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File: sniper.jpg (156 KB, 1280x720)
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Your name is Keiichi Hirayama. In your world, the barrier separating spirits from humanity broke half a century ago, allowing magic to spill back into human society. From the ashes of this drastic upheaval rose a new breed of human--the magus. A magus possesses superhuman capabilities, an affinity for the mysterious spirits and can perform the reality-altering gift of magic. You are one such magus and so is your twin sister Airi Hirayama. Both of you are high school students and attend the prestigious, magus-exclusive True Hearts Academy in Shibuya, Japan.

Unlike most of your kind, the two of you possess a bizarre tendecy to cause chaos wherever you go. Last year, through bullets, explosions and freak accidents, the two of you managed to help interrupt Japan's premier magus academy battle tournament—The Festival of Magic—thrice in a row.

The Ministry of Education was very much unamused by your antics. As punishment, they have forced you and Airi to perform mandatory community service. Ten special tasks relating to the organisation of the Festival exist and they must all be completed before the tournament commencement date. The alternative is the death of your future careers. The whole situation is very confusing and there are many complaints to be had, but ultimately you and your sister have little choice. The eyes of Shibuya and the Spirit World are upon you both, so buckle down and don't screw this up!

Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Academy%20Tournament%20Organization%20Quest
Ask fm: http://ask.fm/TwilightThorn441
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TwilightThorn
Character Details: https://pastebin.com/y7Q4cKAm

>4/10 Tasks have been completed.

[Objectives]
>Guard the research materials from Lady Sagisawa's School of Knowledge. (8 DAYS DOWN, 1 REMAIN)
>Participate in the True Hearts' school production (15% Complete).

In the year 1999, a woman named Yukari Hirayama gave birth to twins in a Nagano countryside town. The boy was healthy, but the girl was pale and sickly.

Chocolate is delicious, but human chocolate is very delicious.
>>
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Avery is drawing again. She’s picked up the stick she flung away earlier and she’s jabbing it at the dirt, tracing rough curves and lines. You watch her from your rock, an eyebrow raised slightly in peculiar inquisitiveness. It takes you a moment to realize that she’s drawing herself. Her sleek and shiny revolver form and her brand-new, bratty, redheaded spirit form. She hums as she works, a gentle, upbeat and pleasing tune.

“And that song ain't so very far from wrong…”

“What are those?” You ask.

“These?” Avery says, pointing to her drawings. She smirks with newborn satisfaction. “Huh? Can’t you tell?”

Considering that the word ‘terrible’ popped into your head the moment you laid your eyes on the drawings, no, you cannot tell. You generally don’t understand things that are only slightly better than chicken scratch.

“No,” You state, keeping your expression neutral, “I can’t.”

“It’s me, you dumbass. The left is my gun form and the right is my spirit form.”

You don’t remember the Smith and Wesson 629-6 Classic lacking a muzzle and looking like jelly, or Avery having the appearance of a stick figure with a bush on her head and a horse’s tail sticking out the side. You begin to wonder what sort of abomination your revolver would make if she got her grubby hands on crayons.

“Not bad, eh?” Avery chuckles, hands placed on on her hips in pride.

You respond with a careful, ‘Uh-huh’, feeling a hot, loathsome sensation spread inside of you like sewer water. Oh, so this is what second-hand embarrassment feels like. It’s been a while. Usually this happens whenever you’re with Florence and she tries to talk to a normal person.

And yet, Avery’s got this big, dumb smile on her splotchy, peach-skinned face. This is the least appropriate place to be drawing in the two realms and she’s having the time of her life. You figure suddenly having arms gives joy to their simple applications, including making shitty marks in red sand.

Well, if Avery is happy, you guess you are also a bit happy watching her be that way.
…though it is a little weird to see a girl with the body of a tall middle schooler play around in the dirt like a kindergartener.

“What are you looking at me for?” You ask.

Avery stares with great intent. You can’t help but swallow. “I’m gonna draw you.” She says.

“Could you not do that, please?”
>>
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“Do you miss him?” You say.

“You talking’ about the old man?” Avery asks, looking up from her drawings.

“No, I’m talking about the garbage collector man.” You snort, clicking your tongue. “Yeah, it’s your old owner. Do you miss him or not?”

“Hmmm…I guess I do?”

“You’re not sure?”

Avery scowls. “Give me a break. I’m didn’t get a lot of chances to think about this kind of stuff, being hibernatin’ for over a damn year.” Her expression then softens. She pokes at the dirt, her eyes are fixated on a straight, uninteresting line. “Still, I do talk about him lot. He was the guy to use me for fifteen years, after all…”

“So that’s a yes.” You say.

Avery nods, a bit reluctantly. “Him not being here makes feel…I dunno, a bit weird inside. Like my chamber is empty, even when it’s full. It runs deeper somehow.”

Now it’s your turn to feel uncomfortable. “Sorry I asked.”

“Nah, it’s cool.” Avery says, wistfully. “Ain’t like he’s going to come back for me.”

“That’s pretty mature of you.”

“It is?” Avery says, “Thought it was just common sense. I mean, if he can’t fight then he can’t really use me, right?”

“Wait, your old owner isn’t dead?”

“Never said he was.”

You don’t whether or not to sigh in relief or groan in exasperation. You settle for neither. “Never mind. Hey, do you have a problem with me using you?”

“Where the hell did this come from?” Avery asks.

“You’re a spirit that’s also a gun—which means you also have your own personal thoughts. I was wondering if it was possible for spirits like you to have preferences about their owners. I mean, it isn’t jarring to suddenly be in the service of someone you don’t know about?”

“I’m a gun.” Avery says, pointing to herself, her tone implying that what she said was the most obvious thing in the world. “If the guy who’s holding me squeezes my trigger and tells me to shoot, then it’s my damn job to shoot.”

“That’s relieving, I guess…”

“You’re not thinkin’ I’m gonna sabotage you in battle or something?”

The thought crossed your mind once or twice, but never more than that, for those kinds of thoughts aren’t ones that are particularly comfortable. Avery’s question is more rhetorical than interrogative and she continues on.

“Seriously, Keiichi, I’d only get pissed at you if you locked me up and didn’t use me at all.”

“Or if I fired at you while you were trying to raid the fridge.”

“That too.”

You sigh. “So there’s nothing to worry about then.”

Avery gives you a smile. “Man, Keiichi, I dunno why you worried about it in the first place.”

“I wasn’t worried, I was curious.” You explain.

“Basically the same thing. You humans are so weird.”

“I don’t want to hear that from you…”
>>
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You check the time on your watch. You frown. Avery isn’t going to like what you say next.

“Avery, time’s up. We need to get going.”

“Eh, what?” She cries. “Geez, we just got here!”

“We arrived half an hour ago.”

“That’s barely any time at all. C’mon, Keiichi, let me stay here a bit longer!”

“Avery, do you want to get shot my Akasha’s familiars?”

Avery considers this for a moment, then glares at you. Actually, wait, that isn’t glaring. She’s just expanding her eyes with her mouth set in a tight line.

“What the hell are you doing?” You question.

“I’m doing that trick I saw on the TV.” She responds.

It takes you a moment to figure it out. “Are…are you trying to do the puppy dog eyes thing?” You say, voice dripping with confusion and a small amount of disgust.

“Yeah. Is it working?”

>Ah, what the hell. Let her enjoy herself a bit longer.
>No, you’re both leaving and that’s final.
>Custom option.
>>
Go fuck yourself
>>
>>1670633
>No, you’re both leaving and that’s final.
Cute.
>>
>>1670633
>>No, you’re both leaving and that’s final.
>>
>>1670652
no u
>>1670633
>No, you’re both leaving and that’s final.
fuuuck avery you might be playing with fire if you wanna risk discovery in this here realm

and by playing with fire i mean playing with mindwiping
>>
>>1670633
>>No, you’re both leaving and that’s final.
But we may visit later
>>
>>1670633
>No, you’re both leaving and that’s final.
>>
The weekly update thing worked pretty well. It could be a good way to get those slow slice-of-life parts out of the way. I think I'll do more of those in the future.

If you've missed the weekly updates they start from here: >>1657782

Writing now...
>>
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To answer her question, it is not working because almost every girl you know has tried this and you’ve long since grown resistant. The trick to countering it, you’ve found, is to fold your arms and stare back with an equal amount of intensity and not give in. After a while, the opposing party will fold, because the puppy-dog eyes move has as much sustainability as a campfire in the rain.

“You’re no fun.” Avery pouts, returning her facial expression back to normal.

“I’m trying not to get us shot at. Fun can wait.” Avery sighs and turns back into her revolver form. You pick her up and place her inside your tracksuit.


“Did you have fun?”

“Yeah. I'm glad I asked.”

“That’s good. Y'know, when Akasha-Alea gets back, she might let you stay here all the time.”

“How do you figure?”

“It just seems like the type of decision she’d make. You’re a firearm spirit, so you belong here too.”

“That’s if she doesn’t try and do anything funny to me…”

“Well…I’ll talk to her. She isn’t unreasonable.”

“So, how are you getting back?”

“Eh, I’ll walk there.”

“What happened to the cars?”

“Akasha set up these magic circles all over her realm. They were meant for familiars to teleport there in case of emergency, but after I contracted with her she configured them to let people return to the human world. The one at home only takes me to her main fortress, though.”

“So you’re just going to walk there?”

“If I remember correctly, there should be one nearby.”


And if you can't, that's what the map on your phone is for.

>>Keiichi: Start walking.
>>
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“Hey, Keiichi!”

