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[PP-F03] Odds and Evens, I.

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Arabelle | HP: 640/640 | EN: 102/102 | DMG: 21 | MIT: 20 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 2 | RSK: 8 | BRN: 42 (9-10) | BLD: 36 (9-10) | LD: 1 | [AA]


  • Ode to Endless Time +4
    WA T3E3  |  AA, BURN, BLEED

    [ref] The cogs beneath the glass layer do not move. The clock hands appear permanently frozen, for as long as the weapon is manifested. Yet with every new summoning, the 'time' this scythe measures slowly inches forward.
  • Eminence

    a silk wrist cuff, upon which a corsage of pure white roses is pinned.
  • Insignia of Retribution

    [ref] “May this savage song reach the hearts of those who have wronged you.” A black phoenix carrying an egg made of rhinestone. Grants the wearer accuracy when equipped.

battle-ready inventory

  • item#1



● War Axe V
     -> Stamina
     -> Precision
● Cloth Armor V
     -> Athletics
         ... Nimble
● Battle Healing V
    -> Emergency Recovery
● Energist

01. Parry
      -> Vengeful Riposte





Lemon-flavored candy.

Increases out of combat HP regen by (5 * Tier HP) and decreases full energy regen to 2 out of combat posts.

Increase the effectiveness of a single food item consumed in a thread by +1 T1 slot. This can exceed normal Cook enhancement caps.


[DHA 3: Lost Blessings and Ancient Evils]


Arabelle let her fingers glide beneath the surface of a small stream. A sickly glow emanated from the stone forming its bed and the gentle flow of water reflected in her ashen eyes as her gaze followed the current downstream to where it ended in a small pool against the side of the cave. Cool to the touch, perfect for drinking -- if one was at a point where they lacked access to any safezone's supplies, anyway. She figured those were refilled water bottles lined up along the bank.

Her moment of quiet ended when she heard a rustling movement behind her. She peered over her shoulder into the makeshift camp built in the shadow of the farther end of the cave.

"You sleep so quietly. Most people couldn't do that even if they wanted to." Arabelle shook water droplets from her hand and snapped a satin glove back over her wrist. "Ah, but that won't really help if you're this horrible at hiding your tracks. Or, perhaps... did the little rat just stop trying?"

There was no real threat in her appearance, only vicious amusement. Her scythe was nowhere to be found and a little gift in the form of a moderately-sized pouch rested just beside Pinball's sleeping bag. It was opened just wide enough for the vagabond to make out the signature shine of her performer crystals, and Arabelle had to hide a sneer behind her gloved hand as she observed. She entwined her fingers behind her back moments later, to speak to him with an angelic smile.

"Hello. Some things are different, but you should still recognize me as Arabelle. How have you been?"

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He awoke to the sound of someone whose voice never failed to annoy him, yet always succeeded in sending a dreadful shiver down his spine. 

"Little rat?" Pinball had quickly pulled himself out of his bag as he heard her approach. His first move had been for his sword, until his groggy mind put two and two together and he pulled away from it, annoyed, his eyes lingering on the sack of crystals left beside him. A slick looking black cat that had been snuggling beside him burst into a fluffy cloud of shadows and filled the jar beside his headrest, and as he stood, Pinball began hooking it to his belt. "That's bold even for you, isn't it?" 

It was of notable interest that the cave he'd resided in wasn't particularly well lit, especially not the jagged overhang he'd been sleeping under. As such, his eyes would glow a bright yellow, and seemingly leave faint, evanescent trails in the darkness as he scooped his sword up and moved for its mouth. He said nothing about her changed appearance, and didn't grab the crystals as he went. Why did she look so different-? The question had placed itself on the forefront of his mind, but he brushed it under the rug, along with his response to her "friendly greeting" and an indignant insult or three. 

"You'll have to forgive me." He said, brushing past her and walking a bit a ways into the forest. "That's a bit too perfect a place to be murdered." 

Turning back to face her, his eyes again their normal shade of blue, Pinball rested his hand on the hilt of his sword and tilted his head. 

Unfortunately still, not one part of him wanted anything to do with Arabelle. It was a shame that most of the time, he didn't feel like he had too much of a choice in the matter. 

"What do you need, Arabelle?" 


