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[PP|F21] The Confrontation

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This had been in the boy's mind for long now. Too long to just keep idly waiting for it to go away. It was biting at him, keeping him angry day by day. Seeing how casual he was with Mari after what she'd said he did, how little everybody else was suspicious of him in Firm Anima. He was either that uncaring or just too careful coordinating each and every one of his moves to have just enough people backing him up. He hated it. He'd sent Freyd a message, inviting him over to the twenty first somewhere outside of the safezone. It was near the hot springs, and even nearer his own home. The estate was visible just a few paths down from here, slightly lower in altitude even.

ChaseR: I want to talk.
ChaseR: I'll be waiting in the 21st.

The message was even more straightforward than Chase used to be, and surprisingly enough, no typos. The way the sentences had been written so shortly made them sharp, almost passive aggressive. It was less of a request and more so a demand by now. Regardless of whether he'd come or not, Chase quietly waited by the fields, seated down. His legs were crossed and his sword was planted into the ground next to him. Standing still, buried with the edge- its jagged form emitting a light mist that was, obviously enough, accompanied by the low temperatures that spread around it. The way he was sitting, he seemed... thoughtful. His face was stern.

He wasn't smiling or expressionless like usual, instead serious. Tense. And his stance was more composed than anything else. His fingers were weaved together and he sat with both hands on his legs, silent. His hair did a fairly good job at covering his eyes though. And so he sat, waiting all alone until Freyd would come. If he would, of course. He had no issue seeking him for himself, either.


Name: ChaseR
Level: 63
HP: 1290/1290
EN: 126/126

Damage: 19
Mitigation: 43
Evasion: 3
Accuracy: 3

Equipped Gear:
Weapon: <<Zero Degree Icicle>> (T2/Perfect/2HSS): ACC I, FRZ I, BLD I
Armor: <<Azure Overcoat>> (T2/Perfect/Light Armor): V.DEF I, HBS I, MIT I
Misc: <<Chained Bracelet>> (T2/Demonic/Trinket): EVA II, ACC II

Two-Handed Straight Sword [Rank 5]
Light Armor [Rank 5]
Battle Healing [Rank 5]
Searching [Rank 1]
Fighting Spirit [Obtained]
Howl [Obtained]
Parry [Obtained]
Extended Mod Limit [Rank 1]
Charge [Rank 1]

Extra Skills:
Familiar Mastery: Fighter

2HSS Finesse [R3]
Sprint & Acrobatics

Battle Ready Inventory:
Starter Healing Potions(heal 50HP)*3
Insta-Life ++ (T2/Perfect/HP REC III)*1
Woodland Armor (T2/Perfect) MIT III (1/3)*1
Teleport Crystal [F21]*1
Imugi's Inspiration (Mass HP Recovery)*3
Requires Extended Weight Limit 1
Requires Extended Weight Limit 2
Requires Extended Weight Limit 3
Obtained via Item Stash (Housing)
Obtained via Dimensional Backpack

Housing Buffs:
Filling: Increase the effectiveness of a single food item consumed in a thread by +1 T1 slot.
Relaxed: Increases out of combat HP regen by (5 * Tier HP) and decreases full energy regen to 2 Out of Combat Posts.
Skylight (Searching): +1 Rank to the Searching skill.
Advanced Training: +2 SP to a thread. Limit one use per month [0/1]
Multipurpose: Gain +1 to LD, Stealth Rating, Stealth Detection, or Prosperity to one post in a thread. Can be applied after a roll

Guild Hall Buffs:

Scents of the Wild:
Kumatetsu Statue: +1 Base Damage for a thread

Wedding Ring:


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Freyd received the mysterious missive while he was pouring through scouting reports from various information sources he'd spent months cultivating.  There was much happening, and even more to potentially predict.  Like a spider in the centre of an immense web, the Whisper in Shadows watched, waited and wove.  The content was uncharacteristically cryptic, which immediately peaked his interest and spidey-senses.  "Oh, ChaseR, what tune are we going to dance to this time," he wondered aloud.  Every past invite had been about questing.  A sudden invite to an empty field in the middle of nowhere when they could just as easily met in the guild hall or any number of safe zones didn't bode particularly well.  It also occurred to him that this could be a feint or trap from any number of third parties attempting to lure him out.  

From: Freyd

To: ChaseR

You know how big that floor is, right?  I'll find you.

He arrived on the field at the appointed place a short time later, his appearance as unchanged and predictable as ever.  His dark cowl concealed his face, and Freyd had taken deliberate care to approach with the sparse sources of light at his back to cast his features completely in shadow.  Leaning up against a stalagmite, sword in hand, he called out to ChaseR from thirty feet away, on a low platform overlooking the blue man's position.

"I'm here, Chase," he said bluntly.  "What is it?"