“What?”

“We’re here, right?”


A small, metallic shack. A stone-faced familiar guarding the front entrance. A circle is inscribed on a stone floor, exactly the same as the one in the fortress. Dusty air, the scent of black powder, no windows to be found.

You blink. “Yeah, this is it. The magic circle. Let’s go home.”

“You okay?”
Avery asks, concern evident.

“What?”

“You seemed like you were spacing out as you walked.”

“Excuse me? No, I wasn’t.”

“Pretty sure you were. I was talking to you about something and you weren’t responding.”

“Are you saying that’s not what always happens?”

“Oi! I was telling you something important, damn it!”

“Right…let’s just get out of here first.”


>>Keiichi: Will the magic circle to activate.

The transportation process begins as usual. Light floods around you. The air twists and howls. Your magic circuits lurch and sway, as if positioned on a ship amidst the falling rain. The image of the transition room rips away from your senses and swirls away. You feel the turbulence of your being tunnelling from the spirit realm into the plane between, rushing past your body, swaying and rocking your soul.

You fall and feel Avery is with you. You dive and dive and sense the light of the human world approaching to you. Satisfied, you reach out to grasp it with invisible hands.

That’s when the entire shift cuts off.

You heart drops into your stomach and you collapse into an unknown abyss.
>>
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You end up in a foreign location. It’s pitch black. You are alone. You are standing straight and Avery is nowhere to be found. Your mind comprehends these statements and a dozen more cascade onto them. You cannot see yourself. Your body and circuits are still intact. The place you are in is neither the human world nor the spirit world, and it is unlikely to be in the between. Your breathing is accelerating at a million miles per hour per hour. Your lungs are squeezing so hard they threaten to burst.

You realize something and immediately wish you hadn’t. Akasha-Alea’s presence is almost gone. Your connection with her is a speck of white in the middle of a Russian winter. It is as frail as worn string. The déjà vu stiffens your muscles, rigids them like stone, fearing that any movement might sever the bond forever.

And the mind continues to spin.

Where is this?

What is this?

Where is Avery?

What am I doing here?

Why?

I don’t understand.

I don’t understand at all!


The train comes to a halt. The thoughts shatter like glass. Through the darkness, you sense something approaching from behind. You do not hear the silent pitter-patter of orderly, yet quick footsteps. You do not smell the harsh scent of burning carbon and degrading metal. Your mana detection remains unalerted. You do not grasp at bitter cold, nor do you taste the smoke in the air. You experience none of these things and yet the very core of your existence knows.

It’s coming closer. It’s already staring at your back. It’s almost close enough to grab your neck.

[Select only one]
>Flee.
>Turn around.
>Open fire.
>Custom option.
>>
>>1671039
oh shit what
are we fucked
>>
>>1671055
>>Turn around.
>Gun ready to open fire.
>>
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>>1671055
>Turn around.
>>
>>1671064 >>1671055
seconding this
>>
>>1671055
>>Turn around.
>>
>>1671055
Seconding this:
>>1671064
>>
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9H41sI96hU

>>Keiichi: Turn around, gun ready to open fire.

Turn around. Summon your Beretta in the usual stance—feet shoulder width apart, knees flexed, hand straight out—and wrap your finger around the trigger. Two simple commands, to be done within a second. The standard response to an approaching threat. Your mentor beat this into you until you were black and blue.

So then, why is your body resisting? Why does it feel like your systems are weighed down by lead?

Do it.

Your head is spinning. The darkness encroaches around you, gaping maw ready to swallow.

Do it. Do it.

You are paralyzed. You breath is a lump in your throat.

Do it. Do it! Do it!

A silent siren is blaring. The absence of noise is overwhelming. Your ears are ringing.

You want to move. You want to follow protocol.

Yet your body refuses to obey its master.

Hurry up and do it, you damn coward!

The dam collapses. It all happens in an instant. Your nerves shriek as if shocked by electricity. You whirl around, eyes bloodshot, Beretta gripped in clammy, shaking hands. You finger squeezes against the trigger and a single bullet is fired. Your vision is momentarily filled with heat and a blinding white.

The air shudders. A hot, brand of energy flashes in the distance.

And then the approaching presence reaches out and flings you across the width of the abyss.

You are sent tumbling over an unknown distance. You skid to a stop, your back muscles burning with pain.

The presence charges forward at your prone form.

>Roll 1d30 to escape.
>Best out of three.
>>
Rolled 11 (1d30)

>>1671192
>>
Rolled 18 (1d30)

>>1671192
>>
Rolled 19 (1d30)

>>1671192
>>
Rolled 17 (1d30)

>>1671192
>>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJlSLpT34SM
4:10
>>
>>1671244
Well, this is a hell of a thing to finally listen to on my good headphones after getting them working.

I am now scared.
Guess I'm getting into Keiichi's mindset lol
>>
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>>Keiichi: Flee.

You pick yourself up and do exactly that.

You run and run and run and then your foot catches on something and sends you tumbling again. You stumble across nothing and fall flat on your face. The senses scream at you to keep going—the enemy is relentless—and you crawl and fumble your way ahead. You do so until the skin on your hands is tearing at the seams.

That’s when you see it. After crawling for god knows how long and little distance at all, you see it. A room. A little box of grey in the blackness. You wrench the door open and slam it behind you with all your strength. The metal plate is now stained with the imprints of your blood. The approaching sensation vanishes and you breathe the biggest sigh of relief in your life.

The room is boxy and featureless. Three solid walls of reinforced steel with a door behind you. The area is lit up by a dim, flickering light. The entrance to a hallway looms ahead. With an abomination behind you and nothing else in this room, the only way forward is to enter.

You do exactly that and emerge on the other end after a solid minute of walking.

You cannot help but stare at what is on the other side.

A gigantic door. That is the only thing you could describe it as. Carved from refined, grey steel, it towers above you. It is a beacon of existence in a wide, grey plain, beneath a blank white ceiling. Its very presence invokes a sense of awe. The urge to drop to your knees and rest your head against the ground is overwhelming.

Shaking your head to regain your senses, you trudges forward, every step burdened with exhausation. You get close enough to see notice what is inscribed on the door. Faded symbols, curvaceous in shape, unknown in meaning.
>>
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They are runes, you realize.
>>
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You reach out for the door with shaking fingers. Part of you questions the decision, but the rest is guided along by a sense of duty and longing. Your fingertips brush against the door. The ground rumbles, the air shakes and the door begins to open, an effort not unlike a titan awakening from its slumber.

A crack forms in the center. A blinding white light explodes from it. It envelops you, burns you up. It consumes the entirety of your being.

Through it you catch a glimpse of cherry-red hair. Straining, you reach out for it. You lumber forward and charge with all your might. The door vanishes, along with the runes and the rest of the space.

There’s a lurch that grabs you by the throat and seems to twist your body inside out. You find yourself falling down for the third time that day.

And then there’s something grabbing your shoulders, shouting at you.

“Onii-chan, onii-chan!”

It’s a girl. Brown hair, red scarf, dressed in casual clothes. Standing in the closet room, eyes wide, concern written all over her face, talking in that familiar and comforting voice.

It’s Airi, you realize. You’re home.

“Onii-chan, are you alright?” Your sister cries. “What’s wrong?”

>“What the hell just happened?”
>“Nothing. Sorry to worry you.”
>“Avery, where are you?”
>“I think I just had a nightmare.”
>Custom option.
>>
>>1671396
>>“What the hell just happened?”
>“Avery, where are you?”
>>
>>1671396
>>“What the hell just happened?”
>“Avery, where are you?”
>>
>>1671396
Fuck, shit just got real didn't it? I wonder if those runes are a cryptogram.
I haven't done a lot of cryptograms.

>"I think I just had a nightmare. Or... something like it."
>"Avery, where are you?"
>>
>>1671396
>>“What the hell just happened?”
>>“Avery, where are you?”
>>
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>>1671340
My time is a little occupied so I won't be able to do this for most of the session, but I'm going to see if I can copy down these runes and see if it's a cryptogram (prominence and repeating nature of the symbols is what made me think so) tonight
>>
>>1671503
http://wiki.puella-magi.net/Deciphering_the_runes
I believe the image is upside-down Madoka runes.
>>
>>1671396
>avery where are you?
>>
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“Airi?” You whisper. “What the hell just happened?”

“I don’t know. The magic circle lit up like usual, but it was glowing white instead of the usual purple. You didn’t pop out of it for minutes!” Airi explains, concern shaking her voice, “When you did, you kept staring into space. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get you to respond.”

“I…seriously?” So, everything with the darkness and that massive door was just all in your head A product of being shunted between two planes of existence? A hallucination, a nightmare?

No, none of this makes any sense. You were crawling on the ground, in pain. You were transported to another location. You were send straight back home, mind in shambles. Every single detail of the encounter is imprinted in your mind, vivid and fully detailed.

It was all real. You know this. But to everything else, it is anything but.

“Is there something wrong with the magic circle?” Airi ponders, staring suspiciously at the implement behind you, “Maybe you shouldn’t use it until Akasha-Alea gets back.”

"No, I think it's fine." You blurt out.

"No, I really don't think it is. I should lock this room until we get some proper answers."

You stand there, dazed, trying to sort through the jumble your memories have become. What were you doing beforehand? Oh, that’s right, you were talking with Avery. Wait…

You reach for the insides of your clothes. You feel the smooth, hard plastic grip of the revolver. “Oi, Avery, are you still there?”

“Yeah, I’m here. What’s wrong?”
Avery says.