Player Stats + House Buffs: 


Level: 31 (Paragon Level 36)
Health: 760 | Energy: 114
DMG: 20  | ACC: 3  | EVA: 3 | BH: 30 
Combat Skills:
►Combat Mastery - Damage [13/13]: Rank 3 
►Energist [8 SP
►Battle Healing [22/30 SP]: Rank 4 
Weapon Skills:
►One-Handed Straight Sword [30/30]: Rank 5 
►Martial Arts [8/30]: Rank 2 
Utility Skills:
►Searching [30/30]: Rank 5 
►Lock Picking [15/15]: Rank 3 
►Extended Mod Limit [10 SP
Extra Skills:
►Parry [10 SP
Familiar Skill: 
►Grappling Familiar [10 SP
Armor Skills:
►Justified Riposte 
►Night Vision 
►1HSS Ferocity 
»[Equipped] [Demonic] Cold Fervor: +2 Freeze, Phase, Cursed 
»[Equipped] [Perfect] Dragon’s Skin: +3 EVA
»[Equipped] [Perfect] Warrior’s Focus: +3 ACC
Battle Ready: 
» [2x] Teleportation Crystal 
» [x5] Lacrimosa - HP Recovery III Crystal {Instant}
» [Demonic 1HSS] Jack’s Hellfire: Burn, Bleed, Blight, Cursed
» [Demonic 1HSS] Astral Blade: Holy, Fallen, +2 Damage

“Well Rested”:  -1 energy cost for the first three expenditures of each combat
“Squeaky Clean”: The first time you would suffer DoT damage in a thread, reduce damage taken from DoT each turn by 25% (rounded down)
“Filling”: Increase the effectiveness of a single food item consumed in a thread by +1 T1 slot. This can exceed normal Cook enhancement caps. Ex: A perfect T2 MIT food gives 35 MIT instead of 30
“Relaxed”: Increases HP regen by (5 * Tier HP) and decreases full energy regen to 2 Out of Combat Posts.
“Item Stash”: +1 Battle Ready Inventory Slot 


Edited by Pinball
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Dustin's body lay still in the swaying branches of the tree. Night hunting was always a bother, so he had decided to wait until dawn. His best option was a tree, having forgotten what it was like to sleep on the grass and rocks. It was fairly accurate the way the game simulated both, which is why Dustin hardly had trouble getting some rest. But at the same time he had never liked sleeping outside of his home, not since he got it at least.

His hair rustled along with the leaves in the gentle breeze nipping at his skin, but hadn't brushed him enough to truly wake him up. Even the fibers brushing his brow did little to make him stir, but the wind would pick up and the branch would sway violently beneath him for a moment. His eyes would shoot open and his arm would try to correct the shift in weight as his body began to scoot off of the branch. Suddenly, despite his best efforts, a sense of weightlessness would wash over the young man as his back scraped against the smooth bark on this particular tree, he had over corrected and managed to throw himself off of his bed of timber.

A loud thud would echo off of the stone face he had managed to narrowly avoid, but his grunts of pain wouldn't drown out the noise of two very familiar voices chatting about something. "Damn, not how I wanted to start my day." His hand would rub the most painful part of his head, as he sat up in a very tired anime protagonist-esque position.

"Whatever." The defeated child would sigh, refusing to confirm the idea of the two people he would hate to see the most right now being right next to him.




620 HP | 80 EN | 78 MIT | 22 DMG | 1 EVA | 2 ACC | 31 BH



Rank 5 Martial Arts (ferocity mod)

Rank 5 Light Armor

Rank 5 Battle Healing

Rank 3 Combat Mastery: Damage



[Equipped][Perfect] Strength of Thor | Damage III (innactive due to Combat Mastery)

[Equipped][Perfect] Security Sweatshirt | MIT II EVA I

[Equipped][Rare] Oroboros | Accuracy II



[Rested] - -1 energy cost for the first two expenditures of each combat

[Col Stash] - +5% bonus col from monster kills and treasure chests


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"You know. Things that scurry about in the dark. Taking shiny sparkly things that aren't theirs. My parents raised me quite well, so I would've had some compassion for common vermin-- if they had just asked."

