"I will be going to the bathroom. And I might mind fuck you again." Melea almost smiled. This was his proper place. "Tell the servants that's where we'll be." She went with Terenty down the hallway, quickly coming across the door to a bathroom, doubtless one of many in the massive mansion. She paused at the sight of a small girl holding a small soap duck like it was a holy artifact before yanking off her glove, pulling at sticky burnt flesh. She grit her teeth and shoved it under cold water. She had handled far worse without a peep before. Martha looked longingly out the window, wishing she could be running around outside. Right now, even the thought of running made her feet ache. Fuck these shoes. Fuck whoever invented these horrible, ugly, foot mutilating monsters. Fuck Marika for a multitude of reasons, but right now mostly for making her wear them. Her crabby internal rant just chose a new target when she saw McGrego approaching. It suddenly descended into confusion when he talked. "Get what on? Comfier clothing?" God she hoped he meant shorts and sneakers. Maybe he wanted her ready for football outside. She didn't normally play with a adults, but doing anything was welcome enough that excitement unconsciously made its way into her voice.
-I’m doing great Hernandez-kun.- Goemon smiled with his shining teeth almost reflecting the lights from the elegant chandeliers over them. Jose surely realized that the smile was as forceful as they came, clearly Goemon wasn’t quite comfortable in this situation, shuffling awkwardly in his suit from time to time. He was more of a “hands on” movie actor than a personality and high brow crowds made him nervous. The Karate Star bended his back a little to get closer to Jose and talked in a quieter voice. –Apart from being stuck with that mess over there. - He leaned his magnificent hairstyle to the side pointing at were Pitch was eating like a beast.
The lack of reply from Jose, that would surely happen, clued him in to look towards the direction he pointed, gasping to see Pitch wasn’t there. –Where did that little troublemaker go?- He muttered looking around until somebody tapped him on his lower back. Goemon slowly turned around to meet Pitch’s fiercest glare, with her mouth contorted in an angry smile, trying to hide her extremely volatile temper. –Who…- Her right eyelid twitched, she took a deep breath as if she was about to shout the next line but at the last moment she contained her scream. –Are you calling little?- Pitch wasn’t bothered by being called a troublemaker, but she didn’t like people mentioning her height.
Goemon tried to defuse the situation with a smile raising both hands in an apologetic gesture. –Eh…- He looked around trying to find something to distract Pitch with until his eyes locked on his apprentice. The Karate Star had a surge of inspiration as he turned his head back to face the Feisty Brawler. –Heeeey Pitch… Have you met my apprentice Jose? - Goemon pointed at the Earthshaker with both open palms. –He is planning to enter the SBF, so is very likely you will end up fighting him.- It was a low move, but the Karate Star successfully turned her whole attention towards Jose instead of him and slipped away towards Bertuccio who brought him the beer.
-Thanks, you’re a lifesafer.- He chugged down as the Count’s attendant asked him about Jose. –Yes, I’m teaching him the style I learnt from my master Ichigan Nagare, the Mountain Slaying Fist.- He dropped the name of the legendary style and his master, who was pretty well known in any Hidden World illegal fighting community considering how much he fought. Ichigan had a pretty impressive record while he was alive. Bertuccio left and Masaoki moved towards Goemon with his glass still full. He made a gesture to Pitch who begrudgingly left Jose’s side, but not before glaring at him.
-If you plan to enter to the SBF you better reconsider your career… Or I will knock the idea into your head…- Her fingers pointed her eyes and then she pointed at Jose. –I’m keeping an eye on you latino heat… If I beat you the old man with the ridiculous hair will look like more of a clown than he already is.- She clearly wanted to continue taunting Jose but a stern look from Masaoki shut her up and she left to join the other boxers, still giving evil eyes to Jose.
Falken was around his third vodka when he noticed Eri sitting beside him. She was quite the beauty, but the Infamous Mercenary had a lot of experience with beautiful women and he knew not get too involved. Falken’s type was more in the brawly side of things. If a woman could kick his ass then he would be interested, because they had guts and the Hired Gun liked that. Still something was off about her, because his sensors noticed her Hidden World affiliation. He didn’t know exactly what she was, but he was quite sure she wasn’t human. Something seemed to be bothering her. “Who bloody cares?” thought Falken as he returned back to his drink, emptying it in a single gulp. He had a bad taste on his mouth after meeting Crow. “That loser will know what’s coming to him, last time I couldn’t finish the job… but next time around I’m going to end the bloody lineage of those Gunslinger rats."
As he was consumed by his hatred for Cementerio his sensors flared up and his cybernetic body moved on its own avoiding the spilled drink, which landed on his now empty seat, and automatically his hand extended as if he was aiming a gun towards Eri’s head. Yet he only had an empty shot glass with droplets of Vodka inside. The Infamous Mercenary eyes were glowing with sinister intent, cold unforgiving orbs of malice locked on her, projecting such killer intent anybody with enough training in the crowd would clearly notice it and possibly be scared shitless. If Eri’s “Irish” heritage allowed her to see the imprint of the dead Falken would look like a Jason Pollock painting, splatters of hundreds, if not thousands, souls the Dual Wielding Angel of Death reaped himself for fun or profit.
This flare of killer intent subsided as she started to apologize. Falken was quite on edge, as lately he had been losing track of time. Maybe he had a glitch on his mainframe, but the sad scientist he always visited for repairs and maintenance of the rented pocket dimension. Something was wrong… But she wasn’t the cause, it was stupid to think that. He lowered his glass, placing it upside down over the counter. –No problem.- He mumbled, still quite tense and left the scene with his hands tucked inside his pockets, losing himself in the crowd, looking for a place to chill out as the Count was about to start his speech.
"Of course. I look forward to our conversation." he said with a polite smile on his face. As the count moves away from them, Smith watches the count's movements, trying to spot any indication of him suffering an affliction of any kind. Yet, if the count is experiencing any distress, he is a master of masking it. Not wanting to waste anymore time on focusing on a singular individual, he turns his eyes to the rest of tonight's attendance. There are countless interesting persons to engage here, including some of the more rowdy folk. Yet, though his eyes examine the room to track down the a current, or maybe even a potential future, ally. But, as he searches the waves of bodies, in the back of his mind, he continues to dwell on the count's words. Wondering what he kinda business he was planning to discuss with him. -Maybe he wants to go over a financial pursuit; however, I doubt he needs any help when it comes to monetary resources. Well, I suppose I will learn his aim later- Walking over to find himself a better location to scope the crowd, he ends up spotting a rather famous , or infamous, at the bar. Watching carefully, he could pick up the deadly killer intent he was displaying and appears to be focus on the woman next to him. Marvel starts to make his way over with a steady, yet somewhat casual pace. He didn't want to give away his intention to get close enough to intervene should things go south, nor did he want to make the woman think that he is trying to be some sort of white knight. Of course, that is assuming she is happens to be aware of him approaching. Still, just because she looks beautiful, doesn't mean that she is defenseless and frail. Appearances can be quite deceiving, especially in the hidden world. Thankfully, Falken calms down and leaves the bar before anything terrible occurs. Once he could no longer see the the walking machine, he proceeds to find a tranquil area and wait for the count's public greeting and address.
Jose remains perfectly still, moving as much as a statue, and allows Pitch to speak without changing his facial expression. His demeanor towards her is one without an ounce of intimidation, but if she bothers to look him right in the eyes, she will notice his not so subtle iron will. Which will let her know rather quickly that her efforts to antagonize, or strike fear into him, are utterly pointless. For the young bounty hunter, he never cared about talkers; however, if the two of them ever did end up fighting each other, he hopes that her fists are just as active and energetic as her mouth. Otherwise it will be a boring fight for him. As she leaves and stares him with hateful eyes, he decides to tell her one thing, "Tell me a time and a place, and in return, I'll give you a fight." The way he said these words were not meant to appear tough. it was a simple message to let her know that he is willing to fight her anytime and anywhere. And that in his mind; regardless of winning or losing, he was not going to be afraid of that fight.
Post by Colt of Personality on May 16, 2016 4:00:41 GMT
Opposing Views of Justice A waitress had returned to the table with Crow and Toni drinks while they chatted briefly with Iris. Despite the short conversation between them the Gunslinger enjoyed the banter with the seamstress. After all making friends with seamstresses is always useful nowadays because it was an easy way to get work from the Seamstress guild. As Iris walked off Crow raised his glass of whiskey to her calling to her. “Thanks for the chat Ms. Thorne. I wish you many long days and pleasant nights!” Crow smiled a little as reciting the common way Gunslingers use to wish each other farewell, the customary response was usually and I wish you twice as many. Crow sipped his whiskey trying to forget about Falken’s as much as possible, unfortunately it may take a lot more alcohol. The Gunslinger’s was scanning the crowd of people carefully wondering just where this Count person could be. He looked over at Toni who seemed to be a bit nervous and quiet when he spoke up casually. “She was right you know?” The Cat Eye Watch looked over a bit confused as she replied. “Who was right?” “Ms. Thorne was right about that dress. It is quite lovely and it suits you very well. I haven’t said anything because I’m not good with that kind of thing….fashion I mean.”
The illusionist blushed a bit surprised by Crow kindness since the time she moved with him it was so very rare to see like this there always seemed to be kind of wall he had built within himself. Crow sipped more of his whiskey and relaxed a little more no longer scanning the Crow. “Also I’m glad you talked me into coming to this Gala. In our line of work we don’t get many times like this we usually just move from one shoot out to another. Bounty Hunters rarely get a chance to enjoy the quiet around them. I say that is worthy of a toast wouldn’t you agree.” Crow turned to Toni holding his glass in an attempt to celebrate this moment however Toni was staring at him with heart filled eyes smiling. “Oh Crow you really are a gentleman under that tough exterior. I knew that one day our love would shine like a star in a dark night.” Crow sighed a little, “Jeez I was just complimenting your dress don’t go overboard. I think it time for a shot.” The Gunslinger pounded down the shot of tequila and place the glass upside down on the table however just as he was about to order another whiskey as well as more shots a familiar voice reached him. “Easy there Cementerio. I would be a bit nervous to know that the Association’s best shot enjoyed his liquor a little too much. GWOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!”
