Tiamat's Babel

Discussion in 'ONE ON ONES IN CHARACTER' started by Kaykay, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. Endless wails poured down upon the beaten and battered form of the goddess. The crushed hopes, chaos, death, anxiety, and despair of over 10 billion souls continued to cry out to her. Their desperate clinging to and need for a god brought down even this goddess, who had surpassed God itself. Unending torment was all that awaited her now, with no choice but to yield to the unstoppable, perennial ungodly choir of ghosts.

    She tore at her own face and punctured her own ears as she begged for it to stop. The absolute depression of 10 billion was all for her to bear, and even with her powers she couldn't stop it. Even for one who’d lived since before the days of creation, such torment was a fresh, cruel experience. This was the curse Tendou Setsuna had forced upon her. The goddess Tiamat's agonizing moans resounded throughout all of hell, but there was nobody to hear them.

    The multiverse, hell and heaven included, were coming to an end at her own hands after all.

    "Get away, get away, get away get away getawaygetawayGETAWAY!!!"

    Tiamat staggered about like a drunkard, unable to even orient herself properly as she drowned in overwhelming despair. If she died, would it end? When everything else ended, would this intolerable, maddening choir go with it? Hell's Tokyo Babel collapsed, its strata mixing into one as the dimensions between them faded away. Worlds perished, heaven burned, and hell flooded over.

    This was the end for everything, including her.

    Orange, fiery orbs lit up amidst the flooding waters now smothering the deepest depths of the underworld. It wouldn't end like this. She wouldn't end like this. Not until everything was destroyed. God had died, but the false god Yaldaboath continued to live. And while there was hardly a trace of the hatred she once possessed, her raison d'etre remained the same. Even if she was completely apathetic to everything, that just meant she might as well follow that single purpose. To destroy everything.

    A blood-curdling roar parted the hellish flood, a column of water erupting from the center where Tiamat stood. For a goal she didn't care too much about, she pulled out as much power as she possibly could. Her hatred, her very reason for existence, were nothing when compared to the unbearable, numerous wails of 10 billion. Yet as the world came to a close around her, she couldn't hear a thing.

    If her apathetic, half-hearted reason for destroying everything wasn't enough, if she didn't have enough hatred to fend these souls off, then all she had to do was regain that fiery passion. Polish her raison d'etre, wiping the dust that had been collecting on it for eternity off. She wanted to destroy Tendou Setsuna. And Samael, the angel that had interrupted her to help the false god. The guard dog Cerberus as well. But it wouldn't stop just at those who had opposed her. Those who were on her side, those who didn't know of her, those who she loved, those who she hated, all of them. All of them had to perish, wither, fade into antiquity.

    Her confidence and power beginning to regain their former glory, Tiamat's hands blazed aglow with an intense orange flame. Perhaps even the word flame was too soft, the power more resembling an inferno, or perhaps even the sun itself than a mere flame. Space distorted around her simply due to the sheer heat, which didn't seem to affect the goddess in the slightest.

    But space was also being distorted intentionally. A gate covered in eyeballs, seemingly painted in purple, black, and red, was forced into existence as the energy between her hands weakened ever so slightly. As the blaze continued to shrink, the large double doors through the gate slowly began to peel open, as if they hadn't been opened in generations.

    A pained grimace cracked the goddess's face as the flame shrunk, yet the sweat on her brow increased. She'd expended a fair bit of power ending this multiverse, and forcing herself to move to a new one with a gate of her own creation was just as taxing, if not even more so. But as the cavern in which she resided collapsed around her, the task was finished. A simple motion created a force field around herself, the lone goddess walking away from the empty, destroyed hell into the new world. A new existence to destroy, rend, and grind to dust.

    The natural state of the world would be returned.

    All is dust.




    Astaroth closed the book he had been reading. As the only non-master on Tokyo Babel besides Lucifuge and the Dantalions, he'd long realized that something was wrong. There were no pilgrims to progress through Tokyo Babel, and thus no end to it so long as he sustained it. But the set-up of floors, bosses, and a base of sorts just didn't feel right without players to progress through them.

    The demon lord needed two things. One, a replacement for Samael, the previous final boss of Tokyo Babel. Without a common enemy, a mass of people could be hard to keep united, and a mysterious figurehead kept that role with very well. Two, the aforementioned players. He needed people capable enough to try to proceed through the layers of Tokyo Babel, but not quite strong enough to ever finish the pilgrimage. Now, what were his priorities?

    A single lithe finger rested under his chin as he thought. Belial, Camael, and the others were not anywhere he could find quickly, and due to his lessened manpower this problem was only exacerbated. He didn't mind being the sole figurehead of Tokyo Babel, inconvenient as it was, but it made finding potential pilgrims and a boss much more difficult than it would have been otherwise.

    A rare tired sigh escaped Astaroth’s lips. He stood up to exit his office, his ever loyal servant Lucifuge holding open the door as he did so before vanishing into the shadows, inspiring a smile from Astaroth.

    One man on the side of the living would always be at his side.

    The destination Astaroth had in mind was hell. Ever since God had closed heaven and hell had flooded over, it had been rare to see anything living in either plane. Still, though he’d never managed to visit heaven, a few times there had been quite a number of interesting things down in hell. If this time was no exception, he might encounter a stranded soul for a pilgrim, or perhaps a powerful, chaotic warrior for a final boss. So long as he found something, it’d be worth the trip.

    As soon as he stepped through the gates, Astaroth felt the familiar sensation of other life. In fact, one of the lives in particular was exceedingly familiar. Samael, his previous final boss. Her presence was weaker than he recalled. How many times had she revived since he’d last seen her? How many times weaker was she now?

    Well, still stronger than the likes of the children he stole from Tokyo Babel’s “safe zone.” But perhaps now she was too much weaker than Uriel to suit her previous purpose? Not that she was stronger than one of the master angels to begin with, nor did he exactly have a nice replacement waiting around.