That’s a relief. “You saw that, didn’t you?”

“Saw what?”
She asks, confused.

“You know, that big dark emptiness, that huge-ass door, those runes…”

”Keiichi, I have no fucking idea what you are talking about.”
Avery states, “Shit, did your mentor’s realm crack you up or somethin’? Want to see a doctor?”

“I…” That’s when a wave of nausea explodes into your synapses. Sickness, bile, all things foul and poisonous. You clutch your stomach as a strangled sound trickles out of your mouth. Avery cries in shock and rushes to your side. You push her away and make a mad rush for the sink.

Thankfully, nothing comes out.
>>
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KEIICHI HIRAYAMA: Ready for the big confrontation tomorrow?

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: Yeah I am!

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: There’s part of me that’s still a bit nervous, though. Like, what if Tamiko doesn’t listen to us and runs away?

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: Then again, that always happens to me, so it’s comforting in a way, I guess?

KEIICHI HIRAYAMA: You barely know the girl and you’re going all these lengths for her.

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: Well, someone has to keep an eye out for her! Besides, if we don’t do something about this the drug addiction might spread to other students too!

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: I, for one, do not like standing around when there’s something I can do!

KEIICHI HIRAYAMA: Yeah, that’s what I like about you.

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: Aw, thanks.

KEIICHI HIRAYAMA: If you get stuck, I’ll slam my palms on the table or whatever, get really mad and you and Airi can swoop in to save the day.

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: I’m counting on you, Mr. Bad Cop.

KEIICHI HIRAYAMA: :)

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: Oh yeah, I was going to tell you about this as well.

[MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI has sent the file ‘drug_symptoms.pdf’]

KEIICHI HIRAYAMA: Wow, that’s actually a good idea.

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: Much appreciated!

KEIICHI HIRAYAMA: Do you want me to show this to her or will that be up to you?

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: Hmm, what do you think?

KEIICHI HIRAYAMA: Wear old clothes or anything that isn’t too fancy. And get a good night’s sleep.

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: I will.

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: Are you alright, though? Airi said you were a little sick.

KEIICHI HIRAYAMA: Eh, it was nothing. I should be fine tomorrow.

KEIICHI HIRAYAMA: Okay, good night.

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: Have a good night too, Keiichi.
>>
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HIDEKI NISHIO: So I heard you and Keiichi got in another fight today.

HIDEKI NISHIO: Except this time, you two could probably sue the school.

AIRI HIRAYAMA: In all honesty, that did sound a little tempting…

HIDEKI NISHIO: Heh, I knew it

AIRI HIRAYAMA: But after some consideration it wouldn’t be worth the hassle.

HIDEKI NISHIO: True that. Court fees cost an arm and a leg.

AIRI HIRAYAMA: Besides, we don’t have much options for academies.

HIDEKI NISHIO: You could go to Stonewolf.

AIRI HIRAYAMA: I think onii-chan would throw a fit if that ever happened…

HIDEKI NISHIO: lol

HIDEKIO NISHIO: So, did they get you anything at all?

AIRI HIRAYAMA: A free lunch and two months’ worth of lunch tickets.

HIDEKI NISHIO: Whoa, seriously? You guys saved lives back there. Our academy is a fucking cheapskate

AIRI HIRAYAMA: The tickets are for the deluxe meals. Look, there’s the pork ramen, the prime sushi and the custard dessert…

HIDEKI NISHIO: Huh, that’s actually not bad

HIDEKI NISHIO: I mean, the school chow isn’t five-star gourmet but it’s better than nothing

HIDEKI NISHIO: I expect you treat us whenever we forget our lunches then ;)

AIRI HIRAYAMA: Actually, I was hoping I could sell these.

HIDEKI NISHIO: Ooh, getting clever are we?

HIDEKI NISHIO: So the same 60-40 deal as before?

AIRI HIRAYAMA: Sure!
>>
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>NINE DAYS HAVE PASSED.

>THIS IS THE LAST DAY.
>>
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>>1671340
SECRETS HAVE BEEN BURIED
GRAVES REMAIN UNTENDED
THE ICHOR GROWS STEADILY
AND THEIR PRAYERS ECHO IN THE NIGHT
BUT DESPITE IT ALL
IT IS NOT TIME YET
>>
>>1671340
>>1671423
>>1671503
The text transcribes to:
>tey emit ton si tI
>lla ti etipsed tuB
>thgin eht ni ohce sreyarp rieht dnA
>ylidaets sworg rohci heT
>dednetnu niamer sezarG
>deirub neeb ezah sterceS

Reversing the whole thing:
>Secrets haze been buried
>Grazes remain untended
>The ichor grows steadily
>And their prayers echo in the night
>But despite it all
>It is not time yet

The Z's make more sense as V's, rendering the final translation:
>Secrets have been buried
>Graves remain untended
>The ichor grows steadily
>And their prayers echo in the night
>But despite it all
>It is not time yet

Googling the more distinct lines return nothing. Hm.
>>
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>>1671771
BY SEVEN FUCKING SECONDS
>>
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>>1671782
>>
>>1671771
>>1671772
I knew someone else would solve it before I got the chance to look back, heheh.

Ominous.
>>
[14th of May (SATURDAY)]

You, Keiichi Hirayama, have found yourself on the streets of Shibuya this fine afternoon. The sky is clear, the roads are thick with traffic and the air is a symphony of vibrating engines, traffic light rings and chatter of the city’s residents. Standing in front of a convenience store in the busy Center Gai, bottle of orange juice in hand, you feel right at home.

But this is no time to feel relaxed. You are a man on a mission. You task, with the help of your dear sister and your blonde friend Michiko, is to stalk that girl standing at the entrance of that karaoke venue and find out what she’s up to.

This obvious sounds like something that should get you arrested, but there is actually a very good reason for this. You see, that girl—Tamiko—over there has been acting strange and her friend—a boy named Ryo, both fellow students of True Hearts—is very worried about it. The most likely answer is that she is a newborn victim of drug addiction. Being the caring friend that he is, he asked you to find out the exact answer and report back to him. You don’t know why he chose you of all people, but it was probably due to your reputation of a capable, yet notorious delinquent. Also, less chance of the police being called.

As for why you accepted, it’s because you needed the money. A duo of mercenaries attacked you one night and you’d really like to find out who they are. Information isn’t cheap, hence this job. Good thing you were paid in advance.

You briefly wonder if this is worth it. Still, there are certainly worse ways to spend a Saturday. Lastly, say what you want about yourself, but you are a man who follows up on his words.


KEIICHI HIRAYAMA: Everyone ready?

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: Yup!

AIRI HIRAYAMA: Ready when you are, onii-chan!


You recall the plan. Firstly, Ryo would fake an appointment to lure Tamiko out. You would follow, coordinating with your fellow conspirators via text message. You would hang around the area and pretend to look busy. Tamiko would realize that nobody was coming, causing her to get irritated and leave. In that moment, you would…

>Follow her until she was somewhere with less people.
>Force her into the karaoke venue.
>Walk up to her face.
>Custom option.

And then...

>Confront her directly about her friend.
>Blackmail her about the drug habit.
>Drag her into somewhere private.
>Custom option.
>>
>>1671970
>>Follow her until she was somewhere with less people.
>Confront her directly about her friend.
>>
>>1671970
>>Follow her until she was somewhere with less people.
>Confront her directly about her friend.
>>
Taking a break for 30 mins...
>>
>>1671970
>Follow her until she was somewhere with less people.
>Confront her directly about her friend.
>>
>>1671970
>Follow her until she was somewhere with less people.
>Confront her directly about her friend.
>>
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Yes, that’s right. You would follow her until she was somewhere with less people, then begin the confrontation by asking her about Ryo.

Of course, this plan relies on you not fucking up the whole following thing.

You take a swig of your juice. Tamiko swore at her phone and is now stomping down the street. What a temperamental girl we have here.

You should get going as well.

>Roll 1d30 to stalk.
>Best out of three.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d30)

>>1672298
>>
Rolled 29 (1d30)

>>1672298
Stalker!
>>
Rolled 6 (1d30)

>>1672298
>this plan relies on you not fucking up the whole following thing.
Time to roll under 10!
>>
Rolled 12 (1d30)

>>1672298
>>
>>1672321
I guess we're not fucking it up.
>>
>>1672376
I love it when we don't fuck up.
>>
Keiichi Hirayama: Expert Stalker
>>
>>1672509
Hell yeah.
>>
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You manage to not fuck up the stalking.

Tamiko takes the route of a tourist. She wanders from the crowds of Center Gai to the elegance of the Yoshimoto Theatre. Next up is the Tower Records, the big music store of the city. You observe from behind a pamphlet as she argues viciously with a harried-looking shop assistant. Poor guy, he likely doesn’t paid to deal with this crap. She storms down the road towards the south, following the train tracks.


KEIICHI HIRAYAMA: She’s heading for the station. Most likely the underpass.

MICHIKO TSUKIWAKI: Why there?

KEIICHI HIRAYAMA: I’m assuming she’s going to buy the drugs. Where else in Shibuya is deserted?


You plan the ambush. You find a small corner street to hide in. You position yourself behind a lamppost and hope that nobody has the initiative to question what you’re doing. They likely won’t. Humans in Shibuya see a thousand different faces everyday and can’t remember a single one of them.

Tamiko goes marching by. You take out a few coins and casually toss them across the pavement. The clattering grabs her attention. The greed within her, upon seeing what caused the noise, only amplifies the effect. She bends down to pick them up.

That’s when you stride out in front of her.

