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Hidden

[PP-F3] Dusk to Dawn

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"Funny you should mention parasites as if you were one. The only thing I see Hidden is my own reflection." 

Hidden grew a little angry at this point. "Weren't you even listening? I've just been using you for my own personal gain without any thought for your feelings. There is no better way to describe a para-"

The lights in the room would dim and would grow even dimmer the more Raidou talked. Hidden's anger faded into confusion, her taking a step back to look at the room. 'Why does this feel like a cutscene to a videogame? Raidou is a player and not some event NPC right?' 

"What you see is necessary, a facade produced with the intention to inspire confidence to those who would follow behind me. The truth is I could not feel more isolated from my peers and I believe most have seen but a fragment of the mask chipping on an occasion or two. I would allow you to see what it is I am hiding..."

Raidou's eyes snapped open with a fierce red that emanated a rage. Alerted by the sudden heightened threat, Umbra revealed itself from her shadow, standing behind Hidden as it slowly began to absorb the darkness from the room to increase its strength. A oozing black liquid would begin to grow and cling onto Raidou, leaving Hidden with a face of disgust and confusion. "Wha-"

This liquid covered Raidou's entire right side of his body. Hidden stepped back, a moment of fear in her eyes and she tried to comprehend whatever it was she was witnessing. "And the fact I have already accepted that I will die as a martyr.Raidou's voice changed, twisting until it became more far more sinister then before. Raidou's face became covered in the dark ooze, jagged teeth forming. 

"I understand torment, to feel as though your emotions are ugly and to feel like a monster, what it is to wish to rip your enemies to pieces with your bare hands. All my failings are ever present in my head, and for this, I am a hypocrite for speaking perfection to others when I am far from what I aspire to be. If I do one simple thing with all this fury, I hope it breaks all the chains that shackle you and the rest down."

Hidden's fear faded and her expression became entirely blank for a moment. Looking to the ground she would reply. "That isn't anywhere near what I feel. I don't care to be perfect. I don't want to kill everyone without hesitation. I'm not a monster, I am a burden. All that I want... is to be wanted." Hidden's expression quickly became filled with anger. "YOU THINK YOU UNDERSTAND TORMENT? I'm literally hated by every goddamn player in this game. Everyone thinks i'm some monster that can't be trusted!"

Hidden took a step forward. Umbra moved forward, attaching itself and its additional power to her hand. "And now you want to sit there and say all you want to do is break me free of my chains? You say that you know you are going to die, fighting for some good reason?" Hidden shot Raidou a look filled with hate and rage, her purple eyes darkened as far as they could go. "I DON'T WANT SOMEONE TO HURT THEMSELVES TO HELP ME! WHY DO YOU THINK I LEFT SEY! WHY DO YOU THINK I RUN AROUND ALONE, AFRAID TO LET PEOPLE GET CLOSE?" Hidden's breathing became uneven.

"I don't want you to die... because you thought you could help me. I don't want that for anyone. I thought YOU at least could understand that. I thought you were different." Hidden burst forward at a speed the would blow over the papers and tables in the room, her dagger aimed at Raidou's heart. She slammed her weapon forward, a bright burning white light thrust full power at the body of the man in front of her.

A force met her own, grabbing hold of her dagger and not letting go. A shockwave from the inertia would destroy the little shop's interior, blowing everything over. As she looked up, she found the black oozed hand holding onto the weapon, having stopped it in its tracks. 'Tch' . Her eyes gazed up at Raidou, filled with a seething anger. 
 



160913 BD:2+4-3=3. Missed. 

 

Raidou | HP:1210/1210 | EN:118/118 | DMG:18 | MIT:99 | EVA:3 | ACC:3 | BH:60

[0] Hidden | 1100/1100 HP | 108/108 EN | 16 DMG | 79 MIT | 4 ACC | 2 EVA | 22 BH | 8 Holy | 108 Vamp. Off [Rested 1/2]

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The attached symbiote began to fall away like syrup, pouring all along the floor creating a blackened mass underneath the players in a puddle. The flare in Raidou's eyes fade back to the orange color they normally took, and on his face, a soft smile as her hand went limp as the creature released her wrist and the weapon in it. "That's all I needed to hear, as did you. You're not a monster, are you? and neither am I. You are no burden I hold no ill will toward you at all, so when you think of those hate you." spoken as he replaces his glasses as the calmed demeanor returns to his face. "Feel free to exclude me from the faces you see." he spoke as a flutter of papers scattered through the air from the sheer impact between them.