    He pocketed his hands and sighed. It wouldn't hurt to simply check it out, at least. The distance between him and the two he could sense was trivial, but the demon lord elected to walk, taking a slow, steady pace as he approached. No need to hurry. They were already within his grasp.




    The reunion between Samael and Winslow turned out to be rather short-lived. Before either the angel or the phantom could say any other words of reunion, a rare serious face came from Samael as she whipped around violently. She squinted her eyes, but she wasn't looking. Not with her eyes. It was slow, but it was steady and certain, and his presence was unmistakable.

    The man clothed in contrasting white and black stepped up to the eighth floor like it was the front door.




    "Long time no see, Samael. You seem to be rather healthy, another death aside."

    [​IMG]

    "What the...you...how...?"

    Winslow and Astaroth himself would have had no way of knowing it, but as far as Samael was concerned, he was a man who belonged in an existence whose flame had been blown out, permanently. But if he was here, then who else was still around?

    "Oya? Such an aggressive face, do you hate to see me that much, Samael?"

    Astaroth kept a sly yet gentle smile on his face the whole time. Samael didn't return the courtesy, seeming obviously cross.

    "Not too many people respond well to their killer showing up in the flesh."

    "Oh? When did you find out about that?" A flash of genuine surprise crossed him for an instant before resuming his previous expression.

    "Who knows? Well, it's not like I actually care too much now. I'm me, and the Samael you killed is her. So? What do you want? I doubt you came here for no reason, did you?"

    "Haha, how very you. I suppose I'm blessed that you've forgiven me. But, unfortunately, you are correct. I didn't come here to simply give my greetings." His cordial smile dropped. It wasn't quite aggressive, something that would seem like a neutral face on someone else, but compared to his previous expression there was a sort of presence behind it. The kind of inexplicable aura of someone with authority. "Come back to Tokyo Babel, Samael. You will continue to act as its archenemy."

    "...What?" The disbelief in her voice couldn't be hidden. "Tokyo Babel?"

    "Hm? Did your memories fade away completely? No, you recognized me, so th-"

    "That's not it. Tokyo Babel is still around?"

    This time, it was Astaroth's turn to be confused. "But of course. The masters are not powerful enough to raid the base, and the pilgrims are not strong enough to defeat the masters. When would Purgatory have fallen, Samael?"

    Samael drew her scythe and turned around, prodding Winslow, who the two had been consciously ignoring if he'd chosen to speak up, to move out of the building. It'd be a long walk, but they needed to go.

    "...Are you really Astaroth?"

    "Of course. Do you perchance believe someone is casting particularly potent illusion magic instead?"

    No matter how she looked at it, his hard to detect sarcasm was right. As an illusion master herself, there was no one bar God himself who could trick her so thoroughly, even down to her magic sensing. As far as she knew.

    "Maybe they are, I don't care. But...I don't plan to go back to Tokyo Babel. I have my own plans now, Astaroth."

    "That's unfortunate. Is there no way we can talk it out?"

    "You don't really need me, do you? I've died twice since I was the master of Tokyo Babel. I'm no stronger than a no-name Seraph anymore."

    "Once I find the other inhabitants of Tokyo Babel, your face is more valuable than your abilities. You are already associated with being its greatest foe. The other masters can take care of the fighting."

    "Find?" Samael stopped, her head turning over her shoulder to look the demon lord in the eye. "Where'd they go?"

    "I wish I knew." Another sigh escaped him as she prodded the topic. "But I will find them. And, if I must, recreate the status quo by force."

    "Ah, is that so? Then, I guess I'll just beat you to it!"

    She vanished from Winslow's side, immediately raising her scythe from behind Astaroth as she swung to decapitate him. Her scythe moved closer. Not a move from him. Still closer. Still no movement. Her scythe was practically upon his neck. No movement...for either of them.

    Gray. Everything was gray before she even realized it. Winslow would see the same effect. It was as if all color had been removed from the world other than that of Asataroth. And despite her venomous scythe in the perfect position to end him, it didn't move, Astaroth's calm smile contrasting against Samael's strained face.

    "This is what the previous, no, the original you could not defeat. My raison d'etre. Hateful love. Loving hatred. Can you break it?"

    Any actions on Winslow's part that involved attacking Astaroth were denied, as if he were literally incapable of performing the action.

    "Wh-why can't I?!"

    If only she had the memories of the original, she could understand what was going on...

    "Gah!"

    A red liquid dripped from her nose as her head flew back, a noise like thunder ringing out as Astaroth's fist made contact with her face. Holding her nose, she dropped her scythe and kicked it off to the side. If it wasn't going to work, there was no point carrying it around.

    "Shya!"

    In a flash she'd moved to grab his arm, only to realize her body stopped before she could do anything with her hold. The maneuver only earned her another direct punch, sending her flying through the ground, all the way down to the first floor of the building.

    "Have you already forgotten? The original lost to me. You've died at least 20 times since then. Just how much weaker do you believe you are now?" Looking up from the hole he'd created, his almost hypnotic gaze landed upon Winslow, as if appraising him. Then he immediately looked back down, as if he'd been looking right past him. "Will you make this easy? Bullying doesn't make me feel particularly good, you know."

    With a ground-shaking roar, the fallen angel flew right back up to the eighth floor, swinging her leg in an arc to crack Astaroth right in the temple. As expected by now, it stopped just as it touched him, rendering the attack harmless.

    Astaroth grabbed her by her extended leg and dragged her in to land another straight, this time following it up with an overhand punch from the other hand as he released her. The angel bounced off the floor and crashed into the wall with such force that she was lodged into it.