Meanwhile Kusuri was on the verge of a critical level anxiety attack as she was about to be knocked to the ground, the hot and heavy air was unbreathable, the people around seemed more like a horde, and the lights and sounds were overwhelming. The magical nurse closed her eyes and began to mutter to herself a little. “I can’t. I can’t handle this. I need Shinshi. I need to get out of here. This is too much. I’m going to pass out.” The poor overwhelmed girl was so wrapped up in her panic attack she didn’t realize someone had caught her. She didn’t even hear what he said it was a subconscious instinct that made her nod her head and let him lead her outside. Once the cool night air hit her Kusuri began to take big deep breaths as if she was just saved from drowning (this was probably closer to reality then metaphor.) She held a hand over her heart and slowly but surely she calmed down. The flush red look left her face and her pulse and breathing became a bit normal. It was at this time that the Mahoseki Warrior finally looked towards her savior. “Tha…Thank you…very much. I guess I don’t handle crowds…” Kusuri was stopped momentarily as she looked at the individual who saved her from the overwhelming crowd. The 16 year old girl, who only real experience with boys was the crushed she had on her Medical Teacher Levi Weston and the many male characters from her favorite manga and anime, was taken back by the handsome young man before her.
A different type of blush creeped up Kusuri’s face which she quickly covered and looked away out to the garden. “Um…well…um thank you again for…um helping me. My name is Kusuri Inoue, I’m a medical student from Japan.” The Magic Gem Girl wanted to smack herself why did she tell him where she was from or what she did she was such an idiot. Her 16 year old brain was working overtime to try to comprehend the situation. It came to a not so decisive conclusion….make small talk. “So…um this party…is um quite something isn’t it? I don’t really know how I got invited to something like this. There is um…so many people…they um all seem so important. I…I feel like I don’t fit in…with all those extraordinary people. How did you get invited to this party?” Once again Kusuri felt she could kick herself here she was with this handsome stranger yet all she seemed able to do was talk about herself. This was in fact one of the innocent Magical Girl’s biggest flaws she always seemed to be too willing to trust those around and this time it could cost her.
Back inside Yuki Toragari had moved away from the bar where Falken was talking to Eri the killing intent that man produced was enough to turn the Toragari Heiress away in a heartbeat. She quietly got a class of club soda from a waitress and looked around the elaborate gala taking it all in. It was quite an impress collection of people gathered here, so many influential people so many movers and shakers in the world gathered in one location. It were moments like these that made Yuki grateful she wasn’t just an ordinary school girl that she had chosen the life of a bounty hunter. The mundane was never enough for her, settling for okay was something she never desired. Her family had always push her to the top tier of wherever she went and their desire for greatness was as ingrained into as much as her family sword style. And while she had faced many harsh times and trials there were enough great moments and triumphs for her to enjoy in her road to greatness and this gala was one of them. As Yuki looked around she noticed a couple people outside especially for a young girl who looked no older than her (and was kind of cute) and a slightly older man. She couldn’t hear their conversation but she didn’t want to leave the girl alone with the man.
Meanwhile as the Gunslinger heard the laugh of the man his grimaced in a way similar to Iris did she was looking at his hat. The voice belonged to none other than one of the Artemis Branch’s Gold Star Hunters, Marten Kingguards. Crow looked up towards the incoming Marten and Roman and forced his best smile as he replied to Marten’s comment. “Oh Marten what a surprise. I thought I heard the voice of the Great General in the crowd. I wouldn’t be worried about my shooting by the way.” Crow smirked a bit as he pointed his hand like a gun at first he aimed in a general direction. “After all no matter where my guns lead. My aim will always be true.” As he spoke he slowly moved his hand to point at Marten, who was now the one grimacing, and mouth the words Bang. The Great General smiled a bit even though it was forced. “GWOHOHOHOHOHO! Well I guess what else one can expect from the lineage of the Gunslingers.” Marten then turned to Toni, “Ah you must be Miss…” He paused recalling her name. “Sociere. I hear that you are quite impressive, a rising one may say. You and I should have a lunch sometime at my estate. I’m sure you would make a great addition to the Alliance. We are lacking in terms of magic users.” The Cat Eye Witch blushed slightly as Marten offered his hand and she shook it. “Thank you Mister Kingguards. I appreciate the offer, the Great Alliance is a testament not only to your leadership by to the ability of bounty hunters from all over the world.” The Gold Star Hunter couldn’t help but get a big smile as someone complimented the Alliance and more importantly him.
“GWOHOHOHOHOHOHO! Cementerio, my boy I see you found a smart one here. I suggest you keep her around. Maybe she could talk you into coming along and finally accepting my offer to join the Great Alliance.” Crow finished his whiskey and motion for a nearby waitress to get another as he hid his displeasure with Marten’s presence. “Sorry Marten as I told you before I have no attention to become a part of your little collection.” Toni looked to Crow a bit surprised. “Crow I never know Mr. Kingguards offered a place in the Great Alliance. How long have you known about this offer?” Crow titled his head a bit recalling as his second whiskey on the rocks arrived. “Hmm I would say about since I became a bounty hunter. And as I said on day one and as I will continue to say I have no interest in following someone’s way of justice.” At this point Roman who was frowning at Crow especially when he would refer to Marten so informally. “Isn’t making sure justice is served more important. Those who follow their own justice can be reckless and dangerous.” Crow smirked as he turned on Roman. “Roman Drumstrang right? Also known as the Iron Chains if I remember correctly you brought down many bounty hunters yourself before you were caught. Was that your own justice?” The former convict stepped forward towards Crow. “I learned the errors of my way Cementerio. Now I serve in General Kingguards’s Great Alliance on my path to redemption.” The cowboy nearly broke out in laughter as he drank his whiskey. “Oh yes I see redemption. Well I guess between being in prison and being a part of Marten’s Great Collection. I guess you are in repentance well I hope you get out on good behavior.” Roman growled and clenched his fist taking another step towards Crow who in response didn’t move much but brought his guard up. “I don’t expect you to show me respect. But you will show General Kingguards respect as he is a greater rank than you. His Alliance has contributed to serving justice to the wicked and is a key backbone to the Association.” Toni spoke quietly to Crow, “Crow remember your promise.” The Gunslinger merely smiled at her and she realized he intended to keep his promise to her. “Like I said Drumstrang, I follow my own Justice and don’t intend to compromise that or be a tool to someone’s desire.” Marten just smiled even though one could see Crow’s disrespect was burning him up he know where their places was and Crow just needed a reminder. “Now, now boys! Tonight is a night of celebration of good times. We are bounty hunters here let’s share a drink. Roman, my boy, I’m sure Cementerio meant no disrespect. After all he is a man of convictions. A true Gunslinger and after all The Gunslingers survived on their own…well you know what I mean.”
Without warning Crow slammed his glass on the table, his cowboy hat was low covering his eyes which were full of rage and hatred but he would not break his promise to Toni. “I believe it’s about time I say hi to a friend I saw earlier who is a part of the Spirt Boxing Federation.” Crow calmly stood up and began to walk away towards where he last saw Goemon calling seemed concerned. “Excuse me Mr. Kingguards and Mr. Drumstrang it was a lovely talk. Mr. Kingguards I appreciate the offer I’ll get back to you. Crow properly just drinking a bit fast he didn’t mean any disrespect.” Marten smiled a smug grin but hid it slightly. “No disrespect taken my dear. The offer stands of course for both you and Cementerio.” Toni quickly join Crow who had finished his drink by the time she got to him as he was walking. “Crow are you okay? I don’t…I’m sorry...are you okay?” Crow turned and smiled at her, all anger seemingly gone. “Toni don’t worry like I promise there will no issues tonight. After all a Gunslinger always keeps his promise….Hmm look at this the Count has appeared and is about to speak.” Toni turned a bit surprised expecting to see this mysterious Count right behind her but instead he was up above them about to make a speech. Meanwhile throughout the room Marten and Roman also looked towards the Count while Yuki stopped heading outside for a moment to look to. Even Kusuri seemed to notice something was going on from outside.
As Iris approached to the door, one of the guards couldn’t stop a smirk. Six foot seven inches tall, two hundred and eighty pounds of pure muscle shoved inside a black suit and crowned with a squared jaw and a ponytail of thick blonde hair; the man was certainly imposing. And Iris stood in front of him. For that man, she prideful seamstress looked more like a tiny pink cub than a lion. In some way she remembered him of her young daughter, impatiently tapping the ground with her little feet to get what she wanted.
The seamstress presented herself and demanded for the others to open. It wasn’t necessary. The guards already knew she was coming, long before the waitress told her were to go. “Of course, mademoiselle Thorne” said the massive guard, with a surprisingly sweet voice “We’ve been expecting you. Please, go ahead”. With the help of his partner, they opened both sides of the door and opened a wide corridor for the seamstress. The eggshell colored doors closed behind her, beneath the watchful eye of the shy maid. The young woman had to cover her mouth with the empty tray to hide a perverse smile. She had done! Iris Thorne went through the door! All was left was for him to keep his side on the bargain and give her the reward. Oh, how wonderful her life was going to be once all of that pink haired slut’s wardrobe was hers! Smiling with tenebrous delight, the waitress skipped through the hall to wait with boiling excitement for that night to be over.
Once the gates closed, Iris found herself in an empty and dark hallway. The large chandeliers on the ceilings and lamps on the walls remained dead, just black and undefined shapes in the darkness. Without a switch or way to turn them on, the only company Iris got for a few moments was the muffled chatter of the party behind her, which became lower and lower as the Count asked for silence. A clear sound betrayed the ominous dusk of the hallway as a dim source of light, reflecting on the countless framed paintings and metallic details that hang on the walls, grew brighter and brighter. A candle appeared on the end of the corridor, a few meters away from the seamstress, in the precarious grip of a wrinkled and calloused hand. The rest of the ancient man followed his hand and turned toward Iris. The man was wearing a black butler suit, eaten away by moths. His face was slightly covered by a fringe of dirty gray locks that stick to each other, revealing the unhealthy and wrinkled skin below it. His gaze was clouded by a white and milky mantle, a blinding cataract under his tired eyebrows. The elder seemed more ghost than human, the mere shell of something that was by now it’s not. If it wasn’t for the rhythmic tapping of his old shoes on the ceramic tiles, he couldn’t have been real.