Freyd, The Whisper in Shadows | HP:1430/1430 | EN:143/143 | DMG:21 | MIT:109 | EVA:3 | ACC:5 | KEEN:2 | LD:4 | BH:65 | Antidote 2/2 | THORNS 20


Freyd Consumes:

Super-Duper Anti Snake Sauce (Antidote 2) [159100]
Berserker Draught (Damage 2) [159104]
Blue Meringue (EVA 1) [163932]
Rations +2 (+120HP)
Jar of Reaper Peppers (T3 MIT 2) [166160]
Immolation +1 (Thorns 20) 


Name: Freyd, The Whisper in Shadows
Level: 64
HP: 1310/1310 (+120)
EN: 143/143

Damage: 19 (+2)
Mitigation: 79
Evasion: 2 (+1)
Accuracy: 4

Equipped Gear:
Weapon: Grave Injustice (T3-2HSS, ACC 1, Keen 1, Abs. ACC)*1
Armor: Skirmisher's Garb (T3 LA, MIT 2, EVA 1)
Misc: Assassin's Cowl (T2-Trinket, ACC 2, KEEN 1)

2H Straight Sword [Rank 5]
Light Armor [Rank 5]
Searching [Rank 3]
Battle Healing [Rank 5]
Parry [Obtained]
Energist [Obtained]
Charge [Rank 2]
Extended Mod Limit R1 [Obtained]

Extra Skills:
Familiar Mastery: Fighter 3

Finesse - Rank 3
LA Athletics
LA Sprint and Acrobatics
Night Vision

Battle Ready Inventory:
Teleport Crystals*5
Lullaby 2 (Instant)*1
Hypnosis 2 (instant) *1
Fruit-Infused Tea (T3 HP Recovery)*5
Imugi's Inspiration (T3 Mass HP Recovery)*5
Mega-Duper... Sauce (Antidote 3)*5
Samael's Pride (T3-2HSS, ACC 1, HOLY 1, FLN 1)

Housing Buffs:
Rested: -1 energy cost for the first two expenditures of each combat
Clean: The first time you would suffer DoT damage in a thread, reduce damage taken from DoT each turn by 20% (rounded down)
Hard Working: +2 EXP per crafting attempt and +1 crafting attempt per day
Filling: Increase the effectiveness of a single food item consumed in a thread by +1 T1 slot.
Item Stash: +1 Battle Ready Inventory Slot
Delicious: Turn 3 identical food items (same quality, tier, & enhancements) into a Feast. A Feast contains 6 portions of the food items sacrificed.
Relaxed: Increases out of combat HP regen by (5 * Tier HP) and decreases full energy regen to 2 Out of Combat Posts.
Skylight (Searching): +1 Rank to the Searching skill.
Angler: +1 material gained when fishing
Advanced Training: +2 SP to a thread. Limit one use per month [0/1]
Multipurpose: Gain +1 to LD, Stealth Rating, Stealth Detection, or Prosperity to one post in a thread. Can be applied after a roll
Decor [Potted Tanabata Bamboo Tree]: This buff affects the player and their choice of up to two party members.

Guild Hall Buffs:
Lucrative: Reduce LD needed for Salvage by 5 (10+ for Alchemist crystals, 6+ for everything else). +2 EXP per craft. Rank 9 crafters receive +1 crafting attempt per day. Rank 10 crafters receive +2 crafting attempts per day.
Col Deposit: +5% bonus col from last-hit monster kills and +10% bonus col from treasure chests.

Scents of the Wild: n/a

Wedding Ring: n/a


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Upon seeing the message, he didn't even give back a snarky reply or comment on it. It annoyed him. Seeing him on high horse like this, it pissed him off. It just served to fuel his anger more and more. Taking deep breaths to contain himself until he was here though, he continued to wait while his mind ran back to Mari explaining the same thing over and over again about what Freyd had done to her.  And then he heard his voice. Turning to look over to the side where he stood, he noticed the cowl and overall, a different aura to him. He wasn't the same as usual.

If he had to guess, he must have come prepared. The last time they parted, Freyd was highly suspicious of him too. "Good to see it's mutual.", he thought to himself and got up, leaving his sword planted into the ground as he turned to glare right into his eyes. "Why did you do that? To Mari.", he bluntly asked. It was easy to see the anger behind his voice, the glare and overall tightened posture explained the whole story. Word reached his ears, and of course, he wasn't pleased. "I was on the fence about you the whole time. So I was right. Why did you do that?", he repeated his question and took a few, slow steps towards him, keeping his weapon behind into the ground. It was hard to tell whether he was going over to attack or not, but judging by his weapon being planted... It'd make sense for him not to. The force of every step, clacking against the ground silently and echoing in the cave surrounding them, the heavy breathing from Chase and the clank of his chains bouncing about his left arm. The air had an unusual tension to it.

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Freyd's brow furrowed.  "Why did I do what to Mari?  If you've dragged me out here to toss about accusations, you should probably start with specifics."  A half-dozen other retorts remained unspoken on the tip of his tongue.  His face was inscrutable, and his expression neutral.  Now was not the time to unleash, though that moment might still come to pass.  Hands in his pockets, Freyd hadn't even bothered to pull out a weapon.  If ChaseR was on the level, it wouldn't be necessary.  If it became so, he'd have to answer for it, and to more than just Freyd.

"And why is this a conversation for these depths?  It doesn't exactly reflect well on your potential intentions."  If blue boy was going to take pot shots, Freyd wasn't above taking some back.  The man's aggressive attitude was grating, and pushing his buttons seemed to help him focus and get to the point, even if that meant leaving him frothing at the mouth and possibly risking a stabbing.  ChaseR had been leveling accusations at him since they first met, almost consistently without any basis in fact.  He was a loose canon, and a potent on at that.  Were it not for his affiliation with Firm Anima, Freyd wouldn't even have bothered answering his 'summons'.