    "Can we not cease this? You are slower, weaker, and you cannot overcome my raison d'etre. Come with me, Samael. Why are you so hesitant to return? You did not seem to have any particular qualms with the post before. I am even willing to compromise, if a reward of some sort is what you need. I gain nothing from spanking you like the child you appear to be."

    Grunting as she forced her body to move, Samael fell to the floor, face first. She pushed herself up with an arm, barely holding her head up to glare back at the demon lord. Compared to the nigh-invincible angel who'd sliced Swan to pieces, she almost looked like a normal girl crawling on the floor. But she didn't wear an expression of surrender or resignation, her body giving off an aura of defiance despite her position.

    "S...Setsuna."

    "That boy who had joined us recently? The human from the strange world? What about him?"

    "I...want to see-" She couldn't continue as she began to cough up blood, but the determination in her eyes didn't waver in the slightest.

    Astaroth nodded.

    "That can be arranged. As soon-"

    "You don't...know, right?" Her sentence was made short as she stifled her coughing fit. "Where...I'll find him myself."

    Astaroth frowned. How stubborn and self-centered. He knew her goal, but couldn't give it to her. How should he persuade her, then? Even if he went so far as to kill her, she probably wouldn't ever accept his offer. Before he could think on it further, she had slowly raised herself off the ground.

    Debris flew as she darted forward like lightning. Yet lightning seemed to not be fast enough as Astaroth simply caught her small fist, returning with a volley of blows launched at her stomach, which she blocked by raising her legs in front of her body, instead having a leg shattered. No big deal. She landed on her good leg, whirling around as she threw her useless leg towards him in a mockery of a roundhouse kick.

    He simply pressed forward and pushed her into the ground, collapsing her onto her back.

    It was just a few punches. But the difference between who she was now and who she might have been once upon a time had never been clearer. While she once stood against him on equal footing, he was now just about untouchable to her.

    But so what? She didn't care about any of that. She'd grasp onto what she wanted and never let go, and forever fight against whatever she didn't want. Forced to use her power of flight to simply stand up straight, she righted herself, but wore the face of a genius who'd hit a eureka moment. Samael smirked and thrust out her hand to the side, her trusted scythe responding in kind as it flew to her hand. Wielding the grim reaper's scythe, she pulled the blade towards her own neck as she ended her own life.

    "...!"

    Or tried. Samael's smirk was still fully attached to her body. Her action to kill herself had been prevented.

    "Is that it? That's all your raison d'etre does? It stops all murderous actions, right? That's why you can hit me, but I can't hit you, isn't that right?"

    After recovering from his surprise, the demon lord began to chuckle softly.

    "That is correct. You have been trying to kill me, while I have only wished to engage in sports-like fisticuffs. It seems your wits, at least, have not dulled with death. Praise is in order for figuring it out so quickly. But..." The amused look vanished, his voice turning cold. "You still cannot win. Even if we fought without my raison d'etre, your current power is far too low. Observe and remember, Samael."

    He raised his fingers and snapped.

    "Shi-! Winslow, get out of here!"

    Color returned to the world, the girl in light blue flying and grabbing Winslow as she evacuated the building. Just as the two made it out of the building, the entire building was blown away by the concentrated force of a nuclear bomb. Unsure of whether his undying curse still applied in hell or not, Samael took it upon herself to eat the shockwave, preventing any damage to her friend in the process as she landed them on the ground.

    But she couldn't take that damage unscathed. She managed to stay on her two feet, or the one what was still functioning, but she was hunched over, her breaths ragged and body quivering. Astaroth soon appeared from the smoke, walking as calmly and confidently as ever. That hadn't been a special attack, a magical incantation, or anything else. From the magic that just normally ran through his veins and the force of his snap, he could create enough power to rival mankind's greatest destructive power.

    "If this was about me killing you, I'd have done it fifty times over already. Sorry, Samael, but I can't allow my friend's dying wish to remain unfulfilled. Even you can understand that much, right?"

    "Heh...sorry, I'm pretty stubborn, and pretty stupid. I don't know what you're talking about at all."

    Her ridiculous response elicited a sigh from the man. In honesty, if he had a proper replacement for her, there would be no need for this. But dealing with the theoretical was pointless. Even as weak as she was, finding someone as strong as her would prove difficult in this wide multiverse. Though this battle was proving fruitless. At this rate, he'd have to override her manually, mess with her head so she'd be "willing."

    As a cry of pain and a crimson hue flew towards his face, he disintegrated it with a quick burst of flames. The scene took even him by surprise. From out of Samael's shadow was Lucifuge, his hand having pierced through Samael's chest.




    "Sir Asataroth, we-"

    "Lucifuge. What is the meaning of this?" He gave Lucifuge a disapproving look, though the senior gentleman didn't seem to mind, only tossing the girl impaled on his hand to the side as he knelt before Astaroth. "I do not recall asking for your assistance in this matter."

    "Forgive me, my lord. But we have found one potentially more worthy of this clone's place, and I did not wish to see her continue to waste your time."

    "Aha...ha...says the old man who...touched a young girl's chest..."

    Everyone ignored that.

    Without changing expression, Astaroth turned around and began to walk off, Lucifuge vanishing into the shadows once more. He began to speak, but didn't even bother to turn around.

    "You, human. I do not know what your relation to her is, but if you wish to be smarter than she, you may come with me to Tokyo Babel. Surely Purgatory can't be much worse than hell? Hehe...well, just give Lucifuge a call if you ever wish to."

    Something akin to a cell phone would appear in Winslow's hand as Astaroth vanished from hell, leaving only the half-dead Samael and Winslow in the pit of hell. The need to fight disappearing, the angel's eyes flickered closed. But off in the distance was one, or perhaps two hooded figures...




    After leaving hell, the demon lord had arrived on one of the many earths. At first glance, it didn't seem particularly unique. The technology was not particularly advanced nor primitive, just about right for the current time they were in. The number of humans was about the average, as were, for the most part, the cities and nations. A very basic world.