His cold reception was neither unexpected nor unfamiliar. Arabelle didn't move a finger as Pinball went for his sword; she looked down at him and waited, as though she were dealing with a stranger's child throwing a tantrum, and once he realized her notable lack of defenses, his hand loosening around the weapons hilt as he scanned her warily, she pulled apart her entwined fingers and held up both of the hands she had held behind her back. Black gloves. A white corsage on her left wrist. Otherwise: empty.

That wasn't enough. He stormed out of the cavern, leaving her and the rest of his things behind. 

"Eh? But I've been here a while and I haven't done anything?" Four steps behind him, she stopped just shy of where the shadow of the cave gave way to the light of day. "Against an unknown enemy, it's objectively better to kill them in their sleep when one has the chance to rather than face them in direct combat."

"What do you need, Arabelle?"

She twined her fingers behind her back.

"The ashes of the place just a few minutes' walk from here," she said, meeting his gaze curiously. "It was quite a nice place to rest in, wasn't it? Far, far away from any settlement, yet somehow being a protected zone itself. The owner never revealed the trick to it to any common passerby who dared ask, but every person who has at least visited more than once eventually reached the unanimous decision that the place was such a welcome relief from their travels that they didn't need to know the 'how.'"

Arabelle turned her eyes eastward. 

"Regardless of how strongly Mishiro protected her sanctuary's secrets, it was still wiped off the map.

"Partial points for maintaining it so long and the effort, I suppose. Anyway, I heard tell of some rumors. NPCs talking about strange things happening in the forest, players talking about a lone orange cursor." Three steps short. She leaned in to bring herself a little close, lavender hair spilling past her shoulders. "I already know the answer to the first, and I had a guess at the second from the description alone, but I reeeally thought it was too cheesy. Is this all just a coincidence, or are you just so attached to a memory?"


A shower of leaves from the trees above. And a body. 

She looked down at the crumpled heap on the ground and almost laughed.

"Dustin. Hello," Arabelle greeted pleasantly. "Were the two of you together?"

ID 188553, LD 16 + 1 = 17, [Dragon's Nest found]

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Attached to a memory?

Pinball's stance grew rigid in an instant, and and coldness in his demeanor was only reinforced and accentuated twofold. Why was it that she saw fit to stick her nose in his business all the time? And that condescending tone, and the way she spoke, and, just -- 

-- everything. There was a flash of red in his cheeks as he stumbled over himself for a retort, but ultimately, it wouldn't be necessary. With a resounding crash just to the side of the two players, a third fell from a tree above. Pinball's head snapped in their direction, and his expression immediately soured, as if it could have possibly gotten any worse than it had been already. Arabelle was on the verge of laughter. Pinball didn't think that there was anything funny about it. When she asked whether they were together or not, Pinball physically recoiled. 

"We were not." 

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Dustin's head was still ringing when Arabelle decided to open the can of worms Dustin had tried so hard to keep locked up. Whatever, it brought on a great opportunity anyways. "Biblically?" Dustin would say, flashing a faint smile towards the pair of them. "Oh, you mean last night. Nah, I was just tired, so I slept in this tree." He had turned in pretty early, so in his mind they showed up out of nowhere, but that didn't matter.

They weren't the ones falling out of trees.

"If that's all the questions you have, I'll be on my way." Dustin's words carried a much duller tone, still livelier than Pinball's, but still kind of dead. He hadn't the time nor energy to deal with the drama this meeting would bring up, but it was nice to see those two were okay. The kid would stay on the ground, sitting in such a cheesy position was actually rather comfortable after falling head first from a branch that was higher than you are tall. "Actually, I was here first, so I'm gonna stay here... I think." That afternoon was a little hazy, and he hadn't checked for anyone, but still he should've known someone was around if they were.

"Ah damn, No, I gotta kill that dragon people have been talking about." The boy in blue mumbled quietly to himself, standing up and wiping his butt off out of habit. "Anyways, I wish you two the best of luck in your lover's quarrel." His eyes remained fixated on any direction but theirs, however his words were a bit pointed towards them.

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Dustin's smile. Pinball's vehement denial.

She wasn't just amused anymore when she looked back-and-forth between the two. This day was just rife with coincidence, wasn't it? Arabelle politely detached herself from Pinball's side. She made no attempt to help Dustin up from his awkward position on the ground, but she peered down at him with the same hopeful smile she knew she had once worn back when they were 'close.'

"Hey. Say my name," she said.

