to find an exit... instead of wasting precious time with idle talk, Maikeru-taichou?”

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lilmangoseed

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“Come on, Lil! Let’s go!”

Ishin was practically shouting at her now. His words and Nana’s were ringing sharply in her ears. And if it hadn’t been for the plethora of eyes staring at her, expecting her to lead them to safety, the Mystic woman would have pushed through all of them and rushed to fight side-by-side Arano.

This was their virtue outside of Raifuku’s game. In this world -- in this reality -- they fought on the same team.

But now she had other duties. Putting her trust in the human, the Tenth Captain nodded to Ishin and back at Nana. “Yes, you’re both right. Let’s hurry out of here and try to find the control room.”


[118/530]​


[OOG: Rob, feel free to take point. In fact, you know Lilith well enough that if I don’t post for more than 24 hours, you’re welcome to write her actions.]
 
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Beaks

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The distance was small, and closing faster and faster by the second. Tsubaki wasn't sure where she was, wasn't even sure if where she was now was even real, but it didn't matter. She knew at least two, maybe three of the Reiatsu signatures ahead...that was better than nothing as far as leads went.

Her footfalls were hardly silent, but far less noticeable than using energy to close the gap. Besides, she needed to recover as much as possible now that she had exhausted nearly all of her own Reiatsu to fight Volturius. A hardened scowl crept over her features just at the thought of the name. Nobody liked losing, and the Templar Queen was no exception. The last few seconds before the world had turned to black were agonizing, more pain crammed into the span of seconds than she had experienced in centuries.

Never again. I'm a fighter, not a diplomat. It's time to act like it.

Two Captains, or at least the rough equal. What was she going to do if they didn't take kindly to her presence? Could she truly raise a weapon against people who had once called her friend? Shared laughter and pain with? The truth of the matter was far less kind than the warm nostalgia of her thoughts. She would be forced to choose either to fight back, or to stand idle and die once again.

"Please don't let it come to that."

A desperate wish if ever there was one.


[248]
[10% total Rei remaining from Buzzard fight + 4,500]
 
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Rob

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No sooner than the vice-captain had wanted to nod softly in the Mystic captain’s direction did she sense the overabundance of a very specific reiatsu signature. One that she knew all too well, one that she had felt first hand once, and had never forgotten.

“Former captain of the Eleventh,” Nana spoke softly with her blade drawn in the Templar Queen’s general direction, “Tsubaki... Mabara, I do hope you are not here to cause any more trouble for us, milady.”


[80/385]
 

Beaks

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"Nana, I am really not having that great of a day." She gestured idly to the tattered and blood-soaked garments that still clung to her skin by some miracle of physics. "So if you're going to start a fight I'd recommend putting your damn weapon away."

"I don't know what I supposedly did to cause you trouble, or is it tradition in the Third Division to just be a puppet of the Forty-Six?"


[62]
[+4,500]
 
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Rob

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“I am not my captain, Mabara-san,” Nana spoke resolutely, “you’d do well to remember that. I will admit, I do not know what warranted the Central Forty-Six to treat you as a traitor, or what you did to deserve that, but the fact is that from all the captain’s I’ve met and had dealings with, you always struck me as someone that wasn’t always as sure of what she was thinking she was doing, and what she was actually doing.

“Misconceptions, miscommunications, misinterpretations are easy prey when you are involved it seems...” Sheathing her blade once more she let her reiatsu sink ever so slightly back into her body – not that she had been exerting a whole lot to begin with, but you know... for good measure.

Turning her attention to Kagetoki Manzou first and then to Hisoka the vice-captain of the Third finally rested her eyes back on Tsubaki’s gaze.

“You say you are not having a great day. Good for you.” Her voice wasn’t in any particular mood for listening to some excuse either today. “You fought, and you lost not only to whatever beast or man or combination of the both you fought with, but also a good chunk of your reiatsu in the process, I get it.

“You’re tired, physically. I am tired, mentally. You are the first that comes to me with no ill intent. The first to actually talk sense to me. When I was in the maze... I met up with one of Maikeru taichou’s precious subordinates. Adelaide Pierce, I believe was her name.

“First thing she does? Show hostility. To me. An ally. A superior. I posed a simple question and next thing I knew she was going mental and I had to resort to knocking her companions out to make sure she didn’t do anything over the top rash.

“After that I ‘cheated’ the system. I was done playing games, and guess what. I wake up in a cavern. Great. My subordinate helps me, and then more people show up. First a human, and then this kid...”

Nodding softly in Hisoka’s direction Nana swiftly pressed on, “Long story short, one of the human’s friend got kidnapped and this genius here tries to blow the hostage taker up. Great, right?

“Look, we both had our problems to face, and we both had to deal with them separately, but I’m just warning you beforehand that I do not feel much for pleasantries right now.”

There was a moment of silence as Nana gazed around the room some more, taking a few steps here and there, touching the damp, almost wet surface of the cavern’s walls. Withered... she thought to herself as she turned back to Tsubaki.