    That was, aside from the incredible amount of demonic energy running rampant upon this planet.

    "Lucifuge."

    The older man materialized from the shadows.

    "Yes, my lord?"

    "Who is the one you mentioned before? The one to replace her?"

    "A man named Sensui. He's over..." He closed his eyes in concentration as he tried to pinpoint the man's location. In a few seconds, the task was finished. "...towards the East."

    "Very well. I should very well like to meet him and confirm your judgment."

    "As you wish."

    And he walked off, Samael already clear from his mind. He would save Tokyo Babel, no matter what.

    @Chewy Rabbits
     
    • Love Love x 2


  2. ~~Tokyo, Japan~~

    Cars could have been heard and even seen bustling down the busy streets of Tokyo as people walked the sidewalks. Some with briefcases on their way to work, others simply walking around to get some fresh air, perhaps some just wanted to enjoy the company of friends? But as with everything, there was someone seeking to undermine the relative peace that many took for granted. Which is why it should come as no surprise that a woman who hadn't made any enemies in her entire life up to that point and was simply going to visit her ailing mother in the hospital was suddenly pulled aside and behind a pharmacy.

    Struggling against her assailant's grip, the woman rapped him over the head with her purse as tears streamed down her face. How was this happening?! Why was this happening!? What had she done to deserve it? But for all her resistance, it might as well not have been there at all for all the good it did. Running her tongue down the woman's cheek, the attacker let out a perverted cackle. "Ooh, you taste good baby. Mmm, smell good too. Where were you going? To meet a boyfriend? Why not hang out with me instead.." He'd tease as his hand snaked down to cup the woman's breast and his tongue moved up to rub against her earlobe.

    The woman's cries grew louder as she continued to struggle. "I was just trying to visit my mother! You goddamn sicko! Let me go, I'll pay you if that's what you want! Please, just let me go!" She cried out desperately, hoping to find some shred of human decency to appeal to. But there was none to be found on this low life thief who's only aspirations were to pick on those weaker than him, those he knew couldn't stop him from doing what he wanted and when he got bored with them?

    *swish*

    The sound of a switchblade being opened took the woman's breath away. She had been living in the city long enough to recognize that sound. He was serious about this then? This hadn't been about the money at all. The woman's train of thought was savagely interrupted though as the man shoved her up against the wall, back first as he gripped her by the neck and reached his switchblade towards the top of her shirt.

    "Let's see what kind of goodies you're hiding in there, huh? See what good ol Momma Dearest gave you.." The woman closed her eyes and prayed that this was all a nightmare that she'd hopefully wake up from soon. As she never felt the knife make contact with her shirt, her eyes shot open still but for a different reason. The man had dropped the knife and was now clutching his hand. Blood seemed to be dripping out the back of it. It looked like he'd been shot or something. His eyes were widened and frenzied looking like a wild animal that had no idea where it was. "W-What the fuck was that?! Who did that!? You a cop or something!? Show yourself!" The man exclaimed but he'd recieve no vocal response.

    Instead something briefly whizzed through the air and entered the right side of the man's head before coming out the other side. Blood gushed out onto the wall as the man slumped over onto his side. With his eyes rolling up in his head, the woman was too stunned to scream. Who had saved her? Had it actually been a cop? Maybe this guy had been some big name criminal and the police had been staking him out for a while. But something still seemed off about this. If it had been a cop then why not go for the kill shot right away? Why taunt him like that? Stepping towards the man's body, she tried to glance up from where she had heard the shot come from.

    The sight that greeted her wasn't a friendly one, not at all.

    [​IMG]

    *bang!*

    The woman's body slumped over as the shot tore through her skull and exited through her brain. Collapsing next to the body of the man who had been intent on doing with her as he wished, the man who'd done them both in saw it as fitting. Lowering his pistol, he stepped away from the window of the apartment he'd been standing in as he tucked the gun away.

    "How many people does that make today, Sniper?"

    "Four. Got two earlier this morning and now these ones."

    "How did it make you feel?"

    "Just more bodies to throw upon the inevitable pile of humanity's sins."

    Sniper was the alias for the gunman who had mowed down the attacker/his would-be victim and other humans before that. He had his own deep seated grudge against humanity as a whole. Although the time would soon come for humanity to be judged for the weight of it's crimes, he was simply helping to speed up the process. As for whom the other voice belonged to? Rising to his feet, the man stood around six feet and quietly stepped into the living room area of the apartment as he glanced out the window where both fresh corpses were right on display and would be until someone came to investigate the gunshots.

    [​IMG]

    "It's just as I've told you and all the others, Sniper. Humanity is a cancer, one that's been festering upon this world for far too long. We've long since reached past the breaking point. Now, the only cure is to eradicate the problem as a whole. Which means purging the world of humanity entirely. No more pretending to be the more civilized race, no more holding dominance over a race that could slaughter us on a whim, no more leeching off this planet. The problems humanity has burdened this world with will all be gone when the solution arrives. Humanity will simply go along with it."

    The man smirked as a man and presumably a friend of his ventured behind the pharmacy and saw the grisly sight. It was almost amusing-no, it was amusing. For as depraved as humanity could sink, it was when their own kind met unfortunate ends that the reactions gained were anything other than sheer apathy. But the life of a demon? No tears would be shred, not a day's sleep lost. Yet massive outpourings of sympathy often for complete and utter strangers, funerals with grieving families, all were considered typical by humanity's social norms. But only for their own kind. Humans were just selfish pigs who cared only for themselves and were worth pursuing the task to completely wipe them out.

    That man who wanted humanity's eradication was none other than the former Spirit Detective:

    [​IMG]

    Shinobu Sensui.