His phantasmagoric steps came to a sudden stop in front of Iris and his blind eyes fixed on her face. The old man seemed to be mute too, as he didn’t spill a single word when facing the talented seamstress. Instead, a faint and deep groan leaked from his throat as he walked a few steps towards the other side of the hallway. He then stopped, turned around and groaned again. He was inviting Iris to follow him. As strange as it looked, he was her guide to the Count’s tailor. And once he resumed his walk, he didn’t stop again. His hunched silhouette was defined by dancing flame of the candle he held in front of him as he dove deeper and deeper into the mansion. Iris could decide not to follow that strange man, but… how could she find her way through that labyrinth?
The old shadow guided Iris through the mansion. For some reason, not even a single light was on and as Iris’ guide turned corners, opened doors and went through rooms the seamstress would find it difficult to go back on her steps. All the corridors looked the alike, decorated by old paintings and small details in bronze and gold. Every room was similar to the next one, replete with the luxurious and unscratched furniture.
The candle’s dim and dancing light couldn’t keep the deep darkness that engulfed the hallways away, and soon enough, it started to play tricks on Iris’ expert eyes. The orange flame poured its light on the masterpieces hanging on the walls and as it the couple passed besides them, they seemed to change. The expert brush strokes appear to shift at the corner of their eyes, turning the canvases into perverse images that disappeared as soon as they laid their eyes on them. Beautiful and innocent girls turned into demonic succubus, leaning over their prey; magnificent animals turned into blood stained beasts; handsome knights became servants of hell, throwing their dark claws to grasp the poor souls of those who walked past them. The Count’s speech began as Iris and her guide got near their destination. The Frenchman’s words echoed through the empty hallways and faded into an ominous chorus as the skilled seamstress stepped into the thin web of a spider.
The old man stopped knocked on a door, an exact replica of the others, and opened it after a few seconds. The bright light inside was a painful contrast to the dark corridor and its accommodations were perfect for the group of woman that stood inside. Without a word, Iris’ guide left a piece of paper on the table in the middle of the room and disappeared through the gate, leaving Iris alone with the Count’s “tailor”.
The letter, written in the Count’s curvy and elegant handwriting, read:
“Dear mademoiselle Arachne,
If this letter is in your beautiful hands, you must know that our plans are running smoothly. Although it brings an unbearable pain to my heart not seeing you or your family delighting yourselves the surprises this party beholds, I hope you are enjoying your evening as much as I am. If that’s not the case, then please accept the gift that arrived with this letter. I thought it would be a nice gesture to lay on your capable hands a member of the Seamstress Guild, Iris Thorne. With luck by my side, this present will make the time you spent inside my home more interesting.
-- Baptistin clicked his tongue when he saw Melea’s back disappearing behind the bathroo m’s door. That sucked, he hadn’t been cool at all! Hopefully the rest of the gals at the party had their attention on the Count’s speech and didn’t saw that pathetic scene. Hopefully. Cursing his bad luck, the French thief threw a first aid kit to Terenty’s muscular hands “There, that should do the trick” he muttered, before turning his back on Melea’s servants, without glancing at Gregor even once. The bastard didn’t deserve it.
“Fucking chicken legs!” he thought for himself “I shoulda came up with a best comeback the next time, ya know? Now she’s hiding in that bathroom…” Baptistin froze in place. Was it that bathroom? Oh shit, it was. “OH SHIT FUCKING CUNT” he run through the crowd and through a door, leaving a couple of confused guards behind him.
As he blitzed through the empty rooms, he couldn’t help but remembering the time when the Count, Haydee, Bertuccio and himself had arrived at the mansion. It wasn’t more than an old and ruined skeleton of stone and wood. For what he heard it belonged to a rich dude a few hundreds of years back and after he died, it fell apart. Nobody was able to buy the land for years, no matter how beautiful if was. And damn, a disgusting amount of people had tried to buy it but something always go in their way. Papers disappeared, companies broke or buyers simply lost interest in the property.
Baptistin wasn’t exactly thrilled of living in a huge and creepy mansion in the middle of nowhere. A few years on the shady streets of Paris, stealing from rich aristocrats, had left him a bad flavor on his mouth every time he walked through that kind of places. Until he saw the blueprints for the Count’s house, that is. Beneath the already complicated maze it was, the mansion held an intricate system of secret passages and corridors that connected the entire building. With the constant corrections the Count forced onto the poor architect, it was easy for him to slip a modified blueprint with a passage that led directly into the guest woman’s restroom. The exact place where Melea and an uninvited guest were.
It wasn’t possible they could found the way to open the secret door on the roof, right? Baptistin was a firm believer of the “better safe than sorry” saying. But with the Count, sorry wasn’t an option. -- Kusuri’s savior opened the glass door and gently guided her to the mansion’s inner garden. Right after the window there was a small stone balcony that stood a few feet over the trees, giving whoever was on it an aerial view of the small piece of nature. Twin stairs went down to the left and right of the balcony, joining with the path that lead deeper into the garden.
The young man let Kusuri walk in front of him through the gate. And he was lucky that the Mahouseki warrior was too busy getting herself together to note the way he stared at her, from her toes all the way to her shoulders, as his he licked his lips with predatory anticipation. But that perverse expression disappeared as soon as the girl turned around. All that Kusuri would see was the same caring and handsome gesture she had seen inside. He didn’t have the same kind of attractive as the Count, elegant and fluid. He had something of a raw and animal like beauty, with a wolfish and impish smile. And with the same smile, he answered the tsunami of words going his way.
“No problem, little miss. It’s really too much, right?” he said happily, resting his hands on the railing of the balcony at Kusuri’s side. “All those people there, wearing their fancy clothes. It kind of… whats that word? Drowns me! Yeah, that’s it” He chuckled loudly at his own mistake. His laugh was rough and contagious. “Let me tell you a secret” he leaned towards the girl, getting dangerously close “ I should be… working or something like that. But you won’t tell anyone, right?” He winked at Kusuri, looking around to see if there was anyone around with a guilty expression. “But I was so bored! So I came down to look for something to eat, I was starving. But I guess I…” He leaned closer to Kusuri, their faces inches away. His brown eyes dove into the magial girl’s as he reached for her chin. The young man delicately raised her head a bit and the moonlight shone over her factions. “ end up finding something much better, instead…”. His gaze focused completely on Kusuri and his lips were so close… how would the magical girl react to that? -- Two sets of foots landed silently on the roof of the mansion. The sound of the landing was so gentle, even after they had jumped all the way from the third floor, that not even the pigeons hanging on the edge noticed them and continued with their ceaseless chirping. They ran through the tiles beneath the silver light of the full moon, their bodies were mere silhouettes against the starry sky. The only sound that gave out their presence was the constant murmur of the man, cursing at the fresh air in a language his companion had never heard.
“Ima-san” the soft voice of a woman, with an Asian accent, drowned the curses “with all due respect, I can’t sense your brother if you’re constantly whispering in my ear” the man gave her a poisonous look and stubbornly kept murmuring. “We must find him quickly” the girl remembered him “The Count is about to start with his speech, if we don’t find him before that…” she left the end hanging in the air. Ima, as she called him, bit his tongue at that thought and finally stopped.
The pair stopped and the woman kneeled, laying her small hand on the tiles and closing her eyes. A few moments later, she turned her head towards the mansion’s inner garden. “That way. He’s near the garden, with the girl we saw before”. They sprinted to the edge of the roof. “When I get my hands on that fucker i’ll break his jaw, let’s see if he wants to have one of his ´meals´ after that” grunted Ima. They found their target below them, leaning over the thick stone railing that enclosed the garden. The man was about to jump towards his brother, but the woman stopped him midair and yanked him back into the roof. “Stop, Ima-san!” the girl whispered “We can’t do it right now! The girl is still there and our employer ask for discretion! We must wait for a chance!”
Ima was about to lose his mind, but he wasn’t an idiot. So they remained there, like vultures waiting for their prey to die. -- Still inside the security room, Valerie was starting to get anxious. She nervously bit the nail of her thumb as the Count talked to Smith and nearly broke it when she noticed the Count’s surprised expression. What the hell was that? The Frenchman wasn’t the type of person to show his emotions in such a way. No, that that wasn’t it. She knew her employer for long enough to discern that strange gesture wasn’t impulsive at all.
“Bah, I don’t have time to think about that know” she muttered, walking around through the room. It wasn’t like her to be so nervous during a job, but this one was especially delicate. There was so much that needed to be coordinated perfectly and so many things could go wrong… it felt like trying to juggle with too many balls at the same time. And she didn’t want to fail. Of course, there was an ethical part of her that virally rejected failure. But the truth was that even beneath her cold demeanor, that had earned her the title of Ice Queen, Valerie feared the Count. She didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to know there was something disturbing about that man. And she didn’t want to know what he did to those who failed him.
She reached for her ear piece, her voice slightly tainted by a tremble as she reached the last of the “special guests”. “Get ready, you’re next.” -- “Hsihsihsishishishi… Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s SHOWTIME” -- Beneath the soft and vibrant ringing of the Count’s cup, the chatter and laughs of the Gala slowly descended into a mere murmur. When it finally stopped, all that was left were the melodic echoes of the glass song. The Count left a couple of seconds for the silence to settle in and let all the eyes fix on him and his angelic companion, Haydee. The girl felt the color slip out of her face when she felt the pressure of all those curious stares and unconsciously leaned against the Count. He, on the other hand, stood proud and elegant over the heads of his guests. Offering Haydee a short and sweet encouraging smile, the Frenchman turned to the crowd. Without a hint of embarrassment, he took a moment to clear his throat and in doing so, revealed another of the many secrets of his “modest” home. Marvelously built, the main hall of the mansion arched slightly as it reached the roof, a three levels above the ground. This simple architectonic detail, plus various more that would be rather dull to describe, gave the opulent room an absurdly perfect acoustic. Because of this, the Count’s voice reached every person on the hall as if the elegant businessman was just beside them.
“Ohhhh yeah, babeh” James dragged the words, leaning back and forth with in a precarious balance. It was true that Clown Face had a knack for good drinks and more than once he was thrown out of a bar for taking a few extra shots he shouldn’t have taken, but not even in his wildest nights he was as drunk as he was at that moment. Maybe it was something about the cheerful mood of the Gala or maybe it was something else, he really didn’t care at that point. What he really cared about was getting into that girl’s pants. “We´re gonnnna *hip* geth in somethink *hip* waaaygh more com*hip*fie”. Martha blinked and tilted her head. She guessed she couldn’t argue with that, but he was acting weird. It wasn’t like it mattered she guessed. “Okay… I’ll need somewhere private.”