“Yo.” You greet.

She looks up, angry at first, which abruptly transforms into shock and surprise.

“You.” She growls.

“Nice day, isn’t it?” You start off, “How are you doing?”

“What are you doing here?” She demands. She holds up the coins. “Are these yours?”

You shrug your shoulders. “Just thought you and I might want to have a little chat. Y’know, as fellow students of True Hearts and that. Maybe I can help with your homework.”

“What I do is none of your business!” She snaps. “Leave me alone.”

>“Fine. Ryo asked me to check up on you.”
>“I know you’ve been taking drugs.”
>“I’ve been following you for the past ten minutes. You can’t escape.”
>“Alright, alright, backing off now…”
>“Girls? You ready?”
>Custom option.
>>
>>1672624
>>“I know you’ve been taking drugs.”
>>
>>1672624
>“I know you’ve been taking drugs.”
Straight to the core issue
>>
>>1672624
>“I know you’ve been taking drugs.”
>>
>>1672624
>>“I know you’ve been taking drugs.”
Our boy K1 is a direct fellow.
>>
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Keiichi lewding Avery when
>>
>>1672725
jesus h christ
that's horrifying

also, what would akasha-alea think of him fucking a gun
does-- does that get into her domain in some way
>>
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Looking closer, the girl isn’t in the best shape. The creases in her clothes indicate she dressed in a hurry. Her hair is slick and shiny, a symptom of a lack of shampoo. Her breathing is ragged, her cheeks are pale and her fingers twitch like crazy. You wish you hadn’t been expecting this, but the truth is the truth.

Fine. If she wants to play it that way, you might as well get straight to the point.

“I know you’ve been taking drugs.” You state, leaning back against your lamppost. You quickly eye the rest of the street. Mostly deserted, any people walking past brush the two of you off without a single comment. They either see two high school students fooling around, or they merely do not wish to get involved. For once, you feel grateful for this.

“I’ve done nothing of the sort!” Tamiko shrieks. You raise an eyebrow.

“Right…and I suppose that drug packet your friend picked up was just a toy or something.” You say. Tamiko freezes up at the mention of this.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She says, hushed. You proceed to take the drug packet out and show it to you.

“That’s yours, isn’t it!” She screeches. “I-I’ve never seen anything like that in my entire life!”

“You know, your friend found this in your bag. He’s a pretty nice guy, all things considered. I mean, he swallowed his fears and came up to me directly. So, he might even be able to provide me with a testimony.”

The girl whips her head around, searching for an escape. “I’ll scream. I’ll do it, y’know.”

Yeah, Ryo must have a heart of gold (and patience of steel) if he’s able to put up with this. “Okay, do that, and we’ll see how much of that crap is in your blood. Also, my sister and my friend are behind you right now.”

“What?”

“Hi.” Your sister says, a somewhat apologetic smile on her face. “Sorry about this Tamiko-chan, but…”

“It’s for your own good.” Michiko says, her expression firm and determined. “I’m sorry, but we really need to talk about your situation. It’s also about the rest of the school, too.”

“You…” Tamiko points a trembling, accusing finger at you. “You set me up!”

“Yeah, pretty much.” You say, “In all fairness, Ryo paid us to do this.”

“He what?”

“Enough talking for now.” Michiko interrupts. “We should go to where we agreed to meet up. Wouldn’t want any eavesdroppers to hear this conversation…”

Airi smiles. Her red scarf twitches. She gestures to the side. “Shall we?”
>>
I see people have managed to decode the runes. You should keep doing that. Good work!

Okay, due to RL circumstances this live session will have to end here. The good news is that there will be weekly updates to further chug things along, though. The bad news is that next week I won't have the time to do a session due to those same RL circumstances. Well, most likely anyway. I'll see what I can do, but assume there won't be a session unless I state otherwise on Twitter.

So the next session will be on the 29th of July, 10:30 pm UTC start. Hope to see you all there!

Archived Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/1670617
Ask fm: http://ask.fm/TwilightThorn441
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TwilightThorn
>>
>>1672822
>You should keep doing that.
Uh oh.
>>
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>>1672829
cheers, boss
>>
>>1672829
night man
>>
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Question: When a delinquent marksman, an amateur lady swordfighter and the school idol need the privacy to confront a wannabe, drugged-up high school girl along with her meek best friend, where do they go?

>>Answer: A love hotel.

Only if the aforementioned people are the stars of porn film.

>>Answer: A karaoke den.

It’s too loud.

>>Answer: A random alleyway in the city.

Despite what others may think, these kids do possess some semblance of dignity.

>>Answer: A mediocre café.

Correct.

You, Keiichi Hirayama, know Hideki Nishio. Hideki Nishio has compiled a list of all the third-rate cafes and eating dens in Shibuya. When he informed you of this, it was with a slightly smug fox-grin on his spotty face. When you asked why, he said it was related to his intensive journalism hobby. When you asked him about the food, he made a grimace, pointed to a nearby vending machine and you understood all there was needed to know.

You didn’t think you’d actually end up in one of those third-rate cafes, with four other kids from your school no less, but you could say the same about being contracted to the spirit of firearms. Here you are, shuffling through the front door with your sister by your side, ignoring the burning glare a certain drugged-up girl is sending towards your back. The man at the front counter gives you an inquisitive look, but remains silent.

Good.

You had expectations of the café. It is mildly satisfying to see that most of them have been met. The walls are a drab assortment of mauve, peeling paint and faded posters. Dim lights illuminate the worn wooden tables and chairs. A mild stink of cigarette smoke and cooking oil invades the air, causing Michiko to scrunch up her nose and frown. The place is mostly empty—what patrons there are huddle around their booths, averting their eyes, talking in hushed tones to themselves. The midday news blares from a flickering television screen hooked to the walls. A sign stating ‘No Magicks Allowed’ is nailed to the wall above the front desk.

To put it plainly, this place is a dump. The grime is palpable. The magical energies are bordering on disruptive. For purposes of this interrogation, it is perfect.
>>
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Airi nods, then glances at her other menu. “Let’s see…I think I’ll have a small latte.”

“I’ll have the apple juice.” Michiko says.

“Um…cola?” Ryo suggests, weakly.

Everyone turns to look at Tamiko. She scowls in your direction. “What?” She barks.

“Aren’t you going to order something?” You ask, gesturing to your menu.

She flushes, then grumbles out, “Soda grape.” Satisfied, Airi calls to order. The waitress who responds has acne across her cheeks and looks as interested as a man watching paint dry.

The drinks come at a steady pace and everyone takes a moment to taste. Airi seems to be enjoying herself. Michiko frowns at the pulp in her drink, but gulps it down anyway. Tamiko chugs her soda as if it personally offended her. Ryo sucks his through a straw. You sip from a plastic bottle and contemplate the hidden wine cellar in Akasha’s fortress. No, you're not letting Avery near it. Letting a spirit with her mentality near alcohol is breaking the laws of the spirit world or something.

“Now that’s out of the way,” Airi says, putting down her steaming mug, “Shall we discuss the situation Tamiko’s in?”

“Yes, her drug habit.” Michiko says, giving the girl a cautious look.

Slumped across a chair with a pockmarked leather cushion, her scowl deepens. “I have nothing to say.”

“Tamiko…” Ryo mumbles, “Don’t do this…”

“Why is it any of your business, huh?” She snaps, slamming a hand on the table, “It’s my life, and I get to do what I want with it! Piss off, the lot of you!”

The conversation has started. How will you respond?

>“Stop being so damn selfish.”
>“Christ, Ryo, how do you put up with this shit?”
>“So you don’t deny it?”
>“You’re going to end up in the street gutter. Or a coffin.”
>“None of us are going anywhere until we get some answers.”
>Custom option.
>>
>>1675476
>“You’re going to end up in the street gutter. Or a coffin.”
>>
>>1675476
Too weak to defend yourself or own up too it. Typical. Rather than work at something you give up like a child and snap at those who still try.
>>
>>1675476
>“So you don’t deny it?”
>“You’re going to end up in the street gutter. Or a coffin.”
>>
I'll second this >>1675498
>>
>>1675476
>“Christ, Ryo, how do you put up with this shit?”
>>
Writing now...
>>
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So, she just admitted it, albeit indirectly. As they say, acknowledgement is the first step to recovery. The problem is that this Tamiko girl is acting like a whiny little bitch. Loud. Shrieking. Polluted in the mind.

The good thing is that you have dealt with whiny little bitches before. The Michiko from the day you met her springs to mind.

“Tamiko, no-one is dictating you how to live your life.” Airi begins, “However, we do feel the need to impart some important advice.”

“We're concerned about you.” Michiko follows up, resting her hands on the table, “I don't like seeing a fellow girl in trouble, and neither does Airi or Keiichi.”

You snort. “Speak for yourself. I'm only here because this guy paid me and my sister.” You grouse.

“That’s was brave of you, Ryo.” Michiko says to the timid boy, ignoring you. “Keiichi isn't what I'd call friendly to strangers.”

“Thanks…” The guy blushes a little at being complimented by the school idol. You roll your eyes in response.

“Gee, thanks a lot, Michiko.”

“Drugs are no joke, Tamiko. They will destroy you in the end.” Airi states.

“You probably had your reasons for using then, but they'll harm you in the long run.” Michiko adds.

Tamiko looks down at her lap. “I can deal with it.”

“Well, someone sure is confident in themselves.” You comment.

“Even if it causes irreparable damage to your body?” Airi asks.