    Winslow couldn't quite wrap his head around everything that had happened. Everything was simply moving far too quickly for him to keep up with! The last thing he could recall was slipping into the open arms of death without so much as a struggle on his part. He had gotten what he wanted after all. An escape from the life that had burdened him so. He had assumed that simply would have been the end for Winslow Leach and The Phantom. But instead of eternal darkness as he would have expected and even welcomed in lieu of more torture, he had been reunited with his loving friend.

    Samael.

    The angel who had gone out of her way to assist him even when she apparently had no real reason to. She could have turned away and ignored Winslow's pleas. Yet she continued to stick by his side through thick and through thin. After his vocoder had been temporarily destroyed, Samael had set up a link between the two of them, a mental connection. One that would allow Winslow to speak to Samael in his natural voice. The one that he had lost and would never truly regain due to Swan's machinations. It was all that Winslow could have asked for and more. Even if Samael couldn't restore Winslow's face or his voice, she had allowed him to hear what had once been and that made him happier than anything else could have.

    Once everything was said and done, Winslow had returned with Samael back to Death Records. Cutting through Swan's defenses, Samael made short work of the satanic music producer and with Swan, so went Winslow's curse. Bringing both of their lives to an end. But now Winslow could be content to stay with his dearest friend for all eternity. As he stepped forward and began to hold his arms out for a hug, the oppertunity would be foiled by the arrival of Astaroth.

    As the two talked, Winslow simply had no idea what was being discussed. What exactly was this Tokyo Babel and what did it have to do with Samael? Winslow knew she was an angel of death but that'd been all. All of this might as well have been gibberish for what Winslow could make from it. But it was when Samael was knocked aside that Winslow finally took his full attention onto the situation!

    [​IMG]

    "Samael!"

    Winslow cried out and much to his displeasure it was still the electronic voice. Fitting perhaps given that he was in Hell, he supposed it wouldn't have been truly complete without some harsh reminder of how miserable his life had been until Samael had ended it on his behalf. But this brutal beatdown of Samael only seemed to show Winslow that apparently even in death, those close to him were either turned away or harmed in some way. Phoenix was manipulated for her talents by Swan and forced into a similar contract as Winslow had been and now Samael who had shown herself to be pretty much invulnerable during the events in Rapture? She was being knocked around like a child.

    Raison d'etre? What did that mean and was it how this strange man could beat Samael around? Whatever the case may have been, Winslow wanted nothing more than to wring Astaroth's neck! Samael had done more for him than so many others had and here she was! Lying before him bloodied and bruised and what chance did he have? If this man could beat Samael like this, what hope did he have in even laying a finger upon him? Let alone even drawing a shred of blood. But he couldn't stand idly by! Samael hadn't done that when he needed her help. He wouldn't do the same when she needed his!

    "Bastard!"

    Letting out an avian like screech, Winslow drew his knife and charged forward with his knife drawn. But suddenly he came to a dead stop. Any swings he took towards the demon seemed to stop as if he hadn't even made them in the first place! What was going on here?! Was this his hell? To see the person who had done so much for him tortured like this and unable to lift a finger to help?

    As the beating finally came to a 'merciful' end if you could even call it that, Winslow tossed the phone aside. Astaroth could go straight to-er, well you damn well know what he meant! Rushing over to Samael's side, Winslow clutched the angel's body in his arms. Pressing one gloved hand over her chest, Winslow's breathing began to grow heavy as he pulled his hand back and his formerly black glove was coated in red.

    [​IMG]

    "GAAAAAAAAH! Even in death, I can't have a moment of peace! Whether it's the land of the living or the realm of the dead, Winslow Leach always loses everything he gains! Whether it's fame, a lover, or even.." Winslow paused in his ranting to gently move a stray bang out of Samael's face.

    "My best friend.."

    Holding Samael close to him as he laid his head over her shoulder, she could have heard his pathetic sounding sobs. He had unplugged his vocoder temporarily so Samael could hear his attempt at his natural voice. What would even happen to her now that they were in Hell? Would she simply cease to be?

    "N....gh....o..."

    The message was a bit garbled but the intentions were clear as Winslow's grip on Samael grew tighter. He refused to lose his best friend. Not like this, not when he couldn't do anything to stop it!

    ~~Demon World~~



    As there were things that separated the strong from the weak, the boys from the men, divides existed to separate humanity from demons. The world that the demons inhabited had many names ranging from the Underworld, the Netherealm, or simply Hell. Whatever name or form it took for that matter, all demons of different shapes and sizes called this place home.

    As did a human/demon hybrid by the name of Vergil and his partner Arkham who wasn't a demon at all! But rather a human who had aspirations for demonhood. Certainly an interesting goal to say the least.

    [​IMG]

    "Tell me, Arkham. If my father's power is beyond our reach then what do you suggest we do? Because your current plan of standing around and twiddling our thumbs until something happens doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast." Vergil commented as he walked up a stairway only to appear on another stairway that was going down. Such was the complexity of hell.

    Arkham despite still being a human had tried to do all that he could to become a demon. Even going as far as to use black magic and forsake his family. In the end all his efforts had earned him was a terribly scarred face and a transformation into something similar to a demon. But true demonhood was still beyond Arkham's grasp and that was where Vergil entered the picture. Vergil wanted power so as to lead the army of demons against the human world while Arkham wanted the power to become the strongest demon the world had ever known!

    The best source to obtain this power? Belonged to none other than Vergil's long deceased father, Sparda the Black Knight. But his power had been locked away. Unable to be obtained by either Vergil or Arkham. Having had their attempts foiled at every turn by Vergil's younger brother, Dante, a new plan was in order. Where would they go next to try and obtain power.