“Mesdames et messieurs, bienvenue” He started, barely raising his voice at all “I greet you all, mes amis, and I welcome you to my humble abode.” Even in his precarious position on the steps, he managed to gift his public with an elegant and florid bow. “I am sure you are wondering why you were invited to this event; hosted in such a glamorous place, hidden in this breathe taking French countryside owned by such a… successful man as myself. And I’m sure a substantial amount of this lovely public would describe this opulent mansion and his host with words far less kind than mine” he added, with a joyful crooked smile. “You are here because you are different. You are extraordinary. You are exceptional. You are part of something dangerous, deep, wonderful. You… are part of the Hidden world.” His rare eyes flew slowly throughout the hall, staring at each and every one of the guests. "You are Fighters” he raised his glass towards a large amount of Spirit Boxers, who for some reason had ended up on the right side of the room “You are Hunters” he saluted the Bounty Hunters, on the left side of the room “You are the Law” he did it again, this time towards the scattered officials of the JHWAB and HWIC “Some of you are romantic champions of justice, others…” a gentle chuckle shook his shoulders “not so much. But all follow your own code, for better or for worse.
“I discovered the Hidden World a few months ago, by one of those weirds turns of life, despite my own friends’ efforts of hiding it from me” At the Boxer´s side, Bertuccio scratched nervously the back of his neck and stared at the polished tiles, avoiding eye contact with his master. “I felt drown to this mysterious new world, like a moth to a brilliant flame. It called to me, attracted me like the gentle embrace of a lover. Each second I passed discovering it, I felt deeper and deeper in its charm. From all of you, its members, I learned something. The unyielding will to become stronger and surpass your former selves, the never ending search for justice and unalterable stand of those who desire balance.”
The Count raised his voice with each word, in an upwards spiral of fervor. The passion of in each syllable, the power in every gesture was like and hypnotic wave that added to the Frenchman’s incredible presence. Even the dreamiest of guests would end up being completely focused on the Count as he talked.
“My heart skipped with every emotional, passion fueled, exchange of blow in the underground rings of the Federation where those incredible boxers rested all their hopes and dreams on their fists. I was filled with the relentless pride of the Hunters, tracking their preys with the expertise of beasts to bring those evil doers back to justice. I admired the dedication of every stitch, every piece of thread that the seamstress turned into a masterpiece. I laughed, cried, screamed and loved with each and every one of those moments. They will be forever in my heart”
James tried putting his arm on Martha’s shoulder, ignoring how she stiffened up, and looked around with dizzy eyes until he found a door. Curiously, there was no guard in sight. Mcgregor took that as a sign of fate and tried walking as straight as he could towards the entrance, with his ´date´ as his side.
“How could a man like, myself who spends his days beneath the overwhelming pressure of the empire I built on my shoulders, losing my days on constant meetings and my mind in the stock market, avoid falling in love with such this marvelous world you all live in?”
“But…” His gaze became distant and his voice fell into a whisper. For a brief moment of silence, the crowd released collectively the air of their. Trapped in the powerful cadence of the Count, some of them had held their breath for too long and found their selves trembling like children hearing a fantastic story from their elders. “Side by side with those wonderful moments, came its perverse reflection. Like a vile snake wrapping itself around that world, in a wretched attempt to destroy its light, there hid something terrible. That new world, that extraordinary new place where everything seemed possible, was broken by conflict. As an enamored youngster discovering the terrible story of his muse, I felt it on my very skin. The distrust was like choking claws on my neck, the sadness stuck like splinters under my nails, the hate was a razor cutting through my skin!” The Count ended the phrase with his gloved hand up in the air, glaring at the lights that shone on him. His usual smirk was gone, replaced by a sad resolve. His silence lasted until the last echo of his voice fade away from the hall. He then turned once again his public, leaving a few moments before speaking.
Clown Face pulled the door. It opened with ease, silently sliding over its perfectly oiled hinges. He left the girl walk in first and took the chance to ogle her butt before getting into the room himself. The audience was enthralled by the Count and nobody noticed the couple disappearance. McGregor didn’t notice the girl’s queasy face and the way she clenched her fist, nor how a glass vase in the room began to rattle. “Now, letsh get-“ McGregor reached out for a squeeze and the vase shattered with a piercing crack.
“Let me tell you a story, of something that happened a long time ago. A tale of friendship, vengeance and discord.” Stroking his pointy goatee, the Count took a sip of champagne to refresh his dry palate. It wasn’t an impromptu gesture. The small break was just of the perfect length to keep the suspense. “There once was a man. This man had everything a man could want in life: A beautiful wife and two healthy children and strong walls to keep the evil claws of winter away from his beloved family. This man had a friend, a companion from his early years of life that had been with him since they were little. With his help, our merry protagonist reached heights he would have never dreamed of. For a lovely moment, the man and his family were happily. On top of the perfect family and home, they now had money and prestige to lighten up their days. But… as we all know, those moments do not shine brightly for too long.” Haydee eyes were fixed on the Count immutable face and as he told the story, the girl’s face became sadder and sadder. In a loving gesture, she laid her hand on the Count’s as he continued “Brimming with envy, the man’s friend betrayed him with swift and surgical coldness. He stole everything from him: His home, his wealth, his beautiful children and beloved wife and left him for death. Against all odds our betrayed man survived and burning with hate, he planned his revenge on the ones who wronged him. And after years of hard work, effort and a pinch of luck, he was able to achieve it. Blinded by his flaming desire, our ´hero´ did not realized what he would putting at risk and before he could amend his mistakes, he found himself lost. His best friend dead, his family broken and his riches were but a mere pile of bloody gold. Consumed by grief and without any escape to his errors, the man took out his blade and sliced his throat.” The sudden and morbid end of the story left the audience with an eerie feeling, a cold sweat creeping through their body and putting their hairs standing on their ends.
“For those who desired to know the reason for this party and your invitation, you will find it within that tale.” As the creepy atmosphere of the tale disappeared, the Count pierced through the remains with his powerful and vigorous voice.
A woman managed to break the Count’s spell and turned around to replenish her supply of alcohol. Her eye caught a glimpse of a white unguarded door, opening slowly.
“Hate, envy and revenge. All these feelings show a dark paths, which all lead to the same painful and turbulent end. I gathered you all here to start a journey, a hard and harsh road to save the fantastic Hidden World from its own demons. I dream of a peaceful world, where we all of our powers are focused on the same great goal!"
Curiosity won over the interested over the Count’s speech and she walked towards the door. A small peak inside wouldn’t hurt anybody, right?
“I believe it can be done! For this the Hidden World must stand strong!”
Her polished nails grabbed the door knob, the darkness poured from inside the room. She was unable to see anything and still, she carefully pulled the door open.
The Count clenched his fist in front of his face “Proud!” it raised like a brilliant flag in the darkness.
It was too dark to see… maybe if she got even further she would see something. She stopped when she felt something slippery on her silver heel. The small and lonely ray of light that managed to reach the room from the mail hall revealed something crawling through the white tiles. Something dense, sticky and scarlet…
“And United!” His hand flew to the side, in a magnanimous sign. His haired flared for a moment before resting indolently on his shoulders. “Or it will find the same fate as that troubled man, consumed by its demons and descending into an inevitable end…
She reached for the switch and turned on the lights.
The terriefied scream fell upon the hall, charged with expectation, like a stone in the calm waters of a lake. The woman fell to her back and crawled away from the door, her yell still ringing in her lips. Like ripples, the crowed began turning their heads towards the horrified woman with more curiosity than anything else. That is, until the first rows of people saw what awaited behind the open gate.
James “Clown Face” Mcgregor was dead. More than dead. A deformed expression was painted on his lifeless face, a crimson smile laughed happily below his chin and drooled a stream of blood that created a growing red bed behind his body. He laid face up on the floor and his dead eyes started at the guests, delighting them with the lack of light in them.
It wasn’t long until the curious glances became frightened and trembling stares. Luckily, the guards reacted quickly and stood in front of the door and broke the cadaver’s gaze. The Count seemed shocked and began moving through the tight crowed, between the incessant chattering of the people as the news traveled far and wide to the other side of the hall.
Intimidation was something that no longer worked on Iris; years of living beneath imposing shadows and threatening looks pushed her to the limit where she no longer cared. Iris NEVER let anyone make her feel like anything less than what she was. For that reason, the strangely cocky look from the blonde-haired guard meant next to nothing to her, if anything she made her frosty gaze become below zero in retaliation to mirror her impatience with the matter. His condescending look was wasting the precious time she had to meet this tailor.
Thankfully he seemed to get the hint and his other beefy partner opened the doors to a potentially thrilling future for her. Seemed not all futures were bright, for the hallway was pitch black the moment she left the boring party behind her, the muffled chatter was thankfully subdued and she couldn't help but roll her eyes at the cliche of a dark and foreboding hallway. Iris wasn't made of time here, she was only staying until the party was over and she already wasted it away at the dining table; she HAD to meet the tailor. Iris had just been ready to turn around and berate the doorway guards for tricking her into a boring dark hallway when the first heated glimmer caught her eye. Like a firefly in the night, the darkness became just barely illuminated as the edges of shadow hungrily crept to the flame, attracted like moths and similarly, her eyes were drawn. Glittering emeralds that narrowed with the look of simple disgust as the precious fabric of this ancient man's suit was eaten away, carelessly worn without the slightest bit of effort to repair...Iris felt disgust. Not all fabric was created equal, but not all fabric was made into suits and those that were had always been of a higher caliber; to treat this suit with such lack of care was insulting to the prideful Seamstress. Yet she said nothing as he groaned to her in beckoning and she followed, not sheerly out of stupidity, but out of understanding that he would unfortunately be her leader through the maze-like hallways.
