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| somewhere in the nobles district. 

rich people were the worst.

for starters, they sure had the gall to hoard precious land in a cramped city, with lavish buildings built on top of them; for their own personal collection, for one purpose or another. never was it an effort out of necessity. 

night felt the weight of the arboretum in gold as she walked through it, darkness all around her. there were plots and fields in growing sizes by the sides of a weaving path through the gardens, clusters of different plants gathered next to each other. they had flowers, petals, herbs in various colours, taking refuge by the shelter of a nearby tree. an obvious attempt at decor. night wasn't an expert on these things, though her best guess for the dark wood she'd passed under was a willow.

crossing a bridge, her eyes warily watched the flowing water running underneath it. a man-made river; it was clear, speckled concrete visible through it. on its surface, it caught the reflections of the glass dome it sat under. a gentle burbling was in graceful harmony with the garden's ever present rustling of leaves.

8hmll5P.png
| NIGHT
 | Status: [something feels missing from her empty hand.]

Notes: 
Water Canister (-1) | +20 HP PER OOC REGEN
 | ooc hp regen: 60HP/post

Spoiler

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 142/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | Stealth Rating: 5


 equipment

  • Cosmic Devourer+1 
    | ABS. ACC, ACC, ACC
  • Jacket of the Prince
    | LD II, EVA, REC (3)
  • Silver Ring
    | PROSP III 

 battle-ready inventory

  • Gungir's Shard | Missing You (5)
    | -> 
    [ref] | HP RECOVERY III | INSTANT
  • Teleport Crystal (5)
    | TELEPORT | INSTANT
  • Ikayaki Slice (5)
    | VITALITY II [+12 EN]

 skills

Spoiler

mod count: 7/7

  • 2HSS | RANK 5/5
    • ferocity, stamina
  • CLOTH ARMOR | RANK 5/5
    • athletics, nimble
  • COMBAT MASTERY: DMG | RANK 3/3
  • SEARCHING | RANK 3+1/5
    • tracking
  • BATTLE HEALING | RANK 3/5
  • EXTENDED MOD LIMIT
  • ENERGIST
  • FAMILIAR: PROFESSION

extra

  1. SURVIVAL
  2. CONCENTRATION
  3. HIDING
    • blindside, vanish, surprise attack-t
  4. [CS] METAMORPHOSES

 consumed buffs

Spoiler

statue

  • KUMATETSU | +1 DMG

consumables

  • Ice Cream Mochi | LOOT DIE III | [#154357]
  • Hanami Dango | PROSPERITY III | [#157664-1]
  1. Monkey's Agility | EVASION I
  2. Divinity's Protection | OVERHEALTH III | [#174129-2]
  3. Smores | ACCURACY II | [#176134-2]
  4. Breakfast Fry | PROTEIN II | FILLED
  5. Liquor of Light | DAMAGE III 

 misc buffs

Spoiler

housing

  • Dimensional Backpack, Item Stash
    | +2 Battle-Ready Inventory Slots.
  • Well Rested
    | -1 EN for the first three expenditures of each combat. 
  • Relaxed
    | +(5 * Tier) HP per out-of-combat post. Full energy restoration occurs after two turns out of combat.
  • Squeaky Clean
    | -25% DoT damage taken from the first DoT applied to this player in a thread.
  • Skylight: Searching
    | +1 Expertise to declared utility skill. Cooldown of 30 days to reassign.
  • Multipurpose
    | +1 LD/Prosperity/Stealth/Detection to one post per thread. Can be applied after a roll.
  • Filling
    | +1 T1 slot to a food consumed by this player in a thread. Can exceed Cook enhancement caps.
  • Col Deposit
    | +5% col from loot-minimum mobs, +10% col from treasure chests.

paragon

  • Lv. 5 | Gain additional col equivalent to 10% of EXP earned in that thread.
  • Lv. 10 | +3% EXP Gain.

gathering

rank 2 | xp: 69/200

  • Greenhouse
    | +2 G.EXP, +1 CD&LD to gathering attempts.
  • Familiar: Profession
    | +2 G.EXP
  • Demeter's Cornucopia
    | +1 CD to gathering attempts. 