“We need to find a control room of sorts, and the only means possible I can think of is by trying to track down Raifuku’s reiatsu. But...” she trailed off for a second as she assessed the group, “I’m not sure if any of us had any concrete contact with the man’s signature.”

Coughing nonchalantly Ishin raised his hand in an almost bored manner before crossing his arms again.

“Great,” Nana spoke halfheartedly, “I don’t suppose you have Kakushi Tsuijyaku at your disposal or anything now, do you?”

A low and soft grunting noise could be heard from Ishin, but that was really all the answer she needed.

“Maikeru-taichou?”

“Yes, Nana?”

“Do you happen to know Kakushi Tsuijyaku?”

“I do, in fact,” Lilith replied, but found herself raising an eyebrow at the... suggestion. “But I have not met Raifuku personally, nor do I know his signature from anywhere else.”

“But you can, well...” Nana began as she found herself unsure of whether or not ask this of the Tenth’s captain, “’read minds’, right?”

“Well, reading minds is a bit...”

“Yes, or no.”

“I suppose so.”

“Then could you, perhaps, tap into Ishin’s knowledge? Feel the emotions that well up when he thinks of Raifuku’s signature, then isolate it and try and see if you can’t replicate that effect with Kakushi.”

Unsure of whether or not Nana’s idea was brilliant or just plain silly, Lilith nodded anyway and then looked to Ishin who, after a long sight, nodded as well.

“Awesome.” As Lilith and the captain of the Seventh began doing whatever it was that needed to be done, Nana turned her attention back to Tsubaki once more. “Mabara-san, I... I am sorry for being so on edge. In truth I had wanted to speak with you about a certain matter, but when you suddenly disappeared after being charged for treason I was...

“Angry, I suppose. Not only did I have to deal with the sense of betrayal from my own captain, but also from someone whom I saw as a mentor. Someone who could understand me besides my captain.

“Anyway,” she continued as she realized that both Lilith and Ishin were done with the preparations, “If at all possible I’d like you to teach me that second level of the Tempest Blade Style when all of this is said and done.”

With that she motioned for the Mystic’s captain to begin her trail following, and the group soon began to move once again.


[885/1270]

Boy, that escalated quickly. Anyway, Alexis told me I could write Lil's actions, and seeing as how Ishin fell of the face of the Earth again I decided to use him as well.

If anyone of you guys want to insert some dialogue, words, thoughts, or whatever into my turn for flow, or for whatever, let me know by PM and we can work something out.
 

Beaks

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"I guess none of us are having that great of a time, then." She shrugged nonchalantly, then met the girl's eyes once again. "Assuming that first of all we both survive this and second that you don't mind the Forty-Six knowing you associated with a wanted fugitive then I'll teach you what I know."

Not that something like that will take very long.

"Who knows, maybe after I get to put a foot up Raifuku's ass and stomp until I reach his throat that will be enough for me...and maybe you lot will get to bring me in." Adding a second 'I promise nothing' shrug to the comment, she started to walk past the noble slowly. A low and deliberate comment made its way to Nana's ears, a comment seasoned with equal parts of hope and dread.

"I just hope you know what you're getting into."


[146/456]
[+4,500]
Know what you're getting into by doing this. The 46 isn't really that good on the whole "Enemy of my enemy" bit.
 

Rob

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“Did I know what I was getting into, Mabara-san,” Nana began as the group of now well over five coursed through the cavernous area, Lilith and Ishin up in front, Manzou and Hisoka just trailing behind them in the middle, and now Nana and Tsubaki in the back, “when I accepted the letter from the Spiritual Arts Academy, all those years ago?

“Did I know what I was getting into, subsequently, when I signed up for the Third Division? Did I know what I was getting into when I decided I wanted out of Raifuku’s little game, when I decided that I was done playing his little game?

“No, but that has never stopped me before, and I’m sure as hell not going to wave away help when it is reached out to me in my time of need. It’s not as if the Central Forty-six thought highly of me to begin with anyway, Mabara-san.

“Not after what happened with Ascania...-san.”

It was the first time she had said his name without some proper, superior honorific to it. He was no longer her captain, no longer a man who stood above her. If anything, she thought to herself as she gazed into Tsubaki’s eyes for a split second, I feel like I would finally be able to make you view me as an equal.

“But,” the blue-eyed vice-captain continued, “as I said before, Mabara-san, I am not my captain. I am not you. I am not Inuzuri-soutaichou. I am not the Central Forty-six, and I am sure as hell not their lapdog.

“I follow only those who can prove to me that they are worth following, for I am me, Amaterasu Nana, matriarch of House Amaterasu, and vice-captain of the Third, and if that’s not good enough for them.

“Then I hope they'd better know what they’re getting into, not the other way around.”


[315/1585]

For those of you that do not feel like posting in this thread, I will write your characters for you. I am done stalling, this thread will end this week.

By the way, Beaks, my man, when you left the 'maze' you regained your reiatsu.
 