“As long as I get what I want, I'll live with them.” Tamiko says. She glares at your sister. “So you can take that advice and shove it. I don't care what others think.”

“Tamiko…”

“Just go away Ryo. You don't wanna be work with me? Fine. Just don't get in my way from now on.”

“Tamiko, that isn't a healthy attitude to have. Please have a second think about this.” Your sister pleads. Yet, the girl folds her arms, glances out a stubborn window and refuses to heed her advice. A prick of anger blooms in your forehead. Now you’re ready to intervene.

“Ah, what the hell.” You drawl, loud and clear. “Give it up, everyone. Like she said, it's her damn choice. If she wants to act all weak, let her.”

The effect is instantaneous. Tamiko whips her head in your direction, sweeping her tangled black hair. The look in her eyes is venom.

“What is that supposed to mean?” She hisses. Good, the beast has taken the bait.

“You heard me. Christ, it’s your own life? What kind of shitty excuse is that? Man, I don't know what I expected.”

“Don't speak like you know me!”

“Oh, I think I know enough. You've got two seniors and a friend giving you on advice on how not to kill yourself and you’re still acting this way? What else am I supposed to call it?” You snort and smirk. You sigh for added effect. Tamiko narrows her eyes, her mouth tight like piano wire. “Then again, I guess it’s typical for someone who chose the easy way out.”
>>
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“Drugs, you moron. Sure, you might get a bit of a rush at first, but soon the side-effects will kick in and you’ll find yourself being flattened by people who actually put in hard work and shit. Come to think of it, isn’t that what happened when we first met you?””

“You…”

“Look at you. You’re suffering from withdrawal, aren’t you? You can’t even defend yourself properly. Rather than listen to actual fucking advice and work on your skills, you give up like a child and snap at those who try. You’re already doomed.”

If the girl was a kettle, she would already be puffing steam.

“Fucking hell, listen to Airi and Michiko. Just take five minutes out of your day.” You snarl, switching back to serious mode. “It’s not hard.”

“Shut up! Shut up! You don’t know me! You don’t know what it feels to try your hardest at something and always fall short!" Tamiko screams, "Why do you think I need the enhancements in the first place?”

“To end up in the street gutter? Or a coffin? Because that’s where you’re going to end up if you keep acting like this!”

“That’s easy for you to say! You’ve been blessed since birth! You don't do a single thing and still get through life. What would you know about effort?”

And just like that, a line has been crossed. Now you’re the one bracing yourself for the onslaught of anger inside of you. You take a deep breath to steady your nerves.

“Tamiko, was it?” You growl. “If you keep saying stuff like that, I’m going to do something I might regret.”

“Screw you! You're a delinquent who wouldn't know the meaning of hard work if it bit you in the face. You're not in any position to lecture me!”

“That’s it, you damn—”

Any possibility of an escalating argument, violent or not, is snuffed out by a loud snap. All patrons of the table turn to see Michiko with her hand raised, fingers at the ready for another strike. Her usual cheerful, bubbliness is gone and been replaced with a hard determination. Airi looks just as serious. Michiko glances around the table, confirming everyone’s attention, then speaks, all levity gone.

“Okay, that’s enough.” She states, her tone brooking no interruption. “Both of you be quiet or we’ll get kicked out. Keiichi?”

“What?”

“Stop being a dick. Tamiko?"

"Y-yes?"

"You need to relax. Shouting won't do any good. I need to correct you as well. Keiichi might not look like it, but he did achieve all his skills through effort. Airi, too. ” She orders. Actual profanity from her mouth; even if it's mild, it is not to be underestimated. You shrug your shoulders and relent. If the girls want to take control of this clusterfuck of a conversation, then she’s your guest. You lean back in your chair and shut your mouth. Tamiko is humbled, all the energy gone and replaced with a quiet stillness.
>>
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It's at time like this you're reminded why Michiko was so well regarded among her group. Beauty was one thing, but the ability to draw attention and mediate was another. So many arguments must've been dissolved by her words alone.

“Tamiko, why are you desperate to win the arena?” Airi questions. Is it for the prestige?”

“I don’t have to tell you anything…” Tamiko mumbles.

“She wants to win prize money.” Tamiko jerks her head up, staring at the person next to her.

“Ryo! What the hell?”

“I see. By achieving well in the arena, there’s a chance you might get picked up for a pro fighting sponsorship.” Michiko mutters, “It’s one of the reasons why so many people flock to the Festival of Magic. Tamiko, do you by any chance have problems at home?”

Ryo confirms this with a resolute nod. “Yeah. Her family is in debt. If they don’t pay up in a couple of years, they’re out of luck.”

“Ryo, I didn’t give you permission to talk about this!” Tamiko screeches.

“No, Tamiko, I’ve had enough!” The brown-haired boy explodes. Tamiko lurches back, eyes wide and mouth hanging open. “I just can’t stand by and let you ruin yourself! Why didn’t tell me you were struggling? We could’ve sat down and figured something out!”

“I…”
>>
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“Please listen to us, Tamiko! Those drugs aren’t going to help you with anything. If anything else, they’ll make the situation worse! They’ll drain all your money and then you’ll be in even worse debt!"

“The guy said they’ll work.” Tamiko mumbles, half to herself, “They enhancements have made me strong. The prize money will be worth it in the end. I just need extra time...”

“That isn’t guaranteed!” Ryo yells. “Not to mention all the hospital bills you could face as a result of overdose. You’re just making the situation worse!”

“Then what the hell am I supposed to do?” Tamiko shrieks, tears gathering in her eyes. “Just sit there and do nothing?”

“You can start by not being so shortsighted.” You grunt. Airi gives you an exasperated look and you promptly shut up.

“What my brother is trying to say is that you need to carefully think about what you’re doing. Analyze the consequences of your actions and such.” Airi explains. “Tamiko, I don’t think it’s too late. With enough effort, you should be able to wean off the drug addiction and get your life back on track.”

“No-one was willing to help me…”

“You’ve got four people already, including that jerk in the tracksuit.” Michiko says, smiling a little. It’s always nice to have such good friends. “There are other ways to earn money. You could get a part-time job, or study hard and get a high-paying job.”

Tamiko’s eyes dart from left to right. Her fingers shudder and she’s staring through the tabletop and into the floor. She doesn’t know what to do. She gasps as Ryo grabs her hands and looks deep in her eyes.

“Please, Tamiko.” He says, his tone full of pleading, “I don’t want to see my only friend get hurt. Please listen to us.”

Tamiko squeezes her eyes shut. One second passes. Two, three, four, five. The conflict is written all across her features. It shifts and contorts like the air in a storm. You stare ahead calmly, waiting for the curtain to fall. Ryo clings onto his friend, sweat appearing on his brow. Michiko and Airi look on with hope, praying for a miracle.

“Even if I wanted to quit, I can’t…” She moans.

“Oh my fucking god.” You groan, throwing your hands in the air.

“Keiichi, shut up.” Michiko says, “Tamiko, why not? Should we take you to a doctor?”

“It’s not because of me! I…well…this dealer guy I got my enhancements from, he said he wanted to take my photo and contact information. He said it was for his peace of mind.”

“And you gave it to him.” You continue.

Tamiko nods miserably.

“You got blackmailed. Man, you're more of an idiot than I thought.”

“Keiichi, if you continue to say stuff like that I am going to slap you.” Michiko warns.

You run a hand through your hair and groan. “Fine, point taken. Let me guess. You want us to track down the dealer guy and get all your info back.”

The obvious answer is yes. But are you willing to do this?

>“Fine, might as well….”
>“No, this isn’t my business.”
>“You owe us a favour.”
>“Pay us some more and we’ll do it.”
>Custom option.
>>
>>1676846
>>“Fine, might as well….”
YARE YARE DAZE
>>
>>1676846
>“You owe us a favour.”
>>
>>1676846
>fine, might as well
>>
Poor Keiichi man, why everyone so nice to someone that really fucked up and does not admit it?
>>
>>1676846
>“Fine, might as well….”
>>
>>1676846
>“Fine, might as well….”
Time for property damage.
>>
>>1676846
>>“Fine, might as well….”
>>
>>1676846
>“Fine, might as well….”
>>
>>1676846
>>“You owe us a favour.”
>>
>>1676846
>“Fine, might as well….”
but
>“You owe us a favour.”
>Because as everyone can attest my luck is horrible and I can already tell this is going to be messy. Here's hoping I don't get forced into another gun duel in he rain atop a skyscraper with a gang boss,... again.
>>
Oh god, it’s happening again. The hook of an incident is dangling around your face and you are the fish swimming towards the bait. Property damage, bleeding wounds and mana consumption await. You quickly glance around the room for the reactions of others. Michiko is itching in her seat, fully prepped to smash the groin of drug dealer scum. Airi is silent, a finger to her lips and her gaze at the ceiling, but you know that her opinion is already swaying towards her friend. Inside of you, apathy and compassion clash blade to blade.


I think we need to help her.

Dude, no. We’ve got enough shit on our plates with those stupid tasks.

Rude. You know we feel sorry for her.

The idiot dug her own grave and now we’ve given her a lifeline. The job’s finished. Let her deal with her own problems.

We haven’t really finished the job, you idiot!

Are you fucking kidding me? The job, as I recall, was to corner the idiot and force out the truth about those drugs. We’ve done that already. Time to go home and relax. End of story.

No, we’re not finished. That drug dealer will blackmail her to buy the drugs. If we don’t clean up the mess she left behind, she’ll relapse!

Are you deaf? That isn’t our problem.

It’ll make this whole thing a bloody waste of time! Think, dammit.