Bother, she thought.

She had been so close to hearing what Pinball had to say, for once.

"I'm not," Arabelle returned. She shut one eye and twirled a finger around her hair, the strands of her attention finding root somewhere far away from the two. Technically, she had done what she came here to do, and all that was left was completely resolving the other situation. "Take my place in the quarrel instead -- you play the role better than me, I don't mind. Pinball's killings are all old news by now, so I won't bother adding to the gossip in town.

"And, Dustin? That's interesting, but you're completely mistaken. Je me casse."


She headed for the east.

The third floor was... different from how she remembered it. [Flora], the [Forest of Wavering Mists], the elves, and the labyrinth remained -- but gone were the treants, the flowery town of [Delilah] and the ruined church one could sight from its premises, and in the spaces they left were the Faune and the much more aggressive Fae, and a village nestled among treetops. Aincrad's remaking was done with malice, in a sense. Arabelle hadn't been wandering the combat zones for more than a couple days and yet she could no longer count on her fingers the amount of times she had set her feet on a familiar path only to find that it now curved off somewhere she was unused to.

Hermes's near collapse. Fione scribbling down names as they watched the Monument. Transcribed accounts of the flood on Floor 7 spread all over her living room table, the person at the other end asking her to recheck their alibi one more time.

And the new ruins by the lake. 

You are all dancing upon the palm of my hand.


A dragon and its hatchling waited at the shore.

"Have you finished your business?"

"Mm. And I've decided how to handle yours."

"You will have our gratitude."

"Lovely. Now hand me your blessing and I'll bring you back Qeozze's head."



Arabelle | HP: 640/640 | EN: 93/102 | DMG: 21 | MIT: 20 | ACC: 7 | EVA: 2 | RSK: 8 | BRN: 42 (9-10) | BLD: 36 (9-10) | LD: 1 | [AA] [PARRY: 1/3]


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  • 1 month later...

He didn't know what was going on between them and he didn't really even care to stop and think about it. 

Arabelle was weird. Dustin was weirder. He just wanted to sleep, but he knew he wasn't going to be able to do that anytime soon. Exasperated, he ran his palm across the side of his face and sighed. Okay, so they were doing this. It wasn't the first time Arabelle had enlisted his help on a quest, but he couldn't help but wonder if it was just to mess with him. The update, from what he had heard, had not only completely changed most floors and landmarks, but also leveled the playing field for everyone. Was she uncomfortable, maybe, with the new, unfamiliar systems? For some reason, Pinball doubted it, but then she went and said something aggravating again, calling the murders old news, and Pinball lost his train of thought completely. 

They headed east. 

A quest, a dragon -- it wasn't a foreign concept in any sense of the word. Had Pinball any interest in the fantastical and the stats, the very concept of dragon hunting would have been done to death by this point, as the whole quest line had originally been nothing but a grueling grind. By the initial looks of it, the only thing that had changed was the focus of a combat grind onto a narrative grind. Why did they bother with so much unnecessary exposition if the end result was the same? 

Or maybe he just wanted it over with as soon as possible. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dustin was already tired of the conversation from the moment it had started, but when Arabelle spoke to him the way she did his heart started racing. Her voice demanded his attention and his eyes quickly moved away from the woman he cared deeply for, his face following suit to hide his sheer embarrassment painting his cheeks a pinkish red. Damn. Quickly he would stand up still facing the other way as he thought of a witty retort, but she had already moved on.

It was too late now, he had missed his chance to try and draw a similar reaction from her. Not that he could succeed in any way, Dustin never really had a way with words even comparable to this woman.

Whatever happened, Dustin was done with it. All alone he would set off the exact opposite way of the two, hoping to create some distance and maybe find the right spot for this Dragon they were hunting. ”I don’t need them, I’ll just find the Dragon myself and claim the glory.” His sullen voice carried to the ground, his feet kicking the dirt like a child throwing a tantrum. Unsure of what this fight had in store, but completely sure of how ready he was to slay the beast and stand atop the hill as if he had slain God.

Or become him.

Opening his map would reveal what was painfully obvious, not only was he going the way he came... but he was going the wrong way, the complete wrong way. The boy would turn on his heels and start sprinting back full speed to try and pass them and start the fight without the two.

Edited by Dustin
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