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His breathing got more shaky and his body was starting to tremble. Was it fear? Was it his anger? No. It was the thought of what he might have to resort to. He tried to talk it out, just a bit more. But seeing Freyd play it dumb... he couldn't go on like this for much longer. He was definitely reaching his limits, shaking with a whole storm of emotions brewing up inside of him. "Mari was sitting right by my sword, crying her eyes out. Because you used her for your fucking experiments. Because you just 'had to engineer your way into oblivion', was that it?!"

Chase's words finished off with a snarl, echoing even louder throughout the cave. His fists were fully clenched and with his eyes finally visible, his face was closer to that of a beast. Clenched teeth, his entire face completely pulled back, narrow eyes and a cold-blooded glare. His body continued to spasm weakly, as his face just tightened up more, like a mutt backed up into a corner, ready to fight back. "You hurt an innocent person for your own bullshit reasons, just because you had to test your own theories... If that's not it, why the fuck did you hurt Mari?!". With the second repeat of the question, tears began to form around the corners of his eyes as his breathing grew even shakier. He was about to explode with rage alright.

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Freyd's expression changed to confusion, then, strangely, one of sympathy.

"You don't actually have a clue what you're talking about do you?  Has it occurred to you that Mari's not exactly in the best of places to express what she's feeling, or what she saw?  Did you think for a moment that a sad and sorrowful person might not be giving you the full picture?"  Freyd grimaced, debating whether to push him over the edge and try and talk him down.  An image of Raidou pressed forward into his mind, and a promise to offer hope.  Sighing and raising his hands to try to diffuse the situation, Freyd slowly lowered himself to sit on the ledge, and pulled back his cowl.  His features were unchanged - simple and unremarkable - save perhaps a bit more wear around the eyes.  He gestured ChaseR towards another nearby outcropping that would enable them to site and talk eye to eye.

"I never... hear me... NEVER... conducted any experiments on Mari, though I wonder if you told you about the ones she used to perform on others."  Freyd's eyes narrowed.  "You didn't happen to share a drink with her, did you?"   He waved away the question as unimportant.  Those days were behind her, and if they weren't there were bigger problems to contend with.

"I went into the Forest of Mysteries after the events at the Battle of the Cratered Lake.  Most people didn't realize it, but Mari, Cordelia and I had foiled a second pincer attack on floor 22 just before the lake gave way.  Stragglers remained in the woods, so I went to hunt them down.  In the process, something happened.  I'm not sure what or how, but a Gemini literally crawled its way out of me and ran amock about the place.  Those woods are tricky, and I had to fight through a number of illusory doubles it created before I could... chase... it down."  He chuckled briefly, thinking of how Mari would appreciate the turn of phrase.

"I found it - my shadow - lording over her on Floor 9.  It wasn't pretty, and it got a lot worse.  The details are between Mari and I.  But I never dealt or meant for her to suffer any harm."

He rubbed his chin for a moment, debating whether proceed, and giving ChaseR an opportunity to respond.

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Chase stood his ground. It felt like his legs had been planted right down, and they wouldn't budge no matter how friendly Freyd got. The fact that he could dare to talk about her that way, blatantly accuse her of lying to Chase and then the same that he had done to her... No. No, no, no, no. "No!", his snarling continued, and his trembling just grew more intense. "I've fucking known you a while now! You liar!", he blocked all of Freyd's words right out of his ears, shaking his head. No way he was going to try and talk this through with him, lying and trying to distort the truth.

The fact he could laugh it off even seeing how tense he was... "Does nothing matter to you?!", he continued to feed into his own anger, practically fully tearing by now. He was beyond livid. With a deep breath, he seemed to somewhat relax his composure. Wiping his eyes, he remembered back to the Gemini and Calming the Soul quests. He wouldn't kill. No. No way in hell he was going even close to where Freyd had treaded. He slid down his menu, the familiar clicks sounding before a duel invite to half loss appeared in front of Freyd. At the same time, the bluehead's blade from behind him disappeared, only to be replaced with some worn bandages around his fists.

He unequipped his overcoat, leaving himself practically unarmed. His chains persisted, despite his vanity uniform and sweater being on. "Take your weapon off. I don't give a shit about your armor.", he growled and looked right into his eyes again, with a much more focused rage. He wasn't trembling like before, nor did he look as wild. He just looked silent. Composed. But still enraged. He knew where to direct his anger, as he slid something in his pants' pocket, waiting for Freyd with a cold stare. He was expressionless. More bland than Freyd usually was. His teeth still chattered against one another inside of his mouth, but it was hard to notice. "Show me you don't mean ill to her, and apologize.", he almost ordered, his voice not wavering at all. The only sound he could hear was his heartbeat and their voices.

[ChaseR challenges Freyd to a half-loss duel.]
[ChaseR unequips Blizz' Embrace (T2 2HSS/Perfect/FRZ I, BLD I, ACC I) and Azure Overcoat (T2 LA/Perfect/V.DEF I, MIT I, HBS I).]
[ChaseR equips Night Sky Blues (Vanity/Light Armor).]