    [​IMG]

    "There is one place I know of that has a power that could rival Spardas's. But to reach it, we'll have to bring down the walls between our world and theirs." Arkham said in his usual gravelly monotone voice. Glancing over from where he was sitting on the stairs, Vergil quickly rose to his feet and hopped over to Arkham as he looked the human over.

    "You mean to say you've known of a power equal to my father's this entire time? You didn't find it prudent to inform me of this? I should have your head, Arkham." Vergil hissed out icily as one hand slowly reached for the hilt of Yamato.

    "I didn't inform you because I didn't think we'd need it. Once we had your father's power, we'd be unstoppable. Anything else would have been unnecessary. But given how your brother continues to be an incessant thorn in our side, it seems we have no choice but to consider 'alternative options.' Now, draw your sword and bring down the walls that separate us from what we desire."

    Still keeping his hand near Yamato, Vergil mused over what Arkham had to say. He couldn't argue that Dante's interference had impeded their progress quite significantly. But just as Vergil was determine to get what he set his mind to, Dante was equally as determined to stop his older brother. But pursuing an avenue that would leave Dante unaware and allow them to obtain an equal amount of power? Drawing Yamato, Vergil held it off to the side.

    [​IMG]

    "You speak of a world beyond ours. One that's hidden away due to barriers and such. What world do you speak of, Arkham and how does it have a power equal to Sparda?" Vergil asked as Arkham walked up one row of stairs before appearing upside down before Vergil due to the confusing pattern of the stairways in this room.

    "It is a domain known as Tokyo Babel and one being resides at the top. A god known as Tiamat. For all that is known, her power may even stand higher than your fathers. But more importantly with the two us working together, Tiamat will fall and her power will be ours for the taking. Consider it the first stop on a road to victory." Arkham explained plainly as Vergil turned towards the 'walls' of this place which seemed to be constantly shifting in an almost mist like form.

    "We seek to obtain the power of a god? Heh, from a demon to a deity. Fitting enough I suppose for once I have this power, demons will stand behind me and do my bidding. Now, let us bring down the curtain and see what lies beneath!"

    Giving a slash with Yamato, the mist seemed to fade away as a line appeared at the top and began to work it's way down before cracks began to appear. Almost in a spider web like fashion. Watching the fruits of his labor, Vergil sheathed Yamato and soon the wall dissipated entirely. Leaving the road to Tokyo Babel open as Vergil started to make his way forward with Arkham following behind.

    "We shall no longer walk the road of man or even demons. Once we obtain Tiamat's power, we shall become something far greater."

    With the number of demons already under Arkham and Vergil's thumb, who knew what would happen if they managed to obtain the power of a god?!

    @Kaykay
     
    #2 Chewy Rabbits, Aug 21, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
    • Love Love x 1
  3. Samael was limp as Winslow cradled her, her breathing getting heavier and heavier as her blood continued to seep out. The light in her eyes began to fade as her trademark grin drooped into a neutral expression. Her body was frail, unable to even move as her friend held her tight and screamed alone into hell. Her mouth opened, but she couldn't speak. Even her mind was too weak to even use her telepathy.

    So this is how I die this time...huh? Sorry, Winslow, Setsuna...

    It was cold, but it didn't hurt anymore. This was death, wasn't it? Heh, of course it was. She'd been beaten down by both Astaroth and Lucifuge. As weak as she was now, there was no way she was going to make it out alive. Her eyes finally began to shut, the lingering regret of being unable to say anything settling on her lips. She'd die and revive again. But who knew when or where she'd come back? Or even if she would? Without the soul moving to heaven or hell, if she ran out of power to revive herself she'd simply vanish into nothingness. Ephemeral like a normal human life. And with each successive resurrection, she grew weaker and weaker. How weak did she have to be to become unable to sustain herself any longer?

    "Samael."

    Her weary eyes shot open at the familiar voice. It couldn't be. How would he have managed to find her in hell of all places? But her eyes and ears didn't lie to her. Before the fallen angel and the phantom, the false god and Witch of the Night stood.

    [​IMG]

    Samael still couldn't speak, but a grin spread across her face. Well, maybe dying wouldn't be so bad now after all. Dying surrounded by friends wouldn't be bad. Though, with him around, she couldn't imagine dying now.

    "Wheeeew. A minute later and she'd really have died there! Well, not like she wouldn't come back anyway, right?"

    The boy seemed to ignore the nonchalant attitude the other girl took, simply kneeling down next to Samael and Winslow.

    "Sorry. I should have arrived earlier."

    He sliced open his palm with his other hand, letting trickles of blood drip into the dying girl's mouth. Soon, the hole in her chest began to regenerate, as did the other injuries she'd taken. Her life appeared to be preserved for now, and the light of life was restored to Samael's eyes.

    She took a deep breath in, and then exhaled sharply. It'd take time for her to heal up fully, but she was no longer in any immediate danger.

    [​IMG]

    "Haah, you really are full of surprises, huh? You know, I was pretty sure I was gonna die there, hehe."

    "My bad. I should have come to your aid sooner."

    "Well, we came as fast as we could. Hell's no small place, you know!"

    "That's true, huh? Since I'm alive, though, I guess I don't really care either way!"

    After talking among themselves for a little while, the two newcomers looked at Winslow. His appearance didn't seem to faze them much, the man keeping his stoic look while the other kept her more playful one, almost reminiscent of Samael's own.

    "So, who's the friend, huh? Could hear him from a mile away, literally! And with that funny voice, too!"

    She brushed some of her hair back as she looked curiously at Winslow's mask, seeming rather interested in his appearance. Though she quickly pulled back as the man reprimanded her.

    "You shouldn't stare, Lilith."

    "Urk! Dang it..."

    Samael laughed, though not as heartily as she would have liked. The hole in her chest was still there, even if it was shrinking, after all. Still, she raised one hand up to the top of Winslow's head and started patting him. Her way of saying thanks for being concerned about her. After all, there were precious few who were.