They walked in silence with the only break being the shuffle of his feet and the soft, precise click of her heels along the floors . Iris, consumed in thought, ignored all the paintings at her sides for they meant so very little to her. What kind of a person had hallways this long anyways? It was a waste of space...and it was going on forever. Halfway through the seemingly endless, shuffling pace she was following, Iris broke from her thoughts to take in her surroundings and what she saw in place of regality was tasteless, gorey art. Immediately, her eyes narrowed and she set her piercing gaze into the old man's back; the aura that suddenly hit her as she took time away from her thoughts was simple enough for Iris to figure out. She had been tricked, easily at that, and it made her seethe silently underneath her skin; cursing her one-track mind, Iris spent the rest of their heavy and quiet walk by opening the small clutch purse at her side and removing the misfit Kaspa pouch from the depths. The old man didn't seem like he had any purpose besides escorting her and she especially confirmed it with how he didn't turn around to stop her in the slightest as she tied the woven bands around her waist. There was no turning back from here, she would get easily lost even with her sense of precision; these hallways didn't obey geometry like they should and the darkness felt as if it was physically a presence in its own, Iris had to see her foolish choices through and THEN she'd come out and work one hundred times harder on her designs to surpass the silly suit that had infatuated her into this lion's pit of choices.
Stepping into the room as the geezer opened the door's, Iris held her left hand tightly onto her hip, her remaining hand stood at her hip that hitched to the side as she pressed her weight into it; her gloved fingers danced faintly at the open mouth of her ugly pouch and only the strongest of vision could notice the thin glints of thread that she precariously twisted around her digits. Standing proud as she had taught herself to do, unmoving and uncaring, Iris spoke clear to the individuals within the room. "Well, I don't take it you're the tailor I'm looking for. What a shame." Strangely enough, this could have been the safest place for Iris to be as chaos began to slowly break back within the gathering of the dining room.
Fumi seemed a little shaken as the strange and thin woman appeared angrily within the bathroom, catching her in the act of stealing soaps for Christ's sake...but it seemed the woman wasn't interested in Fumi and she muffled a sigh of relief. She had to pull herself and her sticky fingers together here! One job, she had ONE job to do for once! So setting the single duckling soap bar back in its container, Fumi silently cleared her throat and tugged at the small bow around her neck, tightening it slightly and giving off the laughable appearance of preening herself in the mirror while the angry woman washed her burnt hand. Wait, burnt hand? Too curious for her own good, Fumi's snoopy gaze kept looking over to the charred flesh and she couldn't help but desire to ask what had happened, but the chances of relaying that successfully were VERY low...Setting that thought aside, Fumi prepped herself mentally to prepare to mingle among that massive crowd once again, but her crimson gaze set on the single duckling left and she nonchalantly passed her fingers over it while making her way slowly behind the woman, leaving nothingness in the basket and the singular snap of her hair band that caused the puffy mass to billow around her.
Lamenting the solemn loss of a hairband that reached the breaking point, Fumi had her hand on the bathroom door handle when the scream echoed through the hallways and she immediately snapped her hand back, a look of bewilderment on her face. Instinctively, she turned around to the only other person in the bathroom with her, looking confused as she pointed at the door, as if saying "What's going on out there?" Eri sat slightly taken aback as the gentleman pointed his glass towards her like it was a weapon. She'd met many men like him in her lifetime and travels, someone who was always on guard instinctual, always ready to kill; those types of individuals made a cold chill run down her spine. Silent as he placed his glass down and walked away, Eri felt her tense body relax just the faintest bit and she pressed her fingers gently against her temples at the faint throbbing inside of her skull. This...feeling, it wasn't going away, it had never been this powerful before. It was as if instead of one person in trouble, multiple in the same vicinity were and it was beginning to make her feel ill. She just couldn't place her finger on it and staying at the bar whose area was growing more and more clustered, Eri began to feel genuinely claustrophobic for the first time in decades. Was it possible that everyone at this party was in danger? "Eri, what's going on, you're looking pale." Hebi's hissing voice seemed genuinely concerned and she just gave a dismissive shake of her head, making her way to the tranquil area that the man she'd unknowingly had watching for her aid had made his way to; the bartender who had been more than happy to get her drink looked rather saddened that she'd left before even tasting it. The slight lack of people made her more relieved, but the feeling wouldn't disperse. This level of an omen was beyond mild inconvenience, this was...tragedy.
Leaning into the wall, working on a wall of mental fortitude to stop herself from causing any accidental omens herself, Eri found it difficult to listen to the Count's speech. She gathered his feelings and his thoughts, but distracted and head beginning to turn from throbbing to pounding, she covered her mouth lightly with her hand as her stomach twisted. "What's going on...", she murmured quietly to herself. Without warning, a pang of dread held heavy in her chest and she immediately gathered that something awful had already happened, she'd felt this way through plenty of wars in the human world; the banshee's misunderstood love was a horrible affliction of attraction, but instead of being bound to one family, Eri found herself bound to humanity bit by bit. Dropping her hand, the worried woman looked from head to head in the crowd, nothing seemed out of place and too many people were moving, she'd just been ready to begin walking herself when the final wave of warning hit her, nearly bringing her to her shaky knees.
"Chaos." She heard the word mentioned and she felt it in her very being as the scream rung out through the dining room.
The moment the scream rang through the air, Melea had a glowing green knife in her unburnt hand. Why did she ever go to parties? How was she convinced this was a good idea? Terenty stood between her and the door, massive body a wall. Melea turned back to Fumi with a sardonic grin. "Sorry. Trouble follows me." She didn't know if this was a real problem or had anything to do with her, but it was a good bet. Martha stumbled through the crowds at the party, staring eyes seeing nothing. Only a few flecks of blood brightened her pale hands, the rest of her still clean. Even so, she felt like she needed to scrub until her skin was all scraped away. She found herself at the buffet table, staring down at food that looked more expensive than everything she owned. Her stomach twisted in knots at the idea of touching it. It didn't matter that it was growling; she wanted to kick the table over.
The sudden rising of bile in her throat came too quickly to back away, and she lost her stomach's contents right on the table. She gurgled and fell to her knees, vomiting again. She wanted nothing more than to leave the watching eyes of the crowd. She could only think they knew what she had done. But right now, her legs didn't want to move, so she just stared at what came from her stomach with watery eyes. The room Iris stepped into was as impeccable as any other in the home of the Count. A lush couch stretched along a subtly painted wall, all purple with gold trim. Under a portrait of beautifully painted warfare were two young girls. One was a little plump thing with feathery hair blue as the sky tied behind her head. She was clad in a vibrantly blue dress with fish and whale shapes stitched into it, so close to the main fabric that they vanished and reappeared depending on your look at them. She dipped a Captain Marvel comic to look at Iris, a little plate covered in the rich food of the party besides her.
Solemn by the window was a pale Asian woman, basking in the afternoon sun in a black dress that covered her from her chin to her ankles. Lacking the subtle patterns of the small girl's dress, it instead had an implied militarism, with two silver lines making the impression of a sash diagonally down her sash, silver star shapes decorating this portion of her chest. She looked away from the gorgeous garden below with black pools of sorrow.
Lastly, another small girl lounged across the couch from the fat one. She had a look of boredom and spite greater than even a cat. She wore a modest purple dress, soft and velvety. It lacked any extensive decoration besides a scarf around her neck. It seemed normal until she sat up to glare at Iris. It rippled with her movements like a living thing, tied to her sleeves by a series of strings so tiny it would take close inspection to notice them. The movement only made the spots all up and down the scarf like staring eyes more unsettling as some seemed to blink and roll. It became obvious in this single movement that it was she who was in charge and also the tailor of the Count's suit.
"Who are you looking for? Are you..." She sized up the pink haired seamstress and bristled. This woman had just walked in and was already pushing all her buttons. That outfit was glorious. Marika glared at it in jealousy and her blood pressure skyrocketed when she saw that hair. Was this the present the Count talked about? There was nothing gift worthy about this woman. She wasn't worth the cloth she wore.
-WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING?!- Goemon shouted, completely surprised, as he pointed towards the gathering of the guests, the one around Clown Face. Masaoki and Pitch turned around to look in the direction he was pointing. –Yeah! A chance for a fight!- The young boxer took her bowtie off with a single yank and started rolling up her sleeves, ready to rumble, but before she could advance her teacher, Masaoki Takeda, placed his calloused hand over her shoulder and shook his head. –I don’t think we should do that Pitch, not until we find out more.- The Seasoned Spirit Boxer turned to Goemon. –Find out what happened.- The Karate Star moved towards the danger to investigate.
Masaoki then looked directly at Jose. –And you, Hernandez, right?- He waited for confirmation. –You can feel the earth under our feet, right? Can you investigate if there is something wrong around us?- The laid back surfer dude demeanor he had been displaying seemed to be just a ruse to hide a very keen mind, as the Kamaitachi Boxer kept a cool head while everyone was in panic. –Pitch you stay close to me and don’t do anything until I say so.- The usually rebellious youngster nodded, more surprised by Masaoki’s tone than any other event happening at the moment.
-WHAT THE *&%& IS HAPPENING *%%*&%*? HOLY *%&*!- Any semblance of manners and education got thrown out of the window by Yuki, who in a reflex grasped the dampener the JHWAB Intelligence Branch made for her. She almost tore it off with a single yank, but at the last second she contained her instincts. She might save herself with her powers but the overall situation could get much, much worse. She felt so unsafe.
Falken well honed survival instincts pushed him to summon a weapon from his rented hyper-space Arsenal. The Kazuraba Triumphant Shotgun, a personal favorite, was already on his hands as he charged towards the source of the commotion. Displaying enviable agility jumping over tables carrying his weapon like a proper soldier. –GET OUT THE WAY YOU BUNCH OF BLOODY AMATEURS! I’M DEALING WITH THIS MYSELF!- He roared to any member of security who he passed towards the dead corpse of Clown Face. If he could show off in front of dozens of potential customers he would do it as loudly as possible.
Post by Colt of Personality on Jun 24, 2016 0:47:52 GMT
Murder Mystery Mansion! The Players Move Along the Board!