He would peer into her as if looking through her, "You may not understand, Hidden, but you are no burden. I may not understand your pain but I know of pain, how it is crippling, and makes one feel lost and powerless. I will not push your hand, I have made that mistake before. But I will be here, always waiting for you to ask. And if you are attempting to alter my fate, then you'd better not let me down. Don't put yourself at risk and force me to have to protect you, and perhaps I won't."

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The black ooze around Raidou's arm began to melt, dripping onto the floor in a dark puddle that was was upsetting to look at. Her weapon was released and as it was she dropped it. With a clatter, it would fall into the puddle of black ooze, but she would remain standing as if she were still thrusting the dagger. As Raidou smiled, her expression softened if only slightly. 

"That's all I needed to hear, as did you. You're not a monster, are you? and neither am I. You are no burden I hold no ill will toward you at all, so when you think of those hate you.... Feel free to exclude me from the faces you see."

Hidden stood up normally, her anger slowly fading, leaving almost as fast as it had came. She took a moment to look at the place she had singlehandedly destroyed. It was amazing that it didn't seem to phase him at all. A leaned down, lifting her weapon out of the black ooze. She would listen to his next words, a bit upset that he still believed he was going to die sacrificing himself for others. 

"You think I can't? I will change your entire destiny if I have to. Screw fate, it isn't going to get in the way of the things that I want. Besides, when would I ever need to be protected? I am never in danger, I am the danger, remember?"

She forced herself to laugh to try and relieve a little bit of the tension in the air. Or maybe that was just dust, papers, and powdered materials. "I will not stand for you dying. Unless I am dead, you don't have the permission." She sent him a sideway glance and finished, "And if you die protecting someone else, I will kill whoever killed you and then kill whoever you died protecting. Think about that when you are about to sacrifice yourself."

Hidden looked away with a pout on her face. "Not that I really care or anything about you though. You are just... valuable. Yeah, thats a word." 

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Ushering his right hand out to one side, the viscous fluid under his feet began to vanish and take to creeping up his feet before nothing was left. "I'll hold you to that, and trust when I say I won't be going down without a fight." he remarks snatching one of the pieces of papers out of the air and placing it down on a surface nearby. A soft laugh from the girl felt right, setting things into where they should be. He picks up a broken potion vial, half a bottle of pale blue still contained within the glass. A sudden flash as he pours the fluid in his hand and it transfers back into a plant "To begin again...and become something new." he mutters and sets it back next to shattered glassware with a crunch of shards under his feet. On his face the smile still ever-present. "Indeed, Valuable is the word. more than any one consumable or a coat. I wonder what such material would make if synthesized with the correct intentions." he speaks nonchalantly looking through the varied misshaped and broken apparatus which could easily be misconstrued. 

Edited by Raidou

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Hidden nodded to his remark, taking a few steps to create some distance between the two. She was surprised that he didn't become angry from her saying that she would kill whoever he died for. She herself wasn't sure if she was serious. Maybe she was just trying to sound tough? She watched in visible confusion as the broken vial of potion once again returned into a plant. 'How did he salvage that?' she wondered. 

She rolled her eyes when he practically considered himself being some sort of material. "You know... for being so smart you are the densest guy I know." Even though she was speaking to him, she said it rather quietly. "Also..."

She pointed at him in an almost comical fashion. "What in the hell was that thing? We just going to ignore the fact that you actually became a monster or something?" A frown appeared on her face. "I mean, we are talking an actual monster. Not the metaphorical crap." 

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He continued to salvage the pieces that were still slowly losing durability from the damage, this was not the first time his shop had received such an explosion and surely wouldn't be the last and he was all too familiar on how to recover from it. "I found it on floor 21, in the gardens I spend a good portion of every day. Imagine my surprise when it grabbed my wrist. We have an agreement, it offers me protection for the failed potions I create. It seems to enjoy liquids, the thicker the better. It sees me as an adequate host, one capable of keeping it sustained. Turns out I am a better source of moisture then a crack in some cavern wall, what you saw is a reaction it has when it senses a flare in my emotions."  he explains although his gaze was still focused on the task at hand of picking things up.