    "So? Are you going to introduce us or what, huh?"

    "Ehh, should I? What if I make you guys guess, huh? Huh?"

    Lilith looked annoyed as she scratched her head. "Geez, you never change, you annoying angel!"

    The man ignored the two's antics, simply facing Winslow with a strong, stoic look. He didn't offer his hand to shake, or anything like that. He simply stood up, offering to help Winslow up as well. Choosing not to try to take Samael from his arms, he simply began speaking in a firm voice that sounded almost forced.

    "My name is Setsuna Tendou. What is yours?"




    "What a fierce solution. And? Who will stand on this earth once humanity has perished?"

    The demon lord who looked human, Astaroth, had made his way into the room by the guidance of the ever loyal Lucifuge. He had his arms crossed, seeming relaxed as he leaned against a wall within the room. Yet his mere presence made it clear to those more acute that he was no human. His energy was demonic, his presence too otherworldly to be a mortal.

    A pleasant smile on his face, he stood up straight and opened his arms, commanding the attention of the entire room.

    "But killing humanity like this is a little...slow, don't you think? Unless you turn this whole world to rubble, they will simply continue to survive and reproduce like cockroaches. You kill one, two, even four, and in that time another ten are born. Futile and meaningless, don't you think? There are far too few in your party to ever accomplish this goal." His genial tone shifted as his eyes narrowed, giving him a sinister appearance like a snake with its fangs bared. "Why not increase your numbers? Some humans choose to imprison powerful demons with their sheer numbers, burying the opinions of the truly strong through force. Unfair, isn't it? Would you not come with me and free these poor souls? Those demons are surely thirsty for the blood of humanity by now, after all."

    He took large strides across the room, like a king stepping off his throne to display himself in his full standing majesty. He left his back open to the entire group, an action both courageous and stupid. Was he simply so confident he could leave himself open to a bunch of murderers, or was he just insane? Astaroth left it to them to decide.

    "So, what will it be? Aimless slaughter for low-level amusement, or start a true purge of this disease upon the world? I won't force you one way or the other. The decision is entirely yours."

    He didn't turn back, standing still as he left it to them to discuss it, insult him, or even attack him if they so desired.

    @Chewy Rabbits
     
    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 1


  4. [​IMG]

    "Ngh...S...Sml.."

    Winslow's words may have been unintelligible but the heart was there. He refused to let his friend leave him like this! Slain by a man Winslow was powerless against! It reminded him too much of how Swan had taken everything from him when he had gained so much. He could have become a sensation with Faust! He could have become lovers with Phoenix. But it ended up being all for naught. Now, he was alone in Hell with even his best friend leaving him! The tears ran down from Winslow's good eye and he screeched as he continued to hold Samael.

    But then everything seemed to stop as Winslow heard new voices. Glancing upwards, he saw a boy and a girl who seemed to be...teenagers? Winslow had to admit not being too familiar with those types. Most of them loitered around his studio and sprayed graffiti which was supposed to mean something? Winslow could never quite understand those guys. Too old to fit in with the teens, too young to fit in with the adults. Such was the crossroads of being 27. But these people seemed to know Samael. Hissing as the boy drew closer, Winslow watched as blood ran into Samael's mouth and before Winslow's very eyes he could see the hole closing up.

    "Bu...T....H..o?"

    Realizing that since Samael didn't seem to be in danger anymore, Winslow hooked up his vocoder once more as he said more clearly. "How...How did you do that? You saved my best friend..." Winslow muttered as he ignored the stares directed his way. Ever since becoming the Phantom, he had tried his best to hide his hideous visage away from others. But after his experience with Samael, he had come to the conclusion that looks didn't matter in the end. Samael looked like any other child but was a being of tremendous power and Winslow? He was a kindhearted soul who had been screwed over by the hands of fate one too many times.

    "I'm..Winslow Leach, a musician by trade. Met Samael through interesting circumstances. Who are you two?"


    "...!"

    Sniper quickly whipped around and held his pistol aimed towards Astaroth. He could sense the massive amount of demon energy radiating from the newcomer. Yet with the grace that he had entered into the room immediately put Sniper on edge. Polite or not, no stranger had the right to simply waltz in here. But before he could pull the trigger, Sensui had firmly gripped his forearm and pushed it down. This energy he was sensing. It had to be A or even S class for sure. Yet here he was despite the Kekai Barrier still being up. This had to be a sign for certain.

    "There will be no need of that, Sniper. We're in the presence of greatness."

    "..Greatness?"

    "Yes. Someone who understands the lofty goals with which our group seeks to reach. Humanity is indeed a blight upon this world. What me and my flock intend to achieve is nothing more than complete and utter eradication of humanity as a whole. Women, children, men, elderly, the sickly. They'll all go with the rest. Ourselves included in that estimate. All that's needed is a firm push in allowing demons on your level entry to our world. Then, and only then can the purging truly begin." Sensui said with all the kindness that one would expect from a schoolteacher reading a story to students.

    Walking towards Astaroth, Sniper remained tense but he'd trust Black Angel's judgement. As Sensui approached, he'd place a hand on Astaroth's shoulder as he looked the demon right in the eyes.

    [​IMG]


    "They'll all go, mass graves, people thrown from buildings. There will be no rule of law once the demons arrive. Bodies will line the streets and our corpses will be at the top of the pile. A grim reminder of how humanity threw away the gifts it had gained and ended up becoming the greater evil than the demons they bastardized. The level of demonic energy I sense from you? If we had more demons like you? Humanity would be gone within the hour...I'm Shinobu Sensui and who might you be?"

    @Kaykay

     
  5. "Winslow Leach. I am, as I mentioned previously, Setsuna Tendou. I am also a friend of Samael's. She was healed thanks to the nanobots in my bloodstream. They are designed to regenerate fatal wounds, and combined with her strong constitution they are very effective. This black-haired woman is Lilith. It would not be incorrect to call her an ally as well."