 

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and it would've remained peaceful, status quo ethereal, if it hadn't been for the player's intrusion. her steps broke up natural silence and comforting ambience with the shuffling of footsteps down dusty roads.

in her right, she had cosmic devourer drawn, edge unheated. her left curled and uncurled instead, an idle fidgeting — cardinal's warning of treachery at the corner of her screen had set her on guard, despite knowing that the nobles district was meant to be a safe zone. perhaps alkor had the right of it, that the city was meant to be hostile. night truly wondered what was to be made of her enemies on this floor aside from disabling the occasional guard or street rat when they crossed her path, graced her presence the wrong way.

she also then wondered which name present in the upper class owned this building, terraformed an entire world inside of it without strict oversight of its creation. sure; the system created it all and put the onus on one of its inhabitants. night still would've liked to know who owned that fault, for they were certain to have many others.

knowing their name would have been half the battle won on avoiding them in the future.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> TEMPEST

191765 | 10 | -> Leshin #1
191766 | 1 + 5 = 6 | -> Leshin #2
191767 | 3 + 5 = 8 | -> Leshin #3
191768 | 1 + 5 = 6 | -> Leshin #4

| (-12 - 8 + 2) = -18 EN
| 30 * 14 = 420 DMG

Leshin #1 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #2 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #3 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #4 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED

NIGHT | HP: 966/966 | EN: 124/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [T: 0/2]

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night was quiet — her shifter was quieter. and yet when the player snuck out in the dead hours of the dark, she felt that familiar gaze upon her back, noted that familiar tag at the corner of her periphery.

(why hadn't she stopped her from following, again? she had all the right to do so, time and time again she'd found herself remarking so. an invasion of privacy, this was; and though it was unsettling, there was something about their game of cat and mouse, something from it that made her want to keep it afoot.)

but she was still sour; of course she was, having been tailed for far too long, over that stretch of distance between her home, the teleporters, and her final destination. earlier, before the gardens, when night had entered through the main hall of the establishment, it had been nothing but scattered furniture in the distance, drenched in monotones of the night. if there'd been anywhere to hide, it would've been in the darkness, more several feet away from the woman's position, a distance that the player was certain her dopple was hesitant to maintain.

in there, she was certain there would be nowhere for her counterpart to remaining cloaked. when she stopped to turn, her glare was practiced, and her guesswork paid off — it piercing through the familiar soul of her stalker.

day's only reaction was a flinch.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> CYCLONE

191769 | 2 | CD

191769 | 4 + 5 = 9 | -> Leshin #1
191770 | 9 | -> Leshin #2
191771 | 10 | -> Leshin #3
191772 | 4 + 5 = 9 | -> Leshin #4

| (-7 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -9 EN
| 30 * 7 = 210 DMG

Leshin #1 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #2 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #3 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #4 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182

NIGHT | HP: 966/966 | EN: 115/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [T: 1/2] [C: 0/2]

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day stuck out like an eyesore, a brightness against speckled greys. the player wondered how anyone could've snuck around with such a glowing appearance.

"do you not take no for an answer or something?"

night didn't have time to play around, nor did she have patience to entertain her puppy's whims of escort. she watched with a thrumming on her throat, empty hand shifting to her hip, as the gemini's half-smile faltered under criticism.

"its unusual for you to step out in the middle of the night without saying anything," day murmured, eyes shifting towards the carpeted floor. her eyes were the only thing, aside from the blonde's hair, that gave the room any colour, night noted. towards the skylight, the entity raised her head up once again, before she lowered it, irises locked upon night's sword, now dull from the lack of its heat.

"i did tell you that you should call on me for help more."

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> GALAXY DESTROYER

191773 | 9 | CD | +3EN

191773 | 2 + 5 = 7 | -> Leshin #5 || 5 - 3 = 2
191774 | 3 + 5 = 8 | -> Leshin #6 || 5 - 3 = 2
191775 | 1 + 5 = 6 | -> Leshin #7 || 6 - 3 = 3
191776 | 2 + 5 = 7 | -> Leshin #8 || 10

| (-14 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -16 EN
| 30 * 17 = 510 DMG

| 966 - (182+2) = 782 HP

Leshin #5 | HP: 110/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #6 | HP: 110/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #7 | HP: 110/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #8 | HP: 110/620 | DMG: 182

NIGHT | HP: 782/966 | EN: 102/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [T: 2/2] [C: 1/2] [GD: 0/4]

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and she'd been over why she hadn't been doing so, more than once. the woman explained it all again, blade shifting to rest on her shoulder, that there were consequences to being recognized as both a player-type and an entity, consequences that might be deadly to day's self, if not only night's own.

even so--

"i can't sit idle knowing you're putting yourself in danger when i can help it."