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Beaks

I made that up
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"That kind of thinking will get you labeled a traitor just like me, hon." She smiled lightly. It wasn't patronizing. It wasn't pandering. She only hoped that for once someone would take her words for what they were, and not try to misconstrue her meanings yet again.

"Just make sure you're ready for all the ugly that's gonna come your way." Tsubaki laughed to herself, wondering how different she would be now if someone was around to give her advice before she launched her own misguided crusade.

Live and learn, apparently.


[91/547]
[@100%]
 

Rob

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“I am matriarch of a noble family hailing from Nearer-Rukongai, Mabara-san,” the purple-haired noblewoman began with a slight shake of the head, “I am also the vice-captain of the late Kenpachi Theron Ascania, a vizard. I am also much, much older than any of the current judges, or anyone currently residing within the Goteijuusantai.

“I know ugly when I see it, and I’ve been in it from the moment I set my foot across the Academy’s threshold again as ‘Nana’. If by doing the right thing, I end up being in the ‘wrong’, then so be it. You are not a traitor Mabara Tsubaki, not to me at the very least.

“Ever since we’ve met in that awkward way I’ve viewed you as the mentor Ascania-san never had the time to be. I will give the Forty-Six that you are crude, that your actions speak louder than your words, and that they often times end up being spoken to loudly.

“But...” There was a moment of silence as a soft smile formed on Nana lips and she patted the ex-captain on her back once before she jumped to the front for a split second, and back. “You are not a traitor.”


[205/1800]

ICANHASBONDINGEXPERIENCEANYONE?
 
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Shadowthread

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After having been pointed again that the escalation of the situation earlier, Hisoka had succumbed into a even greater silence and had silently followed along his captain, all the while hearing the chatter of Nana and Tsubaki, both of whom he knew nothing about, except that apparently the latter had been branded a traitor by the central, which led him to question why Nana would accept help from her, but he'd figured that there was a good reason for her to do so, and besides his captain seemed to be content with it and so was he as they trailed Raifuku's signature.

[102/189]
 

Beaks

I made that up
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You really mean what you say, don't you Amaterasu.

"It's kind of you to say, though I doubt that's the popular opinion. But if everything you just said is true then you shouldn't be looking to me as a mentor...it should be the other way around." She laughed softly to nothing and no one in particular, finding her own facilities admittedly curious not at the possibility of it, but simply by how much the girl would surpass her in both power and potential to inspire in others.

However, it wasn't until she had fully digested the fact that this was a woman without a true Captain, someone to follow herself, that the Templar Queen's smile faded. How much did she know about The Herald of Death? For that matter, how much did any of them? Admittedly her last moments in his presence had been...heated.

"Nana...I don't know what happened between you and Ascania...but..."

What are you going to tell her, Tsubaki? That he wasn't the murderous puppet everyone made him out to be, you included? That he could have killed you and the Soutaichou both, but didn't?

She shook her head wordlessly, momentarily lost to the memory of the last moments that the three strongest Captains in Soul Society had gathered. Before one acted a traitor. Before three fought violently amongst themselves. Before the Forty-Six declared them traitors three.

Before death and cowardice turned three to one.

Her feet came to a halt a handful of seconds after her words, as if the whole of her being was being both thoughtful and careful to handle what was to come.

"Ascania carried more than you know. More than any of us. He made his bargains with the dark, but tried until the very end to walk in the light."

As the group slowly started to draw away from her the Templar Queen...no. No, that name was no longer hers. Queens had kingdoms, people who depended on them to be a bulwark against annihilation. Those who shoulder the weight, no matter if it will spell their end. She was not a Queen, and never was.

Her feet took up a hurried pace, though just enough to remain somewhat behind the assembled group. As two drops of salted water bloomed in the corners of her eyes, the truth followed.

"Your Captain was true to himself, to his beliefs until the very end...and is more worthy of being your mentor now than I could ever hope to be in my wildest dreams."


[418/965]
[And yes Van, I really do mean it.]
 

Chef Bryardee

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Manzou smirked, the upward curve to his lips slightly obscured by the shadows of the cavern---influenced by what he registered as irony in his noble counterpart’s words. A bit of ignominy manifested, a product of the former Templar Queen’s slight toward the former captain of the Third Division. Even still, the Sixth Seat held his tongue easily and humbling, recognizing that the two women speaking before him knew far more of the former Kenpachi than he had ever known of him.

Perhaps it was a blind reaction to his innate dislike of bad-mouthing someone who wasn’t around to defend themselves.

Perhaps it was the admiration that Manzou had gained from the fables of Theron Ascania told to him by his academy instructor.

Perhaps the steadfast loyalty of the raven-haired officer’s more-tenured colleagues had rubbed off on him, endeared him to the Alabaster Lord to the same degree of those whom still revered the Harbinger in spite of his inglorious status.

Perhaps a combination of some sort caused the stir. Manzou bit his tongue without much effort even still as his mind still pondered the identity of the large spiritual pressure that surfaced in the large catacomb they had just exited---and the fate of the indigo-haired boy.


[206/344]​
 
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