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She almost wasn't sure which she found more disturbing, the monster or Raidou's answer. She cocked her head to the side and whispered, "So... it is like a familiar." She certainly had a strange familiar herself but this was on a completely different level. "Umm... okay," she would say, unsure of what to say. Hidden stepped to the side, pretending to examine the wreckage of the shop. 'It is a weird pact we've joined in... but for what? Because I want him to stay alive? I guess now I am contractually obligated to protect Firm Anima as well to ensure he doesn't do something stupid. Beginning to feel like I am getting myself into something almost as big as teaming up Domarus.' 

"Tell me more about your guild and its members." She abruptly would say, turning back on the boy in red. "I want to know about these people who are so important to you. I am assuming that these are the ones you plan to die to protect." She assumed each of them were probably weaker, given Firm Anima wasn't a frontline guild. 

 

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It seemed simple enough to call it that "Perhaps a fitting way to label it, yes." as he collected an arm full of loose paper and moved it to a platform next to a bottled candle and piled it upon the surface. "I founded it, but it isn't mine. It's like a co-op, of people willing to lift weapons and fight for themselves and those weaker. I could give you a direct listing, but the number grows by the day, outside of the sway of my hand by word of mouth alone. All walks of life and varied personalities, of every age they wish to stand together as a uniform front. Some have even risen to leadership roles, helping guide those around them... And I would die protecting each and every one of them." he spoke with pride for the first time he had in ages, with his eyes to the floor lifting up another sheet of paper.

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She wasn't... exactly happy with the answer she got. Each of them had their own different personalities and play styles... which of course was to be expected. However, instead of being just a small group of players which focused on crafting like she originally anticipated, supposedly they were gaining even more members. She tilted her head to the side as she realized her job was far more difficult then she would originally imagine. It would be easier to just trail Raidou around to make sure no one he was with died. "Almost sounds exhausting." She would say to him, beginning to pace around the store. A strange twist of confidence remained in his voice. It was something she really didn't see out of him. 

"How are you gonna keep track of them all to keep them safe? Disaster could strike at any moment and you won't be there to stop it every time. I watched it happen to... someone I knows guild. The Celestial Ascendants are no more. They thought they could protect everyone and stretched themselves to thin. What if that happens to you? Are you strong enough to protect everyone that comes under your wing?" 

 

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With a stalwart gaze into more shattered glass, unwavering and unceasing as they continued to mince words making the most of his time. "It can be a bit taxing yes." Raidou comments as he tosses a handful of glass out of a window that scatters into blue data as it leaves the shops interior. "I will not be able to always be there for them, but hopefully the ideals I carry will help keep them safe if they follow my example. A few of them are of a similar mindset and guiding as I would, it's rather explosive in growth. I will not boast my strength, I can only hope that when the time comes I will be able to stand up against even the toughest of foes." he spoke with humility and a softness in his voice to answer her questions as they rose, joined with a surveying glance to her between his clean up job.

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Raidou's resolve was something unlike she had seen before. He was willing to go so far for something he believed in. It was almost as if she was back in her house, reading another story about the underdog with high ambitions. In those stories... the hero always won in the end. Would Raidou? For once... she didn't want to see the warrior fail. She didn't want to see him succumb to the endless challenges in the road ahead of him. "Well then, I guess.... I guess we got a lot of work ahead of us." She said in a low tone, her eyes unable to meet his. 

"I can only hope that when the time comes I will be able to stand up against even the toughest of foes."

"Shut up. It's dumb how you think you can just show up to me again and be strong."  She shook her head, but raised her head to look straight at the man. Her violet eyes for a moment showed the resolve that hardly ever came. "Even if you're weak, I'll be strong. The toughest foe can't stand up to me, especially if you help." She gave a faint smile, a tinge of red coming to her face. 'Is this is what it is like to have a real friend? Someone I care about that cares about me? I never got to enjoy much time to just talk with Sey. I was too busy out chasing a dream that wasn't even mine.' 