"and i shouldn't have to put up with you following me everywhere i go," night muttered, eyes shifting away from the gemini, towards the glass door that separated them from the gardens. its black reflection caught a white flash as day pulled her weapon from the brink, much to the player's disdain.

"i'll take this one. since it's a new floor, there's bound to be new threats in here that neither you and i have seen before."

the player narrowed her eyes as the entity placed her hand on the door. you'll never find them, she'd wanted to say, because they'll think you're one of them.

the words died on her tongue, however. a better idea surfaced instead.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> BLAST

191777 | 2 | CD |

191777 | 3 + 5 = 8 | -> Leshin #5
191778 | 8 | -> Leshin #6
191779 | 9 | -> Leshin #7
191780 | 5 + 5 = 10 | -> Leshin #8

| (-4 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -6 EN
| 30 * 4 = 120 DMG

Leshin #5 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #6 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #7 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #8 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182

NIGHT | HP: 810/966 | EN: 96/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [C: 2/2] [GD: 1/4] [B: 0/2]

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her original course of action had been stealth; it would have paid off for her dopple to get more practice in, given their likelihood for standing out. that, and using night as their trigger made the perfect setup for encounters in their makeshift arena, the player still keeping her sword at the ready, a tight hold on its grip by her side.

past a three-way crossroads and she'd finally felt that shift of wind, a harsh tap of a finger on her shoulder, one that dug into her skin and nearly bought a yelp out of her -- "they're on your right," day uttered into her ear, in a tone night would repeat in her dreams, in a seriousness that the player couldn't help but pause to process, to understand the wariness of cardinal's pawn and its usefulness once put to a purpose.

her gemini melted to the dark; night's eyes and ears. the woman merely batted her eyes towards where she thought her other was, with a nod, a sign of appreciation. her feet beat the dusty path, and amongst the conifers planted in the distance she did see a shifting of shadows. her targets.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> TEMPEST

191781 | 3 | CD

191781 | 2 + 5 = 7 | -> Leshin #9
191782 | 8 | -> Leshin #10
191783 | 1 + 5 = 6 | -> Leshin #11
191784 | 4 + 5 = 9 | -> Leshin #12

| (-12 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -14 EN
| 30 * 14 = 420 DMG

Leshin #9 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #10 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #11 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #12 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED

NIGHT | HP: 838/966 | EN: 82/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [GD: 2/4] [B: 1/2] [T: 0/2]

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from fleur's investigation, after an unfortunate picnic accident with familial who owned the building, it had been left abandoned, and what wildwood inhabitants were left festering out of the nobles' fears of attempting to resolve the problem. and therein lied her cue, the broker's move as a weapon; may there be some order restored amongst the happenings of the city once this catastrophe resolved. and the possibility of treasures other than experience for her monster clearing troubles be put on the table, too.

fleur had only promised night safety in the past. seeing as how she'd been the only warrior in contact known to have braved shadow's lair, the woman could only guess she'd finally proven her status, her reliability, for odd jobs such as these. little to no detailed information had been provided, something that left night unsettled, yet intrigued; her preparations had been light in the aftermath, despite rigid planning.

(but now they were heavier still. because she wasn't alone on the search anymore.)

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> CYCLONE

191785 | 1 | CD

191785 | 9 | -> Leshin #9
191786 | 10 | -> Leshin #10
191787 | 3 + 5 = 8 | -> Leshin #11
191788 | 2 + 5 = 7 | -> Leshin #12

| (-7 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -9 EN
| 30 * 7 = 210 DMG

Leshin #9 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #10 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #11 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #12 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182

NIGHT | HP: 866/966 | EN: 73/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [GD: 3/4] [B: 2/2] [T: 1/2] [C: 0/2]

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the signs that she'd taken notice to were the broken spokes off bushes and plants; branches and twigs carefully ruined, in a way that maintained their form whole. there were no scratches, no indentations nor forces of violence other than the fragile breaks to the plants within the region. plants that were small, decoration pieces. plants that weren't the main attraction of their park.

her gaze wandered towards the treeline; taller, towering. her threat was hidden amongst them, from what she could've figured, the shadows of their figure stretching out as much as they did. though she did pause, a careful move and observation, before she'd approached the gathering of oaks before her: if her target was so large to begin with, why hadn't she spotted them against the forest yet?