ChaseR: HP: 1290/1290 | EN: 126/126 | DMG: 10 | EVA: 3 | ACC: 3 | MIT: 25 | BH: 64 | LD: 2 | PARRY [-/2]

Edited by ChaseR
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Freyd pressed the palm of his right glove against his forehead, sighed and shook his head with disappointment.  It's like he's allergic to reason or something.  Opening a separate UI window to the duel challenge, he typed a quick message.

To: @Mari

cc: ChaseR

From: Freyd

What the hell did you say to ChaseR?  This fool is challenging me to a duel over some nonsense he can't actually manage to articulate.  He's frothing at the mouth at the moment, and is probably set to gnash teeth and pull hair any minute.

He wants me to apologize, but can't say for what.  Without revisiting all the sordid details, I think I've done that, for the role I played, plus that of my Gemini.  If it'll calm him down, I'll do again here: I'm sorry. 

Please ping us back before this goes any further. 


The timer on the duel challenge kept ticking down.  Freyd watched, practically bored as ChaseR received the same message.  If he wanted to pick a fight, he'd have to risk an orange cursor over it.  This was a waste of his time.

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Only one thing broke the silence. A message. His killer look just went to the notification on the top right of his HUD, before he opened the menu and read through it. It felt like a vein popped when he was done. "... Get up.", he calmly told him, beginning to walk closer. Unlike every other time, he resembled none of his usual self. He was just different, with an unwavering flare in his eyes. He knew what he was doing wasn't right, but it wasn't wrong either. It had to be done.

Once he was before Freyd, he continued to glare right into him. And before long, in almost rapid succession, his right leg had been planted right into his cheek, sending him skidding just a few meters- two or three at that- to the side. With his cursor breaking and reappearing this time, but orange, he continued to look at him with that same composed fire of rage eating him up from inside. "You won't try to manipulate her in front of me. Orange cursors mean nothing after seeing her have one and you have none. Get up now."

His words were few, but straight to the point. He knew that he'd barely make a dent in Freyd's health, if any at all. That's not what he was aiming for. With all the force he had behind his movements though, the knockback persisted stronger than ever before. Will he use some underhanded technique and paint him to be the villain now? He'd probably just make up his own narrative and pass it along, since Chase was now orange cursored. Maybe even drop him to low health to discourage him while he's at it. Anything to come out on top- that's the impression Freyd gave him.




ChaseR attacks Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows! (BD: 1)

ChaseR: HP: 1290/1290 | EN: 124/126 | DMG: 10 | EVA: 3 | ACC: 3 | MIT: 25 | BH: 64 | LD: 2 | PARRY [-/2]

Freyd, The Whisper in Shadows | HP:1430/1430 | EN:143/143 | DMG:21 | MIT:109 | EVA:3 | ACC:5 | KEEN:2 | LD:4 | BH:65 | Antidote 2/2 | THORNS 20


Edited by ChaseR
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Freyd tumbled to a stop after ChaseR's hit, and watched the man's cursor change from green to orange.  What a fucking waste.

"Have you seen the names and the graves Mari has left in her wake?  She has the courage not to deny them.  She knows what they mean and will pay the price for those actions for the rest of her days.  I sought her out because she has that courage - to bolster it.  She had the potential to be a great leader among us, if she can learn to accept her deeds and move past them to be something more."  His head wobbled a bit, as if he were working a kink out of his neck.  "We're still working on that last part, but it's a worthy goal."

"Don't lecture me about what I do and don't deserve when you're the one earning that," he pointed over ChaseR's head, "without the sense to even understand why."

Freyd stood to his full height, but without the tension or stance that one would expect in the midst of battle.  His message UI pinged as a reply came in.  Deliberately disregarding ChaseR's rage, he opened and read it aloud.

From: Mari

To Freyd: 

"I told him your Gemini ripped mine out of me. That you congratulated me for engineering my own oblivion. That I don't blame you. That I wouldn't be mad if he punched you in the face. He hasn't gone further than that, has he?"

"She forgets that I was speaking to her and the vile blight that my Gemini ripped out of her when I mentioned her oblivion, but there you have it."  Why was Mari so bad with details?!  "Straight from Mari's mouth - my evil twin did it, as cliche as it might be.  But you won't hear it.  You can't hear it, because you're too damned busy wanting everything to match your feelings instead of facing life being what it actually is."  Coldness stared at him from beneath the cowl, as Freyd shook his head in disappointment.  He tired of this emotional naivete.  If ChaseR wanted a real fight, he punch him in the gut without laying a hand upon him.  There was no disdain, no arrogance, in his voice.  It merely carried the harsh tone of truth and reality, delivered without any hint of sympathy.  

"What would Lily say, if she saw you now?"

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And a true punch to the gut that was. He opened his mouth to tell Freyd to be quiet, but nothing came out. He choked. He tried and tried to talk, but with somber memories running through the back of his head, nothing came out. Tears began to form in the corners of his still blank glare, looking right at Freyd as if he wasn't even there. Finally, he managed to muster words again. "You have no right to say her name. Say you're sorry right now.", he said with seething range behind his previously calm demeanor, his breathing beginning to get shaky.

By now, it was clear to see that this wasn't just anger about Mari. More and more was slipping out, and it wasn't because Chase wanted to throw excuses around- more so because Freyd had continuously provoked him and punched him right where it hurt the most. He was completely blinded with rage, running right towards Freyd and throwing a punch dead into his face. Following the punch, he slid a leg back and sent it flying right into his head, throwing him a bit further back.