The woman’s scream had jolted many of the Gala’s attendees from the Count speech including Crow Cementerio and Toni Sociere. The two bounty hunters look at one another quickly before Crow’s noticed the many bodies moving around the room trying to get a better view of the situation. The cowboy turned and went to follow shoot before he felt Toni’s hand grasps his wrist. “Crow we don’t need to get involved in this one? There are plenty of other organizations represented here who could handle it.” Despite his back being to her the Cat Eye Witch could make out a slight smirk forming on his face. “True we could sit back and let the others take care of this. But sometimes Justice is something that must be swift like lightning. Besides are we really going to let Marten, Drumstrang, and especially that conniving bastard Degraiz show us?” A small smile formed on Toni’s lips while her grip loosen. “No we certainly can’t have that. What do you want me to do? How can I help?” She didn’t need to see to know Crow’s smirk grew a bit, “I’m going to see what is happening my Lightning NE and Gunslinger eyes may notice something up close or lying around. You say back and take notice of the crowd any acting abnormally. Your skills with illusions, sleight of hand, and your Natural Energy sense that allows you to detect inaccuracies would be useful that way.” Toni nodded silently just before she went to slip into the crowd of people, Crow stopped her in a similar way that she did to him. The Last Gunslinger turned to her and flash a reassuring smile with bright cobalt blue eyes, “And Toni most importantly watch my back in case something happens. I’m counting on you.” The illusionist’s eyes lit up with hearts and smiled “Of course Crow I’ll protect you from behind. I won’t allow harm to befall my love.”
Crow began to move towards the scene of the murder while Toni moved away towards the back, meanwhile Marten Kingguards and Roman Drumstrang were already moving and nudging their way towards the front of the scene. With Drumstrang in full guard mode shielding Marten subtly as he moved around, Marten voice bellowed out to the attendees. “Nobody panic now! Everyone remain calm! I’m Marten Kingguards of the Bounty Hunter Association: Artemis Branch! Please let professionals handle the situation.” Crow swiftly moved up behind Marten and had his BHA lincese out similar to the other two and both hands in the air. “I’m Crow Cementerio! Also with the Artemis Branch. I like to provide any assistance in this manner.” Marten and Roman turned with a glare towards the Gunslinger with Marten lowering his voice “What the hell are you doing Cementerio? I outrank you I will handle this! Go back and drink your damn alcohol!” Crow just threw Marten a smirked as he muttered back “What does it look like I am doing sir? I am providing my assistance as a trained bounty hunter with the Association in this matter so that we can display a proper united front. It’s about keeping up appearances right?” Damn you Cementerio I will have…My lord” “By the gods.” “F*ck” The three bounty hunters now noticed the bloody body of Clown Face. The cowboy noticed Degraiz not to far from him and growled just loud enough for the mercenary to hear him. “Jesus F*ck Degraiz! Can you go one night without killing someone! Only your dumbass would be smart enough to leave the body out in the open!”
A few moments before this Kusuri was burning up her flash was flush and red, the Mahoseki Warrior could melt the ice caps as the gentleman who had saved her from her panic attack leaned in closer and closer. She didn’t know what to do she had literal to no experiences with boys as her any crush with her teach Dr. Weston, the Medical Prodigy. She could feel her heart beating furiously in her chest as the eyes of the gentleman drew her in more and more. She didn’t realize she two was leaning in a bit her neck slightly tilted. However unbeknownst to the two who may be too focused on each other as the Count’s speech drew to a climax the Ruby Heart Necklace glowed slightly brighter and brighter. Finally just as the man was about to touch her chin and Clown’s Face body was discovered the necklace glowed brightly for a mere moment creating a pink glow that shimmered over Kusuri for this briefest of moment. If the savior noticed this he may pull his hand away from Kusuri just in time before the instinctually magic the Magic Gem provided because of the malicious violent act of Clown’s Face body wouldn’t very lightly burn his fingers. However the glow faded just as quickly as it came once Kusuri turned her head towards the inside towards the scream. “What was that? I think something happened inside!” Suddenly the school girl bounty hunter Yuki Toragari appeared in the door frame staring at the two. “I’m sorry to interrupt but I think you two should come inside. Something happen I think there was a murder.” The Magic Gem Girl eyes widen in shock as she clenched the heart shaped gem around her neck. How she dearly wished that Shinshi was here. She turned towards her savior. “We need to go. I have medical training, I’m a nurse I may be able to help.”
Jose nods his head, and begins to feel the earth in search of any clues of what is going on. As he looks under the ground, he looks towards his master as he runs off to investigate the situation. "Damn it." he said underneath his breath. This event was suppose to be a good opportunity to meet other notable people and expand his personal network. He would need connections with important individuals if he is ever going to get the support necessary to go after the worse criminals on this earth. Still, right now the most important thing is to protect of the lives here and make sure to put a stop to whoever is behind the chaos.
Smith remains calm during the sudden commotion. He gently places his drink on the counter and proceeds slowly towards the source of the chaos. As he moves closer and closer, he skillfully maneuvers around the remaining guest. His footwork almost seems unnatural as he is able to slip between the most narrow spaces separating the countless bodies of guests in his path. He makes sure to keep on eye out for any VIPs as he progress forward as well. And as he walks, he begins to ensure a few mental commands to his vehicle outside as he prepares for the worse case scenario.
Even the highly trained Even the highly trained tower of muscles the Gala had as security guards were just mundane humans. And no mundane human could stop the high tech killing machine that was Falken. The mercenary stormed through the guards, throwing them to the ground as if they were bowling pins, and was the first to arrive to the crime scene. Behind him, the rest of the guests who were brave enough to enter the room followed. Goemon, Marten, Roman, Crow, Toni and Smith passed right by the guards. Not looking forward to another close encounter with any Hidden World powers, the dazed guards wisely let them through and closed lines outside the room.
A florid chandelier hanged from the tall ceiling, with dozens of small lights shinning on its legs, illuminated the elegant room and made the drops of blood that stained the immaculate walls stand out like tenebrous rubies. Mahogany cupboards and commodes, holding a battalion of glasses and various extravagant decoration behind crystals, adorned the walls. In the center of the room, three short armchairs surrounded a glass coffee table and had a perfect view to the beautiful French countryside through a tall window. It would have been just another one of the mansion’s luxurious rooms, if it wasn’t for Mcgregor’s body.
The stocky ex-boxer laid face up on floor, on a puddle of blood and shattered glass. His lifeless eyes were rolled up his skull, leaving only two milky and bloodshot spheres. His mouth was opened in a terrifying and silent scream and the swollen piece of meat his tongue was escaped hanged out, as if it was a grotesque worm. The crimson wound that opened his thick neck from ear to ear in a brilliant smile was rough and irregular like a piece of thorn leather, there were even thin threads of skin crossing over the wound. It wasn’t the clean wound a sword or a knife would provoke. Fresh blood poured from the cut, dripping into the growing pull beneath the body. The scarlet drops splashed on the sharp edge of a large and splintered piece of glass, next to Mcgregor’s head, which stood out from the rest of the broken pieces. The metallic stench of the blood was nauseating and a trained sense of smell could possibly detect the high concentration of alcohol on the man’s veins. Aside from the destroyed crystal vase, there wasn’t any obvious sign of a struggle.
Marten reacted fast. As soon as Crow lashed angrily at Falken, the Great General made a silent signal to his bodyguard. Roman nodded as he approached the raging Gunslinger’s back and, with cold and precise hit to the neck, Crow fell down like a ragdoll. “Your sense of justice didn’t help you know” Roman whispered with malice “Uh, Cementerio?” His rugged cowboy hat escaped his head and rolled to Toni’s feet. The illusionist had watched the whole scene in mute shocked and was frozen in place.
Seemingly impervious to the knocked out Cementerio and his trembling girlfriend, Marten glared at Falken “Put your gun down, Degiraz” He condemned coldly “or we’ll do it for you” Toni stomped towards the BHA general, eyes sparkling with energy. She was suddenly interrupted when the line of guards outside opened and the Count appeared on the threshold of the room, followed by Bertuccio and Hayde. There wasn’t a trace of a smile on the Frenchman’s face as his cold eyes ran through the scene. “What is the meaning of… Dear Lord!” he gasped as Haydee stifled a terrified scream with her hand. But the most affected one was Bertuccio. “Oh my God, James!” he exclaimed as he dashed through the room, glass cracking under his feet. With his face crisped by pain, Bertuccio kneeled beside the corpse, unable to believe what he was seeing. Overwhelmed by a wave of impotence, his muscular shoulders dropped and he closed Mcgregor’s lifeless eyes.
The Count recovered from the shock and whispered some orders to a pair of guards behind him. One of them gently grabbed trembling Haydee, who had turned as white as snow, and guided away from the scene. The other one picked up Crow offhandedly over his shoulder and carried him out the room through one of the side doors. Toni pierced Marten and Roman with his sparkling eyes, grabbed the cowboy hat and followed the guard out.
As his employees followed his orders, the Count turned to the nervous crowd behind him. The guests were restless. Only a handful of them had seen Mcgregor’s corpse, some of them for just a mere second before the guards obstructed the door, and more than just a few versions of what happened ran wildly among the people. And as it usually happens with such rumors, they only grew wilder and more disturbing each time they were passed on. The only true witness, the woman who found the body first, had fainted after that sudden shock and was being helped by some good Samaritans. The hall was boiling with fear and curiousness. It only took the Count a simple clearing of his throat to get the public attention. “Please remain calm, mes amis” he said. His soothing and melodic voice, smooth as silk, had an almost instant effect on his public “There is nothing to be afraid off” With those words, he entered the room and closed the door behind him. The chattering of the Gala slowly faded behind him.
After the door closed, the Count pulled a cream handkerchief from the front pocket of his jacket and covered his nose to stop the sickening smell of blood. There was no hint of his calm and charming demeanor, now that all the eyes of the party weren’t fixed on him. The elegant Frenchman seemed older and extremely tired, as if he was supporting the weight of the world on his back, and a troubled expression obscured his beautiful features. Leaning against the door and looking at everyone in the room, the Count was the embodiment of a sorrow. “I…” his voice was a perfect reflection of his mood and he hesitated. For the first time on the evening, the eloquent Count seemed to be speechless. “I should have known…” he confessed, fixing his eyes on Mcgregor, and the shook his head “No… deep down in my heart I already knew, but I didn’t want to believe it could happen. To think that such a terrible thing happened in my own house, during an event I hosted to help the Hidden World grow together is… is…” the Count struggled to find the words and sighed, running his hands through his face. He looked up to the group gathered on the room, but it was Bertuccio who spoke first. “Who…” his voice cracked, filled with pain, as he threw his sunglasses away and glared at everybody in the room “Who did this?” He stood and fixed his enraged eyes on Falken, the only one who was armed “Did you kill him?” Bertuccio exclaimed suddenly “Did you kill my friend?! You fucker!” The Count’s butler took a menacing step towards the infamous mercenary under his master’s eyes, who was completely shocked by sudden outburst of his polite servant.