that hostile glow from the dark called for her attention once she got close. and claws, splinter sharp, dove for the perimeter of its hideaway, pushing aside leaves and branches in the most delicate way possible for the monstrosity, weaving itself out of the cluster with a ghastly grunt.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> BLAST

191789 | 10 | CD | +3EN

191789 | 6 | -> Leshin #13 || 9
191790 | 2 + 5 = 7 | -> Leshin #14 || 8 - 3 = 5
191791 | 7 | -> Leshin #15 || 9
191792 | 7 | -> Leshin #16 || 9

| (-4 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -6 EN
| 30 * 4 = 120 DMG

| 866 + 28 - ((182+1) *3) = 345 HP

Leshin #13 | HP: 500/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #14 | HP: 500/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #15 | HP: 500/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #16 | HP: 500/620 | DMG: 182

NIGHT | HP: 345/966 | EN: 70/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [GD: 4/4] [B: 0/2] [T: 2/2] [C: 1/2]

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a treant. though not as large, ancient nor old as she'd expected one of its stereotype to have been. the arboreal abhorrence was taller, thinner; no leaves on its figure, bare; as though it was walking deadwood. its attacks, then, were also much faster in retrospect; night's blade started to light once the first swing had been thrown her way, and the rustle of its supports leaving the leaves it held onto seemed to draw more hollowed eyes from the dark, the player noticed.

she'd skid to the side, keeping her distance away from the creature's initial strike. her sights only darted around the vicinity; there was only one target ahead of her, with more to arrive on her left. the oaks were where they'd been hiding, she knew of that now, but what of the conifers on her right? her pause had almost been intentional for communication; the player half expected another pat on her back about the details of her immediate vicinity.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> GALAXY DESTROYER

191793 | 3 | CD

191793 | 8 | -> Leshin #13
191794 | 7 | -> Leshin #14
191795 | 10 | -> Leshin #15 
191796 | 9 | -> Leshin #16 

| (-14 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -16 EN
| 30 * 17 = 510 DMG

Leshin #13 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #14 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #15 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #16 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182

NIGHT | HP: 373/966 | EN: 54/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [GD: 0/4] [B: 1/2] [C: 2/2]

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alas, there was nothing yet in the time it took for her front most target to strike once again. night's step backwards to dodge a wide swing was then followed up with an advance, to sear the treant diagonally upwards, the creature howling in tandem with her blade's sizzling, high heat across wood.

that batter of her second challenger had caught her off-guard; from the side, that dash forward of a punch, splinter-full, had cut through the leaves, the treant's spikes falling apart and impaling green in a reckless, immediate maneuver. night was thrown backwards in the lunge, expecting to hit the concrete of the path behind her, though two grips by the small of her back forced breath of her and set only the balls of her feet as the closest contact upon the floor. the player was barely upright, supported by a foreign contact, aligned to the stone at a low diagonal angle.

"there're approaching from behind you, too," day added, remaining steadfast while her companion brushed up against her with hesitance, pulled herself up to her own feet.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> TEMPEST

191797 | 2 | CD

191797 | 3 + 5 = 8 | -> Leshin #17
191798 | 3 + 5 = 8 | -> Leshin #18
191799 | 4 + 5 = 9 | -> Leshin #19 
191800 | 8 | -> Leshin #20

| (-12 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -14 EN
| 30 * 14 = 420 DMG

Leshin #17 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #18 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #19 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #20 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED

NIGHT | HP: 401/966 | EN: 40/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [GD: 1/4] [B: 2/2] [T: 0/2]

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two packs at the fault of you, night had nearly growled. that it might've been a mistake to have rewarded her doppel for her bad habits, to have thought to rely on cardinal, again, in thinking that perhaps the system was affording to be more lenient on her expeditions if just once. the player rotated the blade in her hand, as she felt the shiver of air with day's draw of her own spear.

"i'll take care of my own set." a reassuring affirmation, though night continued to wonder nonetheless if there were any more threats on their way. the group of four from what she could see were but visible under moonlight, now, and what damage she'd done to the single treant was negligible, at best.

her sword art had cooldowns now. she knew she had to land her attacks carefully, to test the waters with wit and intelligence.

"don't manage any more than what you can handle."