Even for as coordinated as his moves were, they had no technique. If the knockback was anything to go by, it was all sheer force fuelled by emotion and nothing more. "Say it! Apologise!", he shouted furiously and sent another kick Freyd's way, planting it into his sides before following up with a downwards kick to the shoulders and then one to the side of his head. "Say you're fucking sorry!", he continued, trying his absolute hardest to keep himself back. It was impossible. Freyd was pushing him to his absolute limit, no matter how he saw it. A final punch to the face to knock Freyd back, and Chase was left panting for air, looking his way with a lack of focus and the same, glowing with anger, blue eyes. "Say you're fucking sorry for what you did to Mari!".

The barrage of attacks was enough to send Freyd into a daze, even if he could feel no pain. Being tossed around like a ragdoll wouldn't do him any good in keeping stable or steady. It wasn't hard to see that Chase, as he was right now, was the very essence of violence. Livid, fuming, refusing to listen to reason. Nothing could break him out of this bloodlust, other than what he would never get- an apology from Freyd. A sincere one, without the usual cynical tone and way of speech. 



ChaseR attacks Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows! (BD: 6+3-3=6)
10 - 109 = 1

ChaseR takes 20 THRNS damage!

ChaseR: HP: 1270/1290 | EN: 124/126 | DMG: 10 | EVA: 3 | ACC: 3 | MIT: 25 | BH: 64 | LD: 2 | PARRY [-/2]

Freyd, The Whisper in Shadows | HP:1429/1430 | EN:143/143 | DMG:21 | MIT:109 | EVA:3 | ACC:5 | KEEN:2 | LD:4 | BH:65 | Antidote 1/2 | THORNS 20


Edited by ChaseR
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Rolling with the punch and tumbling to a stop nearby, Freyd looked suspiciously like a black cat... no... like a virtual duplicate of his void-like mongoose familiar.  

"What would it even accomplish to say those words, Chase?  You've already assumed that I'm a liar, and you're not actually listening!  What could my apology possibly bring that would cut through to reach inside your thick skull?"  Slowly he stretched back up to a standing position.  Countless possible scenarios were playing out inside his head, no less than half of them leading to ChaseR's crippling, or even outright death.  He dismissed those outright.  Since they'd first met, Freyd had been trying to get Chase to think with his brain instead of just rocketing around Aincrad like some sort of emotionally charged missile still waiting for its guidance system to kick in.  Instead, he continued to act like some sort of flaming train wreck, destroying himself in the process and undoubtedly causing all sorts of collateral damage.

"Show me some real strength, Chase.  Reign this in and stop acting like the same monster you claiming me to be.  You want the moral high ground?!  Do it!  Take it right now!  Because you've just surrendered everything that possibly made you better than me for the sake of a cheap and pointless shot."

He still had no weapon in hand.  Drawing one would only justify Chase's actions, in his own mind, and he fully intended to beat him down with shame over this fiasco.  That part of Freyd had been irked enough that he wasn't about to let the man walk away without a few psychological scars.  No one gets in a punch without paying a price.

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By the time that he was trying to cut even deeper, Chase had already reached his limits. No sound went within his ears and got heard, only silence took over. He could hear his thoughts ringing painfully in the back of his head, and his heavy breathing. "... Freyd would kill. You wouldn't. You're not like him. He has no right to tell you what you are and aren't, nor to mention Lily like that. He's hurt Mari and tried to manipulate her. I can't trust him around others. He's manipulated his own guild to think he's a saint."

As the ringing persisted, he raised a hand to the back of his head and groaned, half closing his one eye and looking at Freyd. None of his words got to him, as he commanded Freyd once again, still just as blinded if not more. "Say you're sorry to her and mean it!", and before long, he was in front of Freyd again. He raised his leg to kick him right under the jaw, the knockback sending him airborne. Before he could fall, he took a step to the side and pulled his leg back, kicking his head to send him spinning while still in the air.

And again, before he could hit the ground, he moved in front of him for a kick in the stomach. A powerful punch followed right to the cheek, and by now, Chase was keeping Freyd from falling with every single attack's knockback. He didn't even know he was doing that though. His body was just going wild on its own. He raised his left knee to hit him in the chest, and then landed another kick dead in his throat with the sole of his boots.

For all he couldn't cuss out and discuss his anger, his body could express it by acting it out as violently as possible. The berserk boy raised his left hand into the air and then brought it down upon Freyd, slamming his chains right into the man's shoulders before thrusting his fist right into the man's stomach, twisting it and finally letting him off the hook with another few meters to skid. "You've never done anybody any good from the bottom of your heart to be allowed scott free for what you tried to do to Mari. You're selfish, and a fucking monster.", he fumed out, glaring at him with the same as when he arrived. His mouth was pulled back, his whole body tense and shaky, his eyes were narrow and his head was hazy.