Valerie leaned away from the monitor and allowed herself to enjoy a few moments of peace. She walked away from the desk, leaving the seat to one of her assistants. Absently, she straightened her tight black dress and made a few annotations on a notepad, ticking some boxes here and there and writing on the edges of the page with a terrifyingly straight handwriting. She turned a page and draw a square to start one of her few hobbies. The Ice Queen had found a way to stop going insane by the stress on a variation of the Japanese Sudoku she had created herself. Starting only with an empty square, the blonde Swedish woman started to fill the blanks on her mind, fighting against her own memory, until all the cells had the right numbers. Valerie’s was a mundane, but her mind was far from that description. What would seem mind wrecking to other people, was a mere relaxation exercise for her.
She was half way done when one of her assistants let out a nervous cough “Ehm… Excuse me, Ma’am” stuttered a man with thick glasses that was sitting in front of one of the computers. Valerie fixed is eyes on him and only a slight frown between her stainless eyebrows was enough to make the man shiver. With shaky finger, he pointed at the monitor. “You might want to see this” With the same cold professionalism that gave her that nickname, the Ice Queen culled the idea of a break and the mental Sudoku from her mind. Her high heels clacked as she made her way to her assistant.
The monitor showed the feedback from one of the main hall’s cameras. A figure was stumbling through the crowd, her spiked hair and peculiar look stood out like a rose on snow to Valerie’s eyes. Following Martha as she pushed through the guests, an exasperated sigh escaped her ruby lips. “So unprofessional…” she muttered. It only took a second for her to choose what path to take. The Count and Bertuccio were in the room with Mcgregor’s corpse, Haydee was too delicate to handle this issue and the common guards that swarmed the party weren’t trustworthy enough. All that remained was… “Baptistin” Valerie said, one of her polished nails pressing her earpiece “We have a problem”.
Barely a minute after, Baptistin sneaked inside the main hall. The French thief was almost soaked and a damp smell followed him around. He was halfway through the claustrophobic secret passage that led to the woman’s bathroom where Melea and Fumi were, making his way through steam pipes, when the Ice Bitch contacted him. Getting out of there as quickly as he could hadn’t been easy.
He stretched his neck over the crowd, looking for Martha as he tried to fix his pompadour with little success. When she finally appeared on his sight, about to collapse on a table, Baptistin dashed towards her as fast as the cramped hall allowed him. On his way he almost bumped into Melea again as she wielded her knife, but he evaded her with a quick and almost comical spin. “Sorry Sticks!” he apologized over his shoulder. Only a fat lady stood between him and his destination and a quick shove was all he needed get to Martha.
“Holy shit…” He muttered, when the smell of barf got to his nose. “All right, doll. You’re coming with me” Swiftly, the Count’s servant kneeled at Martha’s side and helped her get up. He then turned to the surrounding guests, who were watching with a mix of disgust and curiosity. “It was the oysters I think, I’d get away from the If I were you” he commented, a soothing and humorous smile on his lips, and his tone barely revealed any of the boiling nervousness inside of him. The fat lady he had pushed stared in horror as she held an oyster on right at her open mouth. The woman’s face seemed to swap between all the colors of the rainbow before staying in a sickening pink as she put her hand over her mouth and ran to the bathroom.
With a quick yank, Baptistin put Martha and his side and carried through the hall towards one of the doors. “I got the gal” he whispered into his earpiece. Although he seemed calm and friendly to the guests around him, Martha could probably hear him cursing under his breath and the firm, violent grasp of his skillful hand on her wrist.
It took them a few moments to press through the crowd, but they finally reached the end of the hall. Baptistin made a silent gesture to the guards, opened the door and shoved Martha inside the dark corridor. He then entered himself and hastily closed the door behind him. “What the fuck was that?” he exploded, turning around to face the Doll “I thought we were working with fucking pros and you end up throwing up with just some blood, for Fuck’s…” the words seemed to slip out of Baptistin’s mouth when he saw Martha’s, brightened by the soft moonlight that poured from the window. The Frenchman blinked a couple of times, surprised, as if it was the first time he saw the Doll, with tear on her disturbed eyes and blood on her small hands. His frown softened just a little and he clicked his tongue, before looking away. “Well, It doesn’t matter now, I guess” he muttered and with a calculated move, he took his jacket off and throw it carelessly over Martha’s shoulder. Now dressed in just a wrinkled shirt and black vest, Baptistin ran his hand through his wet hair and also threw a handkerchief at the Doll. “Clean yourself up, you stink” he ordered.
If Jose was connection to earth was strong and sensitive enough, the earth shaper would be able to feel the nervous steps of the Gala’s guests and Baptistin and Martha’s anxious and revealing ones as they walked into the hallway. Around the opened halls, the mansion spread far and wide. Row after row of empty and lifeless corridors and rooms, crossed by a maze of secret passages, extended around them. And down, buried deep beneath the mansion was something enormous, massive… a cave?
Valerie didn’t allow herself to enjoy the pleasure of a relieved sighed after that issue was resolved. She simply wrote a few words on her notepad, a frown breaking her beautiful expression. “M.A and associates: Not reliable for blood jobs” read the note. After a moment, Valerie underlined the sentence twice with a thick line. Even that was an empty gesture. That particular piece of information was archived on her organized mind with haste before the words appeared on the paper. The Ice Queen loathed such mistakes… and wasn’t willing to make the same one twice.
The attractive secretary took a quick peek at the watch and evaluated the scene that devolved on the screens. “Hm… it’s not enough yet. It needs more emotion” she thought for herself. The solution was a simple one, but Valerie wasn’t keen of it. Although his abilities were certainly useful, his volatile temperament and unconventional reactions made him a dangerously liability rather than an asset. However, the Count seemed to trust that man’s abilities. Valerie would have to do the same.
She brought her fingers to her earpiece and changed the frequency with expertise. “The room in the other side of the hall. You know what you have to do” she informed coldly, but her words were met by silence. Yet, Valerie could almost hear the person at the other side pouting. A high pitched and disheartened whisper crawled through the ear piece and annoyed Valerie to her very core. “…You promised you would say it, you big meanie…” The Ice Queen couldn’t stop herself from rolling her eyes. She had to fight against her clenched teeth before muttering, reluctantly, the words that special guest had requested.
“It’s show time”
Working with men and children was always inefficient. Valerie could only hope that someone who was both would be the exception to the rule.
On the inner balcony of the second floor, there was a white chair. Although describing it as white was an exaggeration. The expensive and immaculate fabric was buried beneath a thick layer of filth, orange snack dust and trash. And comfortably leaning in the filth was a man dressed in a tight and brilliant white and pink suit, similar to the ones used by a master of ceremonies, a top hat of the same color and crocodile shoes. His mouth was frozen in a wide and unnatural grin, from ear to ear, which seemed to be stretched by invisible hooks. To complete his dantesque appearance, enormous purple-ish staples pierced through the skin around his eyes, closing them shut, making him resemble a tortured fox.
Even after receiving Valerie’s orders, the disturbed Anthony Berlingot did not move. He kept reaching inside a crumpled bag of gummy bears and eating one at a time, sliding the candy through his teeth and chewing it loudly. As he swallowed bear after bear, a dissonant giggle slowly escaped his throat, sharp like the blade of a saw screeching against steel, and his slim body started to convulse with contained laughter. “Shishishishishi” he laughed, his smile growing wider “My turn, my turn, my turn!” His joyful expression went sour when his hand reached inside the bag and found nothing. “Ow… I’m all out…” he frowned like a small child and threw the empty bag over his shoulder with disdain. The bag cracked as it fell on top of the pile of candy wrapping behind the couch.
Anthony lifted his legs high on the air and jumped to his feet. His body flowed abnormally, as if he was made of water or jelly. He made his way towards the balcony’s railing with long and flamboyant steps, grabbing a wooden cane that rested on the side of the couch on his way. Spinning the cane wildly on his hands, the freakish candy man observed the Gala from above, hidden by the bright lights. His eyes were closed shut, but Anthony didn’t need them.
Unlike the mundane Valerie, Anthony was gifted. Since his birth, when his eyes were closed, his mind could perceive the essence and emotions of other humans. Before him, the Gala’s guests shone like flames on a world of shadows. Each individual was his own unique and colorful fire, their silhouette barely visible inside of it. At that moment, the main hall was painted in the beautiful and vibrant yellow of fear. There were a few others scattered around them: The sick green of a nauseous woman, the blank gray of the cool headed and even a few rabid pinks on the distance, hidden inside the hedge maze in the garden. Anthony’s childish mind began to drift apart, thrilled by the amount of opportunities for mischief that sprouted around him.
Just as a sinister giggle escaped his lips, he detected something. In the room where Mgregor laid an enormous oppressive presence appeared, a presence Anthony knew too well. It was the same mind that had lurked around a young’s boy life, always out of sight but never out of mind, that had waited for the perfect moment to graze the boy’s mind and twisted beyond repair. His mind.
Unwillingly, Anthony fixed his blind gaze on the room where Mcgregor’s body rested. On the door, a purple flame suddenly ignited and the silhouette of Count’s back was delineated on the air. Relentlessly, the figure’s head started to turn around. A violent chill went Anthony’s back, as his mind screamed in a futile attempt to look away and the man child was caught by powerful shivers. Unable to move, the Candy Man was forced to watch in horror as a glimmering violet eye glared at him over the figure’s shoulder. A pair of bright lines bled out of the edges of the eye and spiraled forming two more eyes, one on top and the other one below. With a roar, a pillar of dark amethyst erupted and Anthony fell to his knees. “I’M SORRY! I’M SORRY! I’M SORRY” he cried beneath his breathe, pressing his hands against the sides of his head. With his eyes closed shut, the troubled man-child couldn’t avoid the sight of that terrifying pillar and had to watch in awe as a small fragment of purple light, not larger than a pinhead, appeared on every other person on the mansion, creating an intricate web around the dark presence. “DON’T PUT ME IN THE DARK AGAIN!” he whispered, desperately “I’LL DO IT! J-J-JUST STOP! PLEASE!”