Fucking hell, do you have to help everyone you meet?

That’s got nothing to do with it. We’re only making sure our efforts aren’t going to waste.

You don’t know this idiot and you’re considering sticking your neck out for her. You’re going to run around the city, get into fights, waste ammo and almost get caught by the police. The exact same thing happens every single time we meet someone new and I’m sick of it.

Fine, is helping people so wrong?

It is when we end up beaten and tired without a single yen of reward!

Did you want to not be friends with Nina or Michiko?

Sometimes I wish I wasn’t. They can be such a pain in the ass.

Oh my god, you are a gigantic asshole.

Guess we agree to disagree. Very well then, have at you!

Eat shit!

>>
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You groan and rest your elbows on the table. Stupid apathy, for offering you temptation. Stupid compassion, for making sense. Stupid history, making your actions here an inevitability.

“Fine, might as well…” You grumble, resisting the urge to slam your head against the table. Ryo actually does, in a gesture of sheer gratitude.

“Thank you!” He exclaims. “Thank you…thank you…”

“Don’t mention it.” If he does, you might start to change your mind. Still, drug dealers make good stress relief, so it’s not all hopeless. You look at him in the eye. “Kid, if your friend for some stupid reason does more drugs after this, we’re all going to be very pissed.”

“She won’t. I’ll make sure of it.” Ryo says, “I’ll talk to her parents about it. We’ll figure something out.”

“What!” Tamiko squawks.

You nod approvingly. “Good man.”

“That’s not what I—”

“Girl, you’re not in any position to want anything.” You interrupt. “Airi, how much is the bill?”

Turns out the drug dealer is lurking in a den in the red light district of Shinjuku. As for the drug itself, it’s this sky-blue powder that provides increased cognitive, physical and magical abilities, at the cost of paranoia, agitation and blotches on the skin. In the long run, it will deal damage to the mind, magic circuits and muscles. Michiko gives Tamiko a printout of the side effects. The black-haired girl takes one look at the photos and immediately blanches.

“The guy is expecting me today.” She says, still pale, “I called him and said I was coming.”

“Well,” Airi comments, chipper all things considered, “No time like the present.”

“I hope I get to rob his wallet.” You mutter.

Ryo and Tamiko bid farewell and leave, presumably for the nearest hospital. You, Airi and Michiko hop on a train and set a course for Shinjuku. Halfway towards the desintation, Michiko, who is sitting next to you, asks you a question.

“Hey, Keiichi…”

“What?”

“You don’t really hate Tamiko, do you?” She says, almost as if she's trying to convince herself.

“Why are you asking this?” You ask.

“I’m just wondering. I mean, you were acting rather nasty back there.” She swallows. "It's a bit concerning."

>“I was playing the bad cop.”
>“Yeah, I don’t like her.”
>“No, I don’t hate her.”
>“I’d rather not say.”
>Custom option.
>>
>“Yeah, I don’t like her.”
>>
>>1678335
>“I don’t like her, but I don’t hate her.”
>>
>>1678335
>>“I was playing the bad cop.”
>>
>>1678335
At first
>“I was playing the bad cop.”
but
>“Yeah, I don’t like her.”
I don't hate her either, but that crack she made about never having to work for what I've gotten? Yeah I do not like her. Be like saying you didn't work hard to become as great a singer as you are, or Airi was always a naturally strong blood magus. It just, ugh, She hit a nerve alright? I'm sure given how much you deal with me being a jerk sometimes you understand.
>>
>>1678335
>“I was playing the bad cop.”
>"Until she accused me of not working a day in my life."
>>
>>1678335
>“Yeah, I don’t like her.”
>“No, I don’t hate her.”

Don't like her, don't hate her. She did something stupid, but she isn't completely off the deep-end yet.
>>
>>1678335
>“Yeah, I don’t like her.”
>“No, I don’t hate her.”
>>
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“Michiko, I was playing the bad cop. You know, like we agreed on.” You explain.

“I get that, but towards the end of your debate with Tamiko you sounded legitimately angry at her.” Michiko says.

You scoff. “Yeah, that’s because I pretty much was.”

“It’s because she said you didn’t work hard for what you achieved?” Michiko asks.

Your gaze hardens. You clench a fist. Over on the other seat, a salaryman curses as the newspaper drops out of his hands. “The idiot didn’t know a single damn thing about me and she still had the gall to call me out. You know what they say about glass houses.” You growl. Scenes flash through your mind—Akasha-Alea’s training, y Airi’s achievements at thirteen and the whispers around the academy. “Would’ve reacted the same way if she accused Airi of the same thing.”

Michiko nods, understanding. She doesn’t seem happy, but neither is she angry. “I can relate, a little. I wouldn’t appreciate it if I was told that I didn’t work hard and earn my talent for singing.” She says, her tone regretful. “Still, I hope you don’t hate her. I can see why Tamiko didn’t give you the best first impression, but she’s just misguided and lonely.”

You rub your forehead and exhale. “She hit a nerve, is all. I don’t hate her, but I can’t say I’m swooning in her presence either.”

“Still, that’s good to hear.” Michiko says, smiling with relief.

“I’m surprised you care that much about her.”

“I just don’t like seeing people getting hurt. Not when I can help it.”

“Wouldn’t want the drugs to start spreading around the school, either.” You mutter. The train screeches to a halt in front of the station, causing the passengers to sway. Airi is sitting opposite you, whispering to her scarf. She’ll be busy for a while. The man next to her is watching her with curiosity.

“That too.” Michiko states.

The train starts up again. You lean back in your seat and watch a few people study their phones. Smartphone games are all the rage these days. Not for you though. Your luck is abysmal as it is.
>>
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“You know, Tamiko reminded you of how you used to be.”

“Eh? What?” Michiko blinks, surprised.

“I mean, she’s basically you from last year but with a drug problem.” You state.

“I wasn’t anything like her!” Michiko exclaims, jumping up in her seat.

“You sure about that? Because I remember you getting mad at me for no real reason. You didn’t speak to me for two weeks after I first beat you and when you apologized it was the most awkward thing ever.”

“I was trying to be nice! I felt bad for yelling at you and I wanted to make up for it!” Michiko cries. She crosses her arms and pouts. “Geez, Keiichi, why are you such a…”

“I didn’t say I didn’t appreciate it.” You correct her, “I was pretty happy you apologised, remember.”

This catches her off guard. “You were?”

“What, I didn’t tell you?” You question. You shrug. “Well, I was. All the girls hated me at the time, so I was grateful for you helping them get off my case. Did I seriously not tell you this?”

“No, I don’t think so.” Michiko replies, looking shocked.

“Thanks, Michiko. I still appreciate it.” You turn to her and grin.

Michiko has no words for a few seconds. When she does speak, it’s in a low mumble, without looking at you in the eye. Her cheeks have gone hot again. Her pout is still present. Like always, you catch her mumbling. “Ugh, first you go and say something nasty, then you turn around and say something nice! You're always doing this! Honestly…"

“Honestly, what? What, Michiko?”

“Never mind!” She snaps. “Come on, we’re almost there. Let’s get up.”
>>
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Your destination is Kabuchicho, a renowned section of Shinjuku. Once intended for theatre, it ultimately became a nesting ground for all manner of nightclubs and restaurants. A hint of unease settles upon you as you walk out of the underground station and into the area. Kabuchicho is an area of glamor covering depravity. It is a forbidden fruit, the pulp of which is pulsing red hot and lined with barbs. Its nooks and crannies hold the history of dozens of shady deals and illegal magic. Spirits mingle with humans here, lurking in corners, dancing on stages, chugging alcohol in bars, not all supervised or restrained. In this district, the entrance to the darkness of Japanese society awaits.

Thankfully, the day is safer. The glare of the hundreds of shining electric signs is gone and the sunlight helps to restrain the urges inside fellow man. Avoid the shadows and you might even fool yourself into thinking that it's another ordinary street in Tokyo. But nothing will change the fact that Kabuchicho is not a place for children.

But you are on a mission and thus you will endure. You push through the crowd with your friends, eyes kept firmly ahead. More than once, men in sleazy suits try to grab Michiko’s attention. The disgust on her is obvious and Airi has to pull her away before she unleashes an insult from her repertoire and starts bashing people over the head with her microphone stand. The trick is to not give an inch. Ignore them, show your defences and they will relent. After all, there are plenty other more gullible fish in the sea.

You reach the hideout where Tamiko’s dealer is waiting, off the main path, and enter without a second thought. The place is run-down, dirty and must’ve been used as a storage facility at some point. Three adolescents are lounging around the place like a bad mold. The first has sunglasses, a brass chain around his neck and is smoking a cigarette. He puffs, blows acrid grey smoke and raises his eyebrows as you walk in. The second is fidgeting in the corner, running his fingers over glowing sinewy tattoos on his arm. A magus, and judging from his rambling, an unstable one. The third guy has the face of a bent rhino and looks as if he traded all his smarts for his bulging pecs. His eyes are beady, black little dots on a mug of roughed-up muscle. You doubt his vocabulary extends to more than a few dozen characters.

“Who the hell are you?” Sunglasses asks.

“Are you the dealer?” You ask.

“I’m a dealer of many things, kid.” Sunglasses replies. “You still haven’t answered my question.”