ChaseR attacks Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows! (BD: 1)

ChaseR: HP: 1290/1290 | EN: 123/126 | DMG: 10 | EVA: 3 | ACC: 3 | MIT: 25 | BH: 64 | LD: 2 | PARRY [-/2]

Freyd, The Whisper in Shadows | HP:1430/1430 | EN:143/143 | DMG:21 | MIT:109 | EVA:3 | ACC:5 | KEEN:2 | LD:4 | BH:65 | Antidote 1/2 | THORNS 20


Edited by ChaseR
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She arrived in the warp gate within the town - Mari didn't want to, but she kinda had to - she was still on the fourth floor after all. Her appearance was immediately met with hostility. Mari had to run through the town, ducking attacks from the town guard - One had hit her; delivering a large blow of unmitigated damage. She grit her teeth. This...wasn't good. Still, she had made it out of the safe zone - heading toward the two green dots on her map that symbolized Freyd and Chaser. 

"Dammit Chaser..." Mari muttered. She was tired. So very tired. But this needed intervention. Mari was very aware of how Chasers anger could overwhelm him. She had barely stepped foot out of the safe zone before she saw it.

Chaser standing over Freyd with an angry orange cursor over his head. Her heart stilled. It wasn't permanent...Freyd was still alive so this wasn't permanent. Good...Good there was still time.  "HEY!" Mari called out, drawing the attention of the two as she stalked toward them with long trudging footsteps.


Her hand drew across Chasers cheek in a harsh motion, Mari drew her hand close to her, nursing it. "The fuck-Chase."  Mari stood between Chaser and Freyd. "Whatever happened to 'I'd never hurt you Ma'" She changed her tone of voice, as though she were mimicking his. Mari pointed a shaking finger at the cursor above his head. Her anger rolling off her in waves like a rumbling thunder. Voice shaking with hurt, betrayal. The pain surged with every expelled breath. "THIS." She pointed again at the cursor. "That. What were you thinking? How do you think I'd feel if I saw that? That marker above your head hurts more than any of the dumb ass shit that he-" Mari pointed back towards Freyd. "Has done."

Mari closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath - inwardly counting to ten before exhaling. She couldn't let things get out of hand. She had to be the adult, and the reasonable one here. Mari reached out to him, this time, instead of a slap - she rested her hand gently on his cheek.  "I said you could punch him. Not turn yourself into the very thing you hate." Her voice was softer now, but it was clear she was still hurt.

"What on earth are you doing?" She asked him, softer still. Chase didn't need anger, he didn't need whatever she felt in that moment aimed at him. He was hurt, alone, afraid and shaking. Mari placed her hands to his shoulders and forced him to kneel down to the ground with her. "Talk me through what you're feeling."

Mari was aware of Freyd, but she'd deal with him later - right now - she had to talk to Chaser, and show him that he had her attention.


@ChaseR @Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows

Town Guard does 350 unmitigated damage to Mari x 2

Mari    [H:0/0/0] - HP 910/1610  | EN: 158/158 | DMG: 19 | MIT: 43 | EVA:3 | ACC: 4  | BH: 83 | BRN: 24 |BLEED: 24 | FLAME AURA: 15 |




Level: 81 | HP: 1660 |Energy: 162

Mari    [H:0/0/0] - HP 1610/1610  | EN: 158/158 | DMG: 19 | MIT: 43 | EVA:3 | ACC: 4  | BH: 83 | BRN: 24 |BLEED: 24 | FLAME AURA: 15 |

Rank 5 Weapon (+5 DMG)
-Weapon Mod: Precision (+1 ACC)
-Weapon Mod: Ferocity (+1 DMG)
Rank 5 Charge (+5 Damage -1 ACC)
Charge Mod BULL RUSH: Successful charge stuns target 1 turn
Rank 5 Light Armor (+25 MIT)
Light Armor Mod Athletics -  Gain +1 base damage and +30 HP when wearing light armor
Rank 5 Battle Healing (5% of total health rounded down start of each turn)
Familiar Mastery Expert - +1 (*Tier) Damage - +9 Damage
Extended Mod Limit Rank 3 (+3 Mods)
First Aid: Cost 5% in EN Heal 4% per rank of a target party member’s maximum HP (rounded down). Cannot target the user.
Field Medic Mod: 12 En + 3 En per player:  heal for 20% of each party members maximum HP

Bleeding Lance| Item Type: 2H Assault Spear Tier 3
Bleed 2 | Damage 1
'Bleed Damage of 24 for 2 turns on a roll of 8-10'
'Burn Damage' of 24 for 2 turns on a roll of 8-10 - Unmitigated

Name: Beacon Necklace | Item Type: Pendant | Tier 2
  +3 ACC 

Infernal Shadow | Item Type: Light Armour | Tier 3
 +2 Eva | +1 Flame Aura
'Effect: Prevent (6 per slot * Tier) damage per slot from successful attacks against you. Successful non-critical attacks against you deal (5 per slot * Tier) unmitigated burn damage to the attacking enemy.







Edited by Mari
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What an interesting sensation.

Freyd felt strangely relaxed as he was being tossed around by Chase like some sort of practice dummy, suffering negligible injury in the process.  It seemed like his opponent was trying to stun-lock him, but it wasn't working very well.  Having watched ChaseR's fighting style closely during their past adventures, he'd prepared for that contingency.  Then the chains came out.  Shocking - not. 

So much for it being a bare-knuckles fight.  The hypocrisy was astounding, or should have been, except it wasn't.  ChaseR was just like this.

A swift punch to the shoulder sent Freyd skidding backwards again, where he tumbled to the floor and rolled to pick himself back up again.  There was... Mari? 

How the hell had she gotten here so fa...oh. 