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With a change from the serious to a more subtle grin, he always had a habit of digressing into a tactical and cold state in his words. Fiddling with his glasses and looking past with a pat of his hands, the glass that lay dormant was now emptied. "I suppose we do, It is rather foolish albeit not intentional. I am no more heavy in strength than the next pair of hands with a purpose." he looked to the girl with her newly formed white locks that seemed to suit her newfound almost purity, although the red plastered on her cheeks made Raidou a tad uneasy. He hoped he had not said something strange again, he did not want to lose any more glasses. "I am unsure of what the guild you knew, but what you just spoke is exactly what the members aim for. For when one is weak those around them can stand strong in their absence like links in a chain, they can hold each other up when one falls low."

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A sigh escaped her lips as he took her words for a different meaning. She wasn't talking about his guild, she was talking about her and him. She turned her head away and rolled her eyes. "I don't even know why I try to be nice to you. You always misinterpret it for something else." She flicked her newly turned white hair before stepping to the door. "Let's go. I am hungry, and you need to get out of your shop for once. And don't make me drag you, because I will." 

"Besides, it isn't everyday you get to out to eat with a pretty girl huh?" She laughed, making an attempt at teasing him. She wasn't good at this kind of thing so she was just ripping words out of books and shows she had known from before Aincrad. 

Adjusting the flower in her hair, she would shoot Raidou one last look before stepping out the door. Here, she let her emotions escape in private for a moment. She buried her face in her hands, her cheeks becoming blushed entirely. Being this forward? It was almost unbearable. And despite it all, he was too naive to understand anything. To him everything was about efficiency. 

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"Misinterpret..." Raidou muttered under his breath, that was always what it seemed to be. A misinterpretation that failed him, further showing how detached he was in these social instances. Hidden proceeds to offer him a meal and instantly he found himself worried on her behalf, where could she go that wasn't filled with seedy assholes for something to eat. Being orange was all too real a problem.

"...a pretty girl huh?"

"A girl you dog! What a place to do something like 'that'"

If Raidou had been drinking something, he'd surely be wearing it now. It had struck him now that he spent an awful lot of time around women exclusively, and with a mixed bag of results. Jiggling his glasses with his hand, staying himself against a rise of confusion as this was not the first instance of this being brought to his attention. He looks to the interior of his shop, still although clean was scattered. He'd need to procure more tools of his trade, for now, there were none more than the ones that were made of metal. Raidou moves and grabs his plated glove, slinking it up his left arm and bolting it down with some belts. His red robe donned, he'd enter into the light of the floor that stung his eyes. Why the hell was he going to go into public again?

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Raidou same outside without complaint. In fact, he came out without saying anything. She unburied her face, her mood slightly souring. She was almost sure that he didn't want to be out with her at all and was going to hate every second of it. She turned away from him before walking forward. She didn't know what to say to him. She was tempted to call it off. She didn't want him to suffer because she was trying to force herself into his life. 

However... she wasn't ready to throw in the towel just yet. Mustering the bit of courage she could, she turned and made eye contact with him. She faltered, unsure of what to say. "umm... you look like we're going on a quest. You do know we don't have to fight the food before fighting it right?" She couldn't speak much because she was wearing clothes that doubled as her combat outfit. However, he had even put on his metal glove, which she now understood why he only wore one hand. 

"Your cautious nature never fails to show huh?" She genuinely sounded disappointed. It meant that everything he did was absolutely serious and there wouldn't be any room for light-hearted fun. "Fine. I'll make you a deal. Someday, we'll go do something. No questing, no fighting. I'll wear something nice and you have to promise to not come armed to fight." She turned to hide her embarrassment. It was almost impossible to speak with a serious tone like she had with her hood.  

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He would not outright say that it was a form of pressure, he would aim to seem menacing for those that would look on. He was curious where she intended to go, but given her cursor color, it would be difficult to not be in a place with those with a more grim outlook to be present. "If you think it safe, then I suppose I can do that for you. But I would not want to get in a fight unarmed." he had no way of knowing when or how, but the details would fall to her. He would not lie in it would bring him to be uncomfortable, even more so to go into a public setting. Eyes had a way of piercing his back, drawing him to a time he'd rather forget. But he was making the steps he needed for a change, but it was hard to produce the same persona within the presence of complete strangers who were ever judging from an image alone.

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