>“Give us the photos and the contact details, now.”
>“May I purchase some of your stock?”
>“You are a failure waiting to happen.”
>Inflict bodily harm.
>“These girls are interested in you.”
>Custom option.
>>
>>1679904
>>Inflict bodily harm.
Cut to the chase.
>>
>>1679904
>Inflict bodily harm.
Start with kneecaps so he doesn't run.
>>
>>1679904
>Inflict bodily harm, then >“Give us the photos and the contact details, now.”
>>
>>1679904
>Inflict bodily harm
>>
>>1679904
>>“Give us the photos and the contact details, now.”
>Inflict bodily harm.
>>
>>1679904
>Inflict bodily harm.
>>
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You consider talking things out and seeing if Sunglasses will give you the information willingly. Then he blows his cigarette smoke in your face, flashes you a cheeky grin and all thoughts of diplomacy vanish down the drain. Judging from your experience with these kinds of people, this conversation will end in only one way. You might as well skip all the dilly-dallying and cut straight to the chase.

You walk forward until you’re within arms reach of Sunglasses. He’s a slouch, arms dangling by his side, projecting a confidence supported by naivety and false power. You stare him down, back straight, your magic circuits flickering to life.

“What are you doing?” He asks, his smile fading. You don’t reply.

Instead, you draw Avery and smash her butt straight onto Sunglasses’s nose. A crunch rings throughout the dusty room, accompanied by Avery’s cry of indignation in your head. His cigarette falls out of his lips, blood spurts out of his nose like a malfunctioning fountain and he stumbles back, almost crashing against the wall.

“What the fuck, man?” He shrieks.

Deciding that this isn’t enough, you lash out with your foot, Sunglasses dodges, but he is not fast enough and your foot connects with his hip. He shortly regains his balance, snarls a curse and draws a switchblade. The blade is thin, but it shines with a faint yellow light. Rune-enchanted, the mass-produced kind, likely to be a burning or shocking effect. You prepare yourself, settling into a stance.

The tattoo guy clicks his fingers and conjures a ball of fire. Muscles slams his fist into his palm, cracks his knuckles and roars. Shesmur transforms, Michiko summons her stand and things escalate from there.

>Roll 3d30
>Best out of three.
>>
Rolled 25, 12, 23 = 60 (3d30)

>>1681567
>>
Rolled 24, 14, 22 = 60 (3d30)

>>1681567
>>
Rolled 11, 13, 14 = 38 (3d30)

>>1681567
>>
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>>1681567
>Michiko summons her stand
>>
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Rolled 24, 19 = 43 (2d30)

>>1681567
>>
>>1681567
coupla thugs ain't got shit on us
>>
Oh, I just looked at the thread's archive description and it is wonderfully on point.
>>
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Michiko stands firm in front of Muscles, microphone at the ready. Airi rushes towards the tattoo guy with her blade out. You eye Sunglasses and his blade. The guy looks pretty pissed. Anyone would be, if their nose was less cartilage and more a lump of twisted, bleeding flesh. He snarls, flashing greying teeth and a set of yellowish gums. The fear is gone from his body and is replaced with the intent to riddle your body with dozens of bleeding holes. He’s got a good stance going, chin tucked, knife hand out, other hand turned inward to protect the face.

He lunges forward, the runes on the blade glowing. This would no doubt be an effective attack to an ordinary True Hearts student. Unfortunately, you are the sole mentee of a high spirit and thus far from ordinary as cna be. His slash is balls slow compared to Akasha-Alea’s ruthless CQC. You sidestep, clobber him on the nose again and he crumples. You then stamp on his knife hand, disarming him. You kick the switchblade into a corner, out of reach.

Next to you, Muscles snorts like a bull, crouches low with his arms spread out and prepares to charge. He only manages a few steps as Michiko raises her lips to her microphone and belts out a single note. Soprano C—a tidbit of information from your (rather reluctant) lessons with her. Sound and air lash out at Muscles, sending him flying backwards. He knocks his head against a chair. Pain is imminent, as well as loss of focus.

The tattoo guy hurls his fire towards Airi. It’s an actual hit. Your sister hisses as a burn spreads across the edges of her neck. The scent of burnt fabric fills the air. It is not enough to deter her and she gives the tattoo guy a quick slash across the front, ripping through his jacket and spilling blood. The wound is shallow—you know Airi is not the biggest fan of violence—but the sight of the crimson liquid and the taste of iron is enough to make the tattoo guy squeal and scramble backwards.

The end result is a group of injured thugs facing a trio of rather annoyed of adolescent magi. Said magi are fully ready to continue the onslaught. The thugs inch towards a back entrance, which leads to a set of descending stairs.

“A girl called Tamiko gave you her contact info and photograph.” You tell Sunglasses. “Hand it over, all of it.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Sunglasses gasps, cradling his injured hand.

“Don’t deny it.” Michiko says, slamming her stand on the hard floor. “We’ll beat you all black and blue if we have to. Give us the info and you won’t get hurt.”

“Fuck you!” Sunglasses spits.

You pull back Avery’s hammer, resulting in a light click. You point it at Sunglasses. “Last chance.”
>>
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Sunglasses flinches. He knows you are prepared to fire. What he doesn’t know if that your bullets aren’t metal ones. He also doesn’t know that you are not prepared for the tattoo guy screaming, a cry like a furious eagle, and then slamming his palms together. He yells a single syllable in a language you cannot recognize. His tattoos light up and shine a blinding orange light. You then hear the thump of something small being smashed against the ground, soon followed by the quiet hiss of gas escaping. Smoke. The coughing begins.

You instinctively squeeze Avery’s trigger. The shot connects, lodging itself in Sunglasses’s abdomen. You see his silhouette go down through the smoke. Muscles then hauls him up and retreats down the staircase. You prepare to fire again, but another fireball from the tattoo guy forces you to evade. He too makes a retreat.

“After them!” Michiko cries.

You all proceed to do that.

A floor down is a musty basement, illuminated by makeshift lights constructed out of lanterns and cheap mana-infused crystals. Cardboard boxes are stacked around, some of which contain foodstuffs and canned drinks. A flea-bitten couch is present. It seems to be a shoddy gathering area. The thugs are crouched behind an upturned table at the very back. A door is behind them, an obvious escape route.

“Hurry up, dude!” Sunglasses shouts at tattoo guy, sounding winded, “You said you knew this shit!”

“Shut up! I’m almost done!” Tattoo guy yells back, as he…riffles through a book? You are even more confused as he starts tearing pages from the book and begins tossing them everywhere. They flutter to the ground in random locations.
>>
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“You sure this is going to work?” Muscles asks, his voice like a gravel driveway.

“She said it would." The tattoo guy responds frantically, "I don’t know. Oh crap, they’re coming!”

She? Who’s this ‘she’ Sunglasses is yelling about? The tattoo guy slams his palms against the ground and chants, the marks on his arms glowing once more.

“O, spirit of the arts, I beg of you to lend us your power!”

You feel the pulse of his mana flow through the basement. It is weak, barely enough to disrupt your senses. it doesn't matter, because it was not directed at you.

You notice for the first time that the papers are covered in ink swathes. Thick, oil black, incomprehensible in terms of meaning and yet disturbingly familiar ones. The ink on the swathes bubble in response to the pulse. They then burst upwards, limbs and heads forming out of individual pages. The bodies follow, pulling themselves out with a series of nasty squelches. Before long, the basement is now filled with enemy combatants. Four-legged rabid dogs and two-legged minotaur monsters, all with mindless white eyes and possessing the intent to kill.

Déjà vu hits you like a sledgehammer to the face.

“Yeah, how do you like that!” Sunglasses yells. “Not so tough now, are you?”

“Keiichi,” Michiko begins, looking around the monsters, “Are these…”

“God damn it.” You grumble. “Yeah, Michiko, they are.”

You and Airi share a look. The sentiment is mutual. Now you really need to make these guys talk.

“Get them, familiars!” The tattoo guy yells.

The ink monsters scream like madmen and rush forward.

>Roll 3d30 to fight off the ink monsters.
>Best out of three.
>>
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On second thoughts, that isn’t necessary. You and Airi basically murder them all. The only loss is that of Avery’s ammunition.

The thugs stare at the devastation (read: all the splattered ink on the ground), their eyes practically saucers. To see their trump card ruined in less than a minute, their two dozen blasted with bullets and sliced by a sword...it must be truly mortifying. In all fairness, none of the them knew you and Airi spent most of last morning fighting off entire waves of those damn monsters. You almost feel sorry for them.

“W-what…?” The tattoo guy stutters, the first to regain his voice. “What the fuck?”

“This didn’t do shit!” Sunglasses screams, more to himself. “Run!”

You suddenly find the table being hurled your way. Dodging it fine, but the thugs getting away again is not.They pile into the back door and slam it shut. You then hear a weighty thump through the brickwork. Michiko grasps the handle and flings the door open. She succeeds, but finds herself staring at a pile of rubble and a few bent chairs. Muscles’s handiwork, no doubt. Is he an earth magus, by any chance?

Airi shakes her head and blood drips from her hand. She crafts it into the shape of a tag.

You know, now would be a good time to re-evaluate your perspective...

[Select your perspective]
>Keiichi Hirayama.
>Airi Hirayama.
>>
Rolled 68, 9, 74 = 151 (3d100)

>>1682242
Roll-

Oh.

>>1682246
Guess it's Airi time.
>>
Rolled 13, 17, 26 = 56 (3d30)

>>1682274
Whoops.
>>
Rolled 16, 22, 6 = 44 (3d30)

>>1682246
>Airi Hirayama.
>>
>>1682246
>Airi Hirayama.
Might as well give Airi a spin for a while.
>>
>Keiichi Hirayama
>>
>>1682246
>Airi Hirayama
>>
>>1682246
>Airi Hirayama
>>
>>1682246
>Airi Hirayama.
>>
>>1682246
>Airi Hirayama.
Been a little while, hasn't it?
>>
>>Keiichi: Be your sister.