Two nasty gashes explained that question away rather quickly.  Reading the room, as he was wont to do, Freyd just melted back into the shadows, suppressing any urge to clean off dust and dirt.  Now was not the time to distract them, in any way.  They both needed this, even if they were both too damned stubborn to realize it.  He hadn't intended their confrontation this happen this way, but it could work out well.   

"I said you could punch him. Not turn yourself into the very thing you hate," she scolded. 

Yup.  Called it.  I wonder if he'll hear it, only because it's coming from her?  If only she realized the sway she had on people, especially others just like them both: passionate beyond the extreme.  I could explain it to them a hundred times, but neither wants to listen.  Stuffing his hands back in his pockets, he laughed internally at the lunacy of the situation.  Here he was in the bowels of the an open floor, with two angry orange-tagged, players screaming at each other.  He'd honestly tried to help both of them out, and been vilified for it. 

Maybe if I wore brighter colours, or something?  Nah. 

Sitting at the edge of the pall of darkness suited him best.  He understood and accepted the consequences.

@ChaseR @Mari

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Chase was ready to jump at Freyd once again. As shaking as his body was, it felt like he still hadn't beaten any sense into him whatsoever- but he had to. Just when he was about to throw himself at the other man as soon as he got up, he heard a shout from the side. The only thing to break through the silence because of how similar it sounded to Mari. As soon as he turned to look over, a slap hit him across the face and he almost fell down, struggling to keep his balance. He was slowly coming around in full again, staring at her almost blankly for a few seconds- seconds that felt like hours to him.

"... What is she saying? She's trying to talk to me. How did she get here? Why is her health not full?". The questions ran through his head as he blocked less and less noise from his head, only to hear her hurt voice questioning him about the cursor. "She's hurt. Did she see all of this?". And so, he sat to look at her while she spoke on and on, with tears forming on the corners of his eyes like a scolded child. His gaze followed her fingers to whatever they pointed- first his cursor, then Freyd. He heard her in full, but whenever he opened his mouth, he choked just like he had a while earlier, getting mauled by Freyd's taunting.

He wanted to explain to her, Chase wanted to talk to her about how Freyd had acted throughout this whole encounter, the things he'd told him and how he tried to enrage him more and more. "I didn't... I didn't want to get the cursor, I never wanted you to see me like this, he was supposed to listen to me for once...". No matter what was said in his headspace, nothing. Nothing came out, as much as he moved his mouth and tried to talk. He teared and sniffled, but no sound ever left his lips.

With Mari reaching out to him again, he closed his eyes tightly, feeling his heart race. He never felt her follow up with a slap though. Instead, the same warm embrace from before cupped his cheek again. He opened his eyes to look at her, tearing and starting to cry even more when she continued. "I never became like him, he never did good to anyone..! I didn't want him to be hurt, I just wanted him to say sorry to you genuinely... He wanted to avoid me, to put me below him and hurt me, I even took my armor and weapon off to be unable to hurt him- I thought he'd understand if he saw how I really felt..!"

Still silence. Nothing at all. Even now, slowly being pushed to his knees by her weightless hands, he couldn't muster a single word for the life of him. The tears completely blurred his vision, as he looked through his pockets nervously, pulling out a healing crystal and trying to put it in her hands. He wanted to apologise, to show her that he didn't want her to feel hurt, that he was filled with true regret for the first time in his life. "I'm sorry... I'm sorry, I really, really, really..."... He leaned in and pulled her into a hug, holding her tightly with weak hands. They shook, wrapped around her as if he was holding on for dear life. For as little as he said, his mannerisms and shifting expressions did all the talking.

[ChaseR offers Insta-Life ++ (T2/Perfect/HP REC III) to Mari.]

@Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows @Mari

Edited by ChaseR
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Chaser was silent as he stared at her - it looked like he had so many things to say - but every time he tried - nothing but choked sobs came out. "You're being reckless, and childish." She scolded softly. "What were you trying to do?" He didn't answer her in words - instead he leaned forward, burrying his face into her as his arms wrapped tightly around her - Mari almost fell, and had to steady herself. 

Just shove what you feel down and help this kid. 

"And you-" Mari said toward Freyd. "Sittin' there observing as if outside the situation. C'mon. Seriously. No one's gonna ever understand you if that's the shit you do."  A little rich, coming from Mari of all people - but truth be told, she was a little sick of how Freyd always just phased himself out of these situations. 

She turned her eyes back to Chaser. He still held onto her tightly.
"It's fine." She said, quietly, as if she were soothing a child who had just come out of time out. "But you can't have me comin' in like that all the time. I might not survive it." And it was true; she didn't have any stealth like abilities, she was particularly quick - which helped her escape the town guards- but if she hadn't been, she could easily have been hit another several times - and died. And whilst Mari didn't care if she did die; she didn't want that to be the way she went.

"Can one of - or both of you tell me how this all started?"

@ChaseR @Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows

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Freyd casually forwarded Mari the message he'd originally received from ChaseR.

"He asked to talk," he said, making it clear by his tone that he'd never had any expectations that ChaseR had any desire or expectations for this to unfold in any way other than it had.  "I came.  He offered a duel.  I refused without first receiving an explanation, then sent you that message."

He pointed at the orange icon over the blue-clad warrior's head. "That was his response."