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> CYCLONE

191801 | 6 | CD

191801 | 10 | -> Leshin #17
191802 | 1 + 5 = 6 | -> Leshin #18
191803 | 3 + 5 = 8 | -> Leshin #19 
191804 | 1 + 5 = 6 | -> Leshin #20

| (-7 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -9 EN
| 30 * 7 = 210 DMG

Leshin #17 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #18 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #19 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #20 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182

NIGHT | HP: 429/966 | EN: 31/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [GD: 2/4] [T: 1/2] [C: 0/2]

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she burst forth then, right at the start of day's coy reply.

"i should be saying that to you instead!"

the entity was made to play dirty, after all. no cooldowns, no sword arts; only pure undirected form, a chaotic yet reliable whimsy in the hands of some pawn capable. night was thankful her targets weren't of the sort, and that the only one in the vicinity that matched that description was on her side, on her team. the back side of her blade drew away from a treant once she'd struck it with a sharp and discerning bash. a whirl she'd delivered afterwards was then a reimagining of the system's once singular strike maneuver; cyclone decimated the field, thankfully, but it didn't stop the horde from continuing to seep through the dark wood.

there were lunges more; and night played careful with her dancing and weaving, practiced and steady, but not infallible to error.

Spoiler

RESTING | +60 HP, +1 EN // ooc

191805 | 10 | CD | +3EN

CONSUMING FROM INVENTORY

  • Cold Brew Coffee | HP RECOVERY III | (3) | [155791-1] [155791-2] [155798-1]
  • Round of Beef | TIER 3 VITALITY II | (4) | [154511-3] [154512] [154512-1] [154512-2]

+432 HP, +48 EN // consumables

NIGHT | HP: 921/966 | EN: 83/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [GD: 3/4] [T: 2/2] [C: 1/2]

// [20/5/21] NIGHT: due to an en miscalculation error, chaffing 3 more vitality items to match the expected EN total.

  • Ikayaki Slice | TIER 3 VITALITY II | (3) | [153295-2] [153297] [153298]
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no, not error. unforseen circumstances. [tempest] was a judicator keeping its prosecuted under lock and key; but [blast] was a whimpering of wind in comparison to its counterpart, a chain forged in strategy for efficiency. that sword art, simple in kind, left the player defenseless for a spell as she stood still to craft its likeness out of thin air, while her second guessing, now discarded in the heat of battle, had been an accurate assessment. that there were more than just four, more than just a number of treants that she could count on her hand and whisk away with nary two snaps of her fingers.

she'd near misfired her attack when three swings threw her around like a ragdoll. her figure was light; it must've been like whipping at a feather, the way her build no longer gave her form any weight, no longer intercepted the lashings of her enemies with a barricade of leather nor steel.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> TEMPEST

191806 | 12 | CD | +3 EN

191806 | 6 | -> Leshin #17
191807 | 2 + 5 = 7 | -> Leshin #18
191808 | 5 + 5 = 10 | -> Leshin #19 
191809 | 9 | -> Leshin #20

| (-12 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -14 EN
| 30 * 14 = 420 DMG

Leshin #21 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #22 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #23 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #24 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED

NIGHT | HP: 949/966 | EN: 72/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [GD: 4/4] [T: 0/2] [C: 2/2]

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so that thundering of her heartbeat, her cheek smeared across grass was but in well response to her gauge slipping into orange once again, but a hairpin's width from meeting yellow, finally, after so long of having remained in the green. she picked herself up, wiping the blades off her skin, tightening her hold on her sword as she did, eyes locked on the growing number of treants in her periphery.

and that glow of white light from her side, tearing into the darkness, the trees and forest, eliminating that count without mercy nor inaccuracy--

night nearly rushed herself back into the fight, knowing there wouldn't be safety, not until her quarry was missing from their field. and yet the singular glance of concern from her other in midst her execution routine was but enough to speak reason to her, for the player to fish out certain consumables and drown herself in their flavours for a moment. her enemies were fast; yes, she did nearly choke, scarfing the last of her meal down when they'd gotten a meter close to unleashing an attack, but at the last moment in those preparatory seconds to strike, night ducked back out a safe distance, sparing only a beat to review what arts were available to her in that moment for expenditure.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> CYCLONE

191810 | 4 | CD

191810 | 9 | -> Leshin #17
191811 | 3 + 5 = 8 | -> Leshin #18
191812 | 10 | -> Leshin #19 
191813 | 6 | -> Leshin #20

| (-7 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -9 EN
| 30 * 7 = 210 DMG