Okay.

You are now Airi Hirayama and there is rubble blocking your path. What will you do?

>>Airi: Craft an exploding tag.

Three ingredients are needed for this: mana, blood and water. The first two are within your body and the third is found in the second. Concentrating slightly, you will your blood to trickle out of your right palm. You clasp your hands together, smearing their skin with crimson. You activate the circuits that lie beneath your hands, combining mana with the blood. For the last step, you need to visualize. Familiar images flash through your head—a leaking blood bag, bright fireworks in the night sky, a paper cut that made your finger sting—and you pull your hands apart. Between them is the tag.

The tag is almost paper, small as a bookmark, thin and with a smooth texture. But it is not paper because your magic art does not fall in that domain. It is a fake. It will also dissipate if left alone for long enough and it will do so violently. That is why you quickly shove it on the rubble, whisper ‘Detonate’ under your breath and stand back.

The tag explodes in seconds, a burst of heat, light and red smoke. The rubble is now gone. You can't help but smile a little in satisfaction. A fine job, if you say so yourself. Learning the explosive blood arts was truly a good idea. It’s made people call you an arsonist, but the delight from seeing a finely crafted object detonate as expected makes it all worth it.

Incidentally, you also enjoy watching things being crushed by a hydraulic press.

“Come on!” Your brother shouts, charging forward with his new revolver out. He’s a hasty one. You know he wants to get this job over and done with so he can go home and rest. Not that you are one to talk. Half an hour with a good book or playing with Shesmur sounds lovely.

The doorway leads towards another set of descending stairs, which itself awaits at the forefront of a dark tunnel. It is faintly lit by flickering emergency lights, but nonetheless seems like an excellent way to trip over and give yourself a concussion. Keiichi stops and narrows his eyes at the darkness. Then he takes out his phone, switches on the torch function and charges forward, revolver still in his other hand. You and Michiko share a glance and do the same. You figure the past you would've cared. Now you’re fully acclimatised, as terrible as it sounds.

As you run down the tunnel, you pass empty trolleys, garbage and signs so faded they have merged with the mold. You reach the end and wonder how many flights of stairs you have run up ever since you came to Shibuya. The number is probably in the hundreds. You add another to the count.

The door at the top is locked. It then ceases to be as Michiko whips out her microphone and chants a ‘Do-Re-Mi’, blasting the poor thing off its hinges.
>>
>>Everyone: Enter.

You now seem to be in a different part of Shinjuku, but still in the same run-down, slummy area. This new building is an abandoned warehouse, judging from the empty shelves, bare loading areas and the array of girders positioned high above. The place has seen a clean as often as vampires see the sun. Why there was a connection between the two buildings is a good question. The answer, you suspect, is probably outside the law.

The three thugs are cowering behind a counter. They are terrified for their lives. You decide to get the first word out before your brother can start a fight. “Please surrender. We only want to get our friend’s—” Your brother snorts at this, “—contact information back.”

“And then you’ll let us go?” The muscled one asks, a twinge of hope in his voice.

“Actually, I was thinking we might want to call the police.” Michiko offers.

“What!” The one with the sunglasses and the broken nose exclaims.

“You guys are drug dealers.” Michiko continues, and Keiichi makes a grunt of agreement. You can’t find yourself to disagree.

“Then…” The sunglasses-wearing dealer quickly tries to find an excuse. “We’ll sue you all for assault!”

“Eh, we’ll just say it was self-defense.” Keiichi replies, shrugging his shoulders.

“But you attacked us!” The dealer yells.

“But you’re drug dealers. Also, you stole a young girl’s private information.” Michiko points out, as if it explains everything. It sort of does and sends the thugs panicking again.

“Shit! What do we do?” The sunglasses-wearing dealer grabs the tattooed one by the shoulders and shakes him back and forth. “Oi, do you have anything up your sleeve!”

“God damn it, those familiars were our last hope!” The tattooed one screeches back, “How the fuck was I supposed to know they would die so quickly?”

“Damn it, damn it, damn it!” The dealer yells.

“Should we call the supplier?” The muscled one asks.

“How the fuck is she going to help us?”

“Didn’t she say something would happen after the familiars were summoned?” The tattooed one ponders.

“What, they would all die to a pair of insane kids? We don’t even know her number! We don’t know if she’s even human!”

“So we are fucked, then?” The muscled one moans.

“I’m going to lie down and pretend I’m in a better place.” The tattooed one says, doing just that.

Keiichi shakes his head, sighing and raises his revolver. “Three seconds and I’ll start firing.”

“You’re going to kill us?” The dealer shrieks.

“No, just make you feel lots and lots of pain.”

And that’s when something comes crashing through the nearby window.
>>
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Glass shards fly in all direction. The object flies into the center of the room, between you and the thugs. It lands with a loud thump, forcing everyone back. It is then you see that the object takes the form of a small girl. An inhuman one. A spirit. Shesmur immediately begins growling.

Her sudden arrival breaks up any thoughts of violence. Everyone watches in various states of confusion as she uncurls herself, stands up and dusts herself off. She tilts her head, a mop of raggedy black hair swaying.

“Um…you were the guys who summoned my familiars, right?” She says towards the thugs, her expression slightly blank.

“Y-yeah that’s right!” The tattooed one exclaims. He gets a closer look. “Hey, aren’t you the dealer?”

“Yup, that’s me!” The girl beams.

“Can you help us?” He splitters, pointing to your brother. “Those guys are crazy! They’re going to kill us!”

“Oh, that’s rich…” Michiko grumbles.

“Um, something along those lines? I can’t really remember.” The girl admits, scratching her head.

"Are you fucking serious?" The sunglasses wearing one exclaims.

"Don't blame me!" The spirit girl whines. "I don't have a good memory. Master always complains about it, so he gave me something for a ref...reference." She reaches into her kimono, a white one stained dirty by dirt and dark pigments, and retrieves a small notebook. She flips through it, frowning. “Hold on a second…”

The situation is so absurd that everyone, including your brother, just stares at the spirit girl.

“Where did Master put those instructions…um…when the familiars are summoned, it’s basically an emergency call. I should rush my…uh, ass? Never mind...over as fast as possible, because we can’t do reverse summoning and all…” She states.

“That’s nice and all, but can you start beating these guys up?” The sunglasses-wearing dealer shouts, waving at the girl.

The spirit girl ignores him completely. She reads aloud, entranced by the contents of the notebook. “Our familiars are meant as a last resort, so whoever is using them has basically failed. It means we don’t need them anymore. Get rid of them. They probably weren’t worthy to look upon our beauty…”

The dealer goes pale. The muscled one’s jaw drops. The tattooed thug starts shivering all over again. Michiko just looks confused. Keiichi’s features harden. You do not like the sound of what you are hearing.

“Witnesses, the guys who summoned them, et cetera. Standard procedure. Just like we discussed. So take everything they have and—”

Keiichi draws his revolver and fires two shots towards the spirit girl, aiming at her head and center of the torso. While F=fatal for humans, spirit bodies are cut from different cloth and most are able to withstand more punishment. Your brother expects the spirit girl to keel over immediately, unconscious. Instead, her head is blown straight off. The second bullet smashes a gaping hole in her torso.
>>
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All action stops. Keiichi’s eyes widen. A look of shock has etched itself across his face. Michiko is staring at the sight, her mouth agape. The thugs look ready to faint. What was left of the head is now a black stain on the concrete floor, a few feet from the spirit girl’s now-motionless body. Black liquid drips from the top of the hole to the bottom, the ‘plink-plink’ echoing throughout the silent warehouse.

And then, the ink on the ground lurches upwards, rushing towards the empty neck stump. It swirls in the air and coalesces, creating a roundball. In an instant, the head is back, utterly uninjured. The hole in the torso seals itself with a loud, wet squelch. The spirit girl stands still, blinking, then continues to speak and ruffle through the notebook pages as if nothing had happened.

“…so take all their stock and dispose of them. Wipe their memories, dump them in the river, bring their bodies back for harvesting. Just make them disappear or whatever. Then erase all evidence. That’s it.”

Nodding to herself, the spirit girl places the notebook back into her kimono. She smooths her clothes.

“Okay, I get it now!” She cries, beaming a radiant smile at everyone. She reaches into her coat pocket and picks out a wooden paintbrush. She twirls it in her hand. The tip of it is bristling with wild mana. “I just have to make you all disappear!”

She clutches her stomach, tips her head back and vomits blackness all across the floor.
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>>1693001
>Keiichi draws his revolver and fires two shots towards the spirit girl, aiming at her head and center of the torso.
That's my boy!
>>
>>1693003
I like the fact he was genre savvy enough to just shoot her. Sadly regeneration is a bitch.
>>
A true man of action.

So uhh... do we spray her with a fire hydrant or something to dilute the ink?
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>>1693148
That's not the worst idea.
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>>1694940
There's not too much else we could do. Ink isn't flammable, and we'd have to get it to the boiling point of water in order to change its composition, assuming it's normal ink, nor do we have a reliable way of doing that anyways. Best I can think of is a fire hydrant or blowing a water main, since clearly physical trauma means nothing. If spirits are composed of mana (which we have reason to believe based off of Avery's reaction to the mana-devouring bullets), the said bullets might be able to inflict some kind of damage, though I doubt they by themselves could hurt it enough.




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