Freyd splayed open his empty gloved palms.  "I never drew a weapon nor returned a single blow."  Internally, Freyd fully expected that this would somehow be twisted into some kind of bullshit, passive-aggressive provocations, but he let it slide in the hopes that one or both of them might prove him wrong.  Despite his detached demeanor, Freyd's mood and tone were gradually shifting towards the less-than-patient. 

"You know full well that if he'd tried this shit with any number of others, there'd be nothing but shattered blue crystals all over the floor of this cavern right now.  I'm not in this situation - you two are.  It's a crisis of your own making: your own engineered oblivion, again."  That was a clear shot at Mari, and a warning that his limits were being tested.  It was also, sadly, perfectly true.

"I'm here doing exactly what you're telling me I need to do, and this is what I get for it!  Don't condescend to tell me I need to step inside after how many times I've been berated for trying to do just that.  I didn't yank out your soul, Mari.  You'd already done that.  I'm the guy who willingly placed himself between you and the darkness that already existed within."  Too harsh, but Mari's temper and penchant for turning facts inside out was not going to go unanswered this time.  Unfortunately, those words would likely just set ChaseR off again.

Harshness settled into Freyd's face, though his eyes still held traces of hope and sympathy.  "Consider this: If I was half the monster you both seem to think I am, you wouldn't have reached him in time, and might well be walking half-dead into your own grave."  

Ripping off his black cowl, Freyd glared sternly at both of them, the red in his eyes flaring brightly in the cavern's unusual lighting.  "You two need to get your shit together."

Freyd activates Parry (-5 EN)

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"I didn't mean to make you mad, nor condescend you." Mari said quietly, brushing strands of hair away from her face as she listened to Freyd's explanation. It made sense, and Mari had seen no reason to doubt his words.  "I may have worded things wrong in the heat of...this moment..." she breathed as she gestured around the makeshift battlefield. She winced when he shot those words at her. It felt like he had driven a blade into her. They were spoken with an intent that Mari couldn't quite pick, but she could take a guess that it was to either spite her, or throw her own failings in her face.

t's a crisis of your own making: your own engineered oblivion, again."

"You know....He's right." Mari said as she turned to Chaser. "I don't think...I made it clear to you earlier that Freyd did apologize, I wasn't really in the best frame of mind - and I unwittingly omitted things." Mari tried to offer Chaser a half smile, but she barely had the strength to do that. "I think I did tell you that, yeh? I tend to lie by omission - without meaning to."  Although, Mari could only assume that Freyd disliked her now. She couldn't blame him. Hell, Mari hated herself. "I really wish you hadn't...fought him Chase - especially if it were on my behalf, a much lesser person would have killed you. It takes a great deal of patience to be berated like that and not retaliate."  Mari gestured to the angry red gashes that glowed over her torso. "Look. This is the reality of having an orange crystal. You shouldn't let yourself have one so easily. Be thankful it'll disappear in a few days."

You two need to get your shit together."

I'm trying...

And she had been...but each and every time she had some semblance of normalcy, things like this happened. She was trying....so hard - but everything kept crumbling around her - and she had kept giving so much of herself away. Maybe that's why Freyd was saying those words. This was inevitbly her fault. I really do just hurt anything close to me. She thought to herself. Hell, it had happened to Beat, Shield, and now...even Chasesr.

Her brow irked as he said Mari thought him a monster. "I never said you were." Mari said cooly, quietly. "Nor do I think you are."

I'm the monster.

@ChaseR @Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows

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When the two were done exchanging words, Chase was trying his darndest not to be livid again. But hearing Freyd talk to Mari like that just pissed him off- if he didn't feel immense weakness all over his body or have Mari around, he'd be passing Freyd around the rocks of the floor again. Instead, he just tightened the hug on Mari and felt all of his muscles tense up, pouring down more tears and mustering a whisper, even in his current, pathetic state. "... He's lying. He berated me back...". That was about the limit of what he could slip in before choking again.

If he wasn't having a migraine up to this point, this definitely was quite the migraine too. The bluehead just repeated Mari's words inside of his head, taking deep, shaky breaths like she'd told him to the last time he felt this mad. It didn't go away in full with him still around, but he began to feel just slightly calmer. Mari wasn't right though. "If this is how he talks to you, he never apologised for what he put you through... Why won't you understand... That's now someone who has regrets, that's someone who lies and manipulates..."

The chances of Chase and Freyd seeing eye to eye were slim and close to none. Before they even encountered one another, Freyd came here all the way fully stacked with consumables to make sure he'd have the upper hand, and even thought of Chase as trying out something underhanded when he saw him take his weapon and armor off. And here they were now, trying to debate over who should really get their shit together of the three, when in reality, it was all three. Each with their own issues, and two of them refused to accept that. The same two that were fighting, verbally and physically, moments ago.

As for bringing Mari all the way down here, he never expected it to be this way. He didn't want her to get hurt like this and he never wanted to put her in danger the same way he had just today. The bluehead was never planning on getting in trouble like this, for her nor for anyone else. "I'm sorry. I won't put you in danger again, I promise. Please don't be mad at me, I can explain later... When my head is clearer, I'm sure I can explain... I can show you..!". Even so, silence. Barely a squeal came out of his mouth while he tried to explain, now tearing quietly and keeping a tight hug around her.

@Freyd - The Whisper in Shadows @Mari

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