Seemingly satisfied, the silhouette turned around and disappeared. Trembling in the fetal position, tears running down his eyes, Anthony had to make a super human effort to stand back again and focus on the task at hand. His senses turned towards the room and he immediately noticed Bertuccio’s emotions, the black and red of grief and loss. With quivering fingers, Anthony wielded his cane and prepared the other part of his gift. Not only could he sense emotions… he could also manipulate them. Pointing the end of the cane at Bertuccio, he traced a line towards Goemon and carried the Count Butler’s feeling towards the Karate Star, filling with the same violent anger. With another slash of his cane, he targeted Marten and pressed on his essence with another emotion. Then, he fell on top of the railing and slid to the floor, grasping his legs close to his chest in despair and sobbing uncontrollably.
Inside the room, the corpulent leader of the Artemis Branch was caught in a startling wave of nervousness and stress. He started to sweat and his sight was drawn to Mcgregor’s dead body and an overwhelming force made him fix his eyes on the ex-boxer’s hand that, clenched on a fist, seemed to hold something inside.
“The tailor, as I just said. That’s what I’m looking for.” Iris was brisk and clipped to speak, showing her irritation was just as high as the other woman’s. Iris was no idiot, she could feel the danger this room posed from a mile away and no amount of justifying would make up how creepy the weird guy that led her here was; not to mention, the paintings were ridiculous. Iris felt like she’d walked down a cheap haunted house tour and was definitely going to want her money back.
Despite her brisk tone, and overall aloofness towards the situation at hand, Iris was peeking around at something in particular within the room. The clothes. She definitely couldn’t fail the glimmer of admiration in her eyes as she looked to each of their dresses individually; the respect she felt for their personal differences in both pattern, lack of, and stitching was something she begrudgingly felt...but she didn’t like that shitty look on the one girl’s face, the one who looked at her like she was sizing her up. In return, Iris only looked more aloof than usual; in her experiences in the industry, nothing set these types off more than acting like they were simply nothing, as most of them were; their desires to only be famous and please the crowd without conveying feeling of personality into any of their work...there was nothing she hated more.
“I assume they also made the clothes you’re wearing, there’s something there that I don’t get to see very often. Besides being in my work.” Iris uncrossed her arms and situated her weight into her hip, on leg slightly held further than the other while she placed her hand against the barest hint of skin of her hip from the low hanging front. However, her free hand slid deftly against the ugly pouch on her hip and she leaned her exposed back against the front of the door, the sound of the zipper faint, but present. Fumi, behind both Melea and her rather intimidating bodyguard, had pressed her way against the door of one of the stalls with her hands behind her. Stuck within her hair, Fumi untangled one hand free and only one, giving a cheesy smirk and a thumbs up in answer to Melea’s comment. Oh boy, did Fumi understand trouble following tight at one’s ankles.
While she did this, her free hand had disappeared from the elbow down, the thin and wafty smoke trickling along the floors, ceilings, and walls. She wanted a way out of here that WASN’T the disgusting drains...she hated drains and the idea of losing her breath midway through the pipes...Shuddering faintly, the small, puffy haired girl’s eyebrows rose slightly as her investigation of the once, seemingly-solid bathroom, gave way to something...well, interesting.
Her arm replaced and whistling lightly to herself, the small girl entered the particular stall and after struggling, a balancing act that’d make a tightrope walker impressed...despite it being on a toilet and much less graceful, Fumi pressed her palms into the small panel on the ceiling and felt around until she felt something give. Her whistle stopped and she instead focused, her tongue slightly outside of her mouth as she worked at the strange panel until finally, it slid! Opening into darkness that felt slightly heated and humid, Fumi merely gave a smirk that spoke volumes of how much no good she was up to. Bingo!
Regardless of if Melea and her burly bodyguard saw her or not, Fumi, with a frightening amount of speed and precision, gripped to either side of her open stall. Pushing her weight into her arms, Fumi exhaled briskly and her feet left the edge of the toilet, her body flipped up for a moment and turned around almost as if she were performing a gymnastics routine. Thrusting her legs through the hole, the small girl turned her body so she was now looking downwards into the stall...then it made her stick her tongue out in disgust as she finally realized what this hidey hole was. It was too perfectly placed to just be a duct and it was the only door she’d felt...this thing was here purposely. Gross… Quickly rebounding from her distraction, Fumi began whistling quietly again as she began to skulk her way down the hallway, completely leaving the opening..well, open. Time to see what this Count fellow was hiding in his prestigious estate and see if any of it tickled her fancy. None of this was good at all! Everyone was so frightened and the bad feelings just kept on coming! Eri was feeling dread deep in her stomach as the irritable tingling in the back of her neck just kept coming in, wave after wave. If whatever was causing such horror over there wasn’t the epitome of bad here...then what was it?! The beautiful banshee, full of fretting, seemed like she was genuinely torn! Deeply, she wanted to move and try to assist someone, anyone...but it seemed like in this crowd, she’d have about as much luck as those bodyguards who got thrown away like paper weights when they tried to intervene with the rather...rambunctious man.
Eri rubbed at the back of her bare neck, feeling the cold of her rings ever-more present than before. She had to do...well..something! Seeing as how some part of the crowd was at a bit more ease, Eri decided that perhaps she could help add to the calming of the mass. A mob of terrified people had NEVER led to anything good.. “Everyone! It-” Reprimanding herself childishly in her head as she realized she’d gone back to Japanese out of sheer habit, she cleared her throat and spoke again, this time choosing English. “Everyone! Please, please calm!” Similar to the Count’s ability, though not as potent, Eri’s voice was gentle and coaxing, like a mother trying to calm a distraught child. She couldn't do much, but at least for now, she could try and ease a little of the burden the host was having, as well as try and tame the ever growing fear of the crowd.
"I'm the tailor you're talking about you stupid bitch!" Marika yelled, jumping off the couch. She strode towards Iris only to be caught by Yuu before reaching her. "Marika, calm down. Clearly this is a fellow seamstress. Don't you want to talk to her?" She said in a soothing voice, like that you'd use with a cranky toddler. "NO! I want to stab her! Lemmie do it!" Marika screamed, squirming in Yuu's grasp. "I would run." Yuu said sadly as Marika escaped her grasp and fell to the ground, bangs twitching unnaturally. Even shellshocked as she was, Martha wasn't letting herself be manhandled. She yanked her arm away from Baptistin. "Don't touch me." She growled, following anyway. She knew he was with the Count, and anywhere he was going at least wasn't here. She dropped his jacket but gladly accepted the handkerchief. Wiping the puke off of her lips made the feeling she was going to do it again somewhat subside. "Th-thanks." She managed to gurgle. At least there weren't people here. Melea groaned when the screams started coming through. What did she do to deserve this? Her mind quickly pushed away thoughts of torture and dictatorial regime. That couldn't be it. "Terenty, I can handle my hand. Go see what the noise is all about." The massive Russian nodded and left the room, leaving Melea and Fumi alone. "Hmph. Who are you, child?" Melea asked Fumi with suspicion. There was something off about her emotions. Unreadable ones beneath her current worry.
-Bloody try and see what happens.- Falken’s reply to Marten was fast, out of pure instinct rather than any thought, but just as fast the Infamous Mercenary realized the situation and slowly lowered his weapon into a resting position. As he did he glanced at his tux pants noticing that his mad dash had made some cuts on the fabric. He muttered a curse knowing that he would have to pay for the whole thing now, not just the rental. Or maybe he would just kill the rental guy and forget about it, Falken always wanted to have his options opened and if he could take the path of least resistance he would take it. In this case resisting his own murderous impulses was too much of a drag.
His sensors were at full blast, checking every inch of the room trying to find any kind of evidence, but this search was interrupted by Bertuccio’s outburst. Falken looked at the Count’s butler, a mocking glare from top to bottom, before turning his face away and snorting. Bertuccio continued and Falken, looking down on the man coldly replied. -Unless there is a big sum of money in my bloody accounts with that fat fuck name, whoever he is, I’m going with no, I didn’t bloody kill him and trust me when I tell you that I’m a consummate professional, I would never do shit as sloppy as this.- The Infamous Mercenary scoffed at Bertuccio. -Whoever did this either is a total amateur or a bloody dumbfuck… I would be precise…-
The Infamous Mercenary finally added. -Killing a man is like a well played game of chess.- He gestured at the scene with a mocking smile. -This… This looks like a shitty game of Uno… or maybe chinese bloody chopsticks.- Clearly he wasn’t taking this seriously, or at least not as serious and personal as Bertuccio felt it was.
Goemon, who was part of the group that arrived, checked the scene, but he lacked any kind of skill or power to allow him to get any clues. He just saw mindless violence, something he hated. The Karate Star tried to feel for any ki traces, maybe the killer was a Hidden World Denizen. Still his focus was interrupted by Bertuccio’s and Falken’s argument. Meanwhile the other Spirit Boxers stood in their place, Masaoki keeping his hand firmly closed over Pitch’s shoulder, as she routinely tried to go and see what was happening.
Yuki started typing on her phone, preparing a message to the JHWAB Liaison who was the closest to her to pick her up. If shit went down she didn’t want to be in the mansion, she wanted to leave to avoid having to use her extremely dangerous and uncontrollable powers.
Jose ensures that the other guests are okay a bit before heading towards the room with the others. As he moves he spots Smith approaching at the same time as him. Without waiting for permission, the tech billionaire pulls a small device from his pocket. The object appears to be a flat circle, which he throws over the scene. The small device begins to levitate over the corpse as tiny and harmless lasers start to trace the outline of the body. Once it finish examining the corps, it begins to progress to the rest of the scene. One of the things he hopes his device can detect is the DNA of the murderer. If nothing else, he might get an idea of what exactly happen here with a quick and advance analysis.
Meanwhile, Jose could continue to feel the unrest from the guests' footsteps. Yet during this horrible incident, he couldn't help but be amazed by the true vastness of the mansion. It seem to go on forever, but what truly surprises him is the presence of what feels like an underground cave far below their feet. However, before he will share the intel he has gathered from his terra senses to his rest of the people in this room, he will wait to see what happens with the corpse before suggesting their next move. Also, he wanted some time to establish who he could and couldn't trust among this group. Remaining quiet, the earth shaker just watches the group as he starts his own analysis of each individual's character.