Leshin #21 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #22 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #23 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182 
Leshin #24 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182

NIGHT | HP: 966/966 | EN: 63/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [T: 1/2] [C: 0/2]

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so she gave them hell only capturing grazes of residual damage from miscellaneous thorns that pierced her skin rather than armor; [galaxy destroyer] near broke the earth in its execution, but ground her woodland menaces into soil first and foremost, before another pack started to add themselves to the mix of wood shavings, remnants of their original log forms sparkling as they coalesced in the ether. night wasn't one to fight nature; rather, she avoided it as best she could on most occasions, and that same strategy continued to work well against the forest, the woman careful to have baited strikes out first, then to skip behind her targets, sundering them from behind, felling those trees as a group all at once.

if, for some reason, there had been the scent of fire or ash, night would've blamed it on her weapon, despite the hazards being absent from their vicinity.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> GALAXY DESTROYER

191814 | 2 | CD

191814 | 10 | -> Leshin #25 || 2
191815 | 1 + 5 = 6 | -> Leshin #26 || 5
191816 | 1 + 5 = 6 | -> Leshin #27 || 9
191817 | 3 + 5 = 8 | -> Leshin #28 || 2

| (-14 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -16 EN
| 30 * 17 = 510 DMG

| 966 - (182+1) = 783 HP

Leshin #25 | HP: 110/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #26 | HP: 110/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #27 |
 HP: 110/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #28 |
 HP: 110/620 | DMG: 182

NIGHT | HP: 783/966 | EN: 47/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [T: 2/2] [C: 1/2] [GD: 0/4]

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"leshin, they're called," her mirror once spoke to her in midst of the thinning crowd. night had adjusted her blade in a defensive posture if only to focus on the conversation, a privilege she felt would not be granted on regular circumstance. "guardians of the woods they were kept in; if only they had been kept in the wilderness instead."

"but they're obviously sick or ruined," night commented, eying the rest of the grove they were in, lush with a thicket, now grey, once green under the sunlight. "why carry in something so barren into a building meant for prized property?"

"it might be a mistake," her partner noted. "the point of treants would be that they disguise themselves within its non-sentient counterparts; if leshin were of the same family, perhaps they started out in the same way."

to be assumed a healthy tree, then transported over without aggravating the creature affected? night had her doubts, though the theory itself seemed plausible to begin with. her doppel left her side, then, diving into the fray once again, and night realized in that moment how little either of them knew of the world they lived in, despite the fact they'd been molded to understand it for years.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> BLAST

191818 | 9 | CD | +3EN 

191818 | 10 | -> Leshin #25
191819 8 | -> Leshin #26
191820 | 2 + 5 = 7 | -> Leshin #27 
191821 | 1 + 5 = 6 | -> Leshin #28

| (-4 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -6 EN
| 30 * 4 = 120 DMG

Leshin #25 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #26 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #27 |
 HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #28 |
 HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182

NIGHT | HP: 811/966 | EN: 44/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [C: 2/2] [GD: 1/4] [B: 0/2]

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so it must've been new.

and cardinal was pulling their leg with its inept description, for the sheer fact that they'd existed only within the moment of floor 26's titular birth. night felt her jaw tighten, unleashing yet another flurry of blows against her opponents, once she'd darted them round and allowed her arts to return from the brink. she'd counted her spoils; thirty six batches of them in total.

at this rate, night never had to need for a grind session in its entirety. whatever information fleur was adept at discovering, all night needed was to tune in to be accommodated for an adequate toil and trouble.

but despite her efforts, night didn't feel satisfied with what she'd wrought upon the garden. there may still have been other leshin, elsewhere, within the confines of the arboretum. was this but an intentional creation of cardinal's design, but a secret hunting ground for players? its access would prompt most players to sneak in that way, violate a social normality or rule. surely this wasn't the will of the system itself to enforce bad habits into its citizens.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> TEMPEST

191822 | 12 | CD | +3EN 

191822 | 6 | -> Leshin #29
191823 6 | -> Leshin #30
191824 | 7 | -> Leshin #31 
191825 | 2 + 5 = 7 | -> Leshin #32

| (-12 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -14 EN
| 30 * 14 = 420 DMG

Leshin #29 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #30 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #31 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED
Leshin #32 | HP: 200/620 | DMG: 182 | STUNNED

NIGHT | HP: 839/966 | EN: 33/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [GD: 2/4] [B: 1/2] [T: 0/2]

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(but what did night know? a chronic stalker was at her beck and call; cardinal's perfect pawn, a star pupil, to boot.)

the player had been ready to call their investigation plainly, send a message to fleur of the new enemy type they'd found simply from poking around its confines. the map data wasn't much, but she was certain it would take little effort to expand upon it, as long as she kept a certain breadth away from the woods now that she'd known of the area's intended threats to passersby.

day drifted to her side when she'd noticed the lack of attention thrown her way at their battle's end, standing watch over the messaging interface, curious about the missive's recipient, though night wasn't about to indulge her companion further about her work life. a roll of the player's eyes was enough to push her dopple's sights elsewhere; though the tug of the back of her tracksuit had nearly stolen a yelp from the player, nearly closed away the draft she'd been forging during their break.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> CYCLONE

191826 | 6 | CD

191826 | 4 + 5 = 9 | -> Leshin #29
191827 6 | -> Leshin #30
191828 | 8 | -> Leshin #31 
191829 | 7 | -> Leshin #32

| (-7 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -9 EN
| 30 * 7 = 210 DMG

Leshin #29 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #30 |
 HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #31 |
 HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #32 |
 HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182

NIGHT | HP: 867/966 | EN: 24/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [GD: 3/4] [B: 2/2] [T: 1/2] [C: 0/2]

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"what is it?" an anger barely suppressed, night's scowl was only wiped away when her eyes rested upon a figure standing atop a tree within the grove, but a fair distance apart from their current location. day lowered her hand, and for what felt like the first time, night caught sight of the blonde biting her lower lip, etching that forbidden detail into her memory as though their mysterious threat wasn't but a concern.

"i'm not sure what that is," she explained, and neither could night find an answer. instead, the player saved her message, pulling up an item from her inventory. it wasn't meant for uses such as these, but she was certain it wouldn't hurt to have misused consumables once in a while. night brought the spyglass up to an eye and honed in on the shadow, capturing it as the focus of her sights.

the best she could make out of its figure were antlers, like tree branches, growing from atop its head.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> BLAST

191830 | 1 | CD

191830 | 10 | -> Leshin #33 || 5
191831 9 | -> Leshin #34 || 6 - 3 = 3
191832 | 3 + 5 = 8 | -> Leshin #35 || 5
191833 | 6 | -> Leshin #36 || 9

| (-4 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -6 EN
| 30 * 4 = 120 DMG

| 867 + 28 - (182+1) = 712 HP

Leshin #33 | HP: 500/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #34 |
 HP: 500/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #35 |
 HP: 500/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #36 |
 HP: 500/620 | DMG: 182

NIGHT | HP: 712/966 | EN: 18/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [GD: 4/4] [B: 0/2] [T: 2/2] [C: 1/2]

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in the silence, night could pick out the distinctive noises from before; the man-made river's burbling brook, the distinct ruffling of leaves from their trees. the latter was louder this time, now that she was closer to a multitude of them, and they'd nearly drowned out a different sound, a faint haunting melody.

she didn't need to ask to know that her other could hear it too. the duo had their eyes set on the strange figure, a rod horizontally held, thin and black across their pitch shadow. that song halted as night had begun to piece its notes together, forming a familiar hum at the tip of her tongue. and when their stranger lifted its head, it turned, with full and white hollowed eyes, towards the direction of its unexpected audience.

night struggled not to jump at its stare, nor to react to the gasp of breath by her side. it continued to watch them, both sides unmoving, and their observations felt like an eternity to the player. after a moment, her hands began working quickly, to pull her interface open, fingers selecting the camera option where she couldn't see it, flitting off of pure memory alone.

before she could take a snap of their enigma, however, it dropped away down its perch, disappearing quietly into the cluster of trees below.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> GALAXY DESTROYER

191834 | 12 | CD | +3EN

191834 | 5 + 5 = 10 | -> Leshin #33 
191835 | 3 + 5 = 8 | -> Leshin #34 
191836 | 7 | -> Leshin #35
191837 | 5 + 5 = 10 | -> Leshin #36 

| (-14 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -16 EN
| 30 * 17 = 510 DMG

Leshin #33 | HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #34 |
 HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #35 |
 HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182
Leshin #36 |
 HP: -10/620 | DMG: 182

NIGHT | HP: 740/966 | EN: 5/142 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 || [GD: 0/4] [B: 1/2] [C: 2/2]

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