    "Oooi, Setsunaaaa." Lilith took a break from her fuss with Samael as she heard him speak. "Why are you still calling me a 'woman' when I'm clearly still a young girl, huh?!"

    She grabbed and pinched his cheek, though his face hardly moved a muscle.

    "That hurts."

    "Damn right it does!"

    Samael finally sat up, hinting to her friend that she wanted to stand on her own now. Provided he set her down, she'd look up at him and smile. His concern over her was touching, for one who had so few who would go through the trouble. And both of them were standing right next to her.

    "Hey, um, let's see, how should I say it...Well! This will have to do! Thanks for worrying, Winslow!"

    Giggling to herself, she folded her hands behind her back and stood next to the phantom. In the meantime, it seemed Setsuna's cheek had been released from captivity, for now.

    "In any case, our purpose for being here was to find anyone we could. My and Lilith's powers have decreased greatly since our last bout, and, unfortunately, it seems that great prowess will be needed once more. The goddess of yore, Tiamat, has succeeded in re-establishing Tokyo Babel here."

    Samael's expression grew dark, though she said nothing for once.

    "This was an unexpected event, but her power has been waned from her previous defeat, the creation of Tokyo Babel, and her travel to this multiverse. In other words, we need to act swiftly and decisively with a pinpoint assault on Tokyo Babel itself. Samael, I don't know how you revived after our fusion, but I am glad to see you. Would you help us fight once more? I can't promise you won't die, but I will do everything in my power to prevent it."

    A resigned sigh came from Samael, the girl shrugging as he tried to enlist her help.

    [​IMG]

    "Well, can't claim there's much else for me to be doing. But..." She turned and looked up at Winslow. "I'll have to leave you here. The guy who beat me. You were watching, right? Even if your pact for immortality is still working, you can't really do anything to him. Cause honestly? Neither can I. But I should still be able to help with the lower masters...and I can't say the same for you. It may sound funny, but hell is probably the nicest place you could be right now. See ya."

    With her piece said, Samael began walking towards the gates of hell, prepared to head to the place she'd almost died to avoid. Setsuna placed a hand on Winslow's shoulder.

    "She's not just trying to get rid of you. Tokyo Babel is a truly dangerous place. I cannot in good faith recommend following us. It will be much safer here."




    Astaroth smirked. Lucifuge was not off the mark on his appraisal, it appeared. This man, Sensui, could understand exactly what kind of person he was standing before, even without the demon lord spelling it out for him. He turned around to face Sensui as he approached, pleased with the results of his visit.

    [​IMG]

    "Hoh? So you figured out that I am a demon already? And you plan to finish yourselves off as well? Truly remarkable, for mortals like yourselves. I am Astaroth, the Great Duke of Hell. Pleased to make your acquaintance." With preparations finished and introductions completed, he moved on to the main topic at hand. "The place in which the demons are being imprisoned is Tokyo Babel. I will need some of you to simply reside on one of its floors, clearing out any and all who choose to advance. Naturally, this includes humans, angels, and demons alike. Why, you may ask? At the very top of Tokyo Babel is the device managing the containment of the true, pure, uncorrupted demons, and I will be infiltrating it in order to let my brethren free. I only ask that you all stop those who would try to stop me. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. I do believe myself a fair man."

    He gazed over the lot of them with a kind of quiet intensity, the kind that wasn't intentional, but came from an innate grace or power that one held. Just the natural way the demon lord rested his body. Befitting his ranking as the Great Duke of Hell.

    @Chewy Rabbits
     
    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 1


  6. [​IMG]

    Setting Samael down once it became clear that she was fine, Winslow immediately wished he hadn't. He couldn't even begin to wrap his head around all this stuff with Tokyo Babel, nanobots and ugh! He would have thought dying would bring him the peace he couldn't find in life. Yet, he only seemed to find more and more pain for his ever-aching heart. Feeling a stinging pain in his chest, Winslow clutched at his chest. He knew full well that he was dead and thus his heart no longer had any reason to beat. But yet he could feel a phantom pain there.


    As if someone was driving a knife in there once more. Only this time it wasn't by his own hand but the one person he had come to trust so much.

    Samael, his best friend.

    "But...But, if you couldn't even scratch him what can you do now?! You'll only get hurt and what if these nanobots can't bring you back this time!? You'll be gone and I'll lose you..." Winslow's cries fell on deaf ears as his friend made her way off, apparently determined to see this through to the end. As Setsuna placed his hand atop Winslow's shoulder, the musician said nothing. What was there to say?

    [​IMG]

    A single tear rolled down Winslow's face and dripped onto the floor as he watched Samael go. Would it be for the last time? Did she even realize what this meant for him? Sure, he'd likely face no problems of his own while he was here. But spending Hell alone? The thought of even being able to do much of note in Hell hadn't even crossed Winslow's mind initally. But then he found he'd have someone to spend all that time with! Or he had someone in any case. It seemed like she was gone and Winslow had no idea whether she'd ever be coming back...


    Sensui was growing more and more enamored with his new guest with every second that passed. Astaroth not only seemed to be the 'solution' that Sensui had been referring to but also the justification that Sensui had sought in order to go along with his deeds. Not that Sensui had ever believed himself to be on the wrong side of the equation. Humanity had simply shown itself to be a greater monster than demon kind could even aspire to be. The sick way humanity twisted the perception of themselves to suit their own vile needs shook Sensui to his core and was responsible for the mental mess that comprised the former Spirit Detective.

    Sniper was still uneasy but if Sensui trusted this guy? Then Sniper would follow Sensui and Astaroth until he drew his final breath. Their cause was righteous and nothing or anyone could convince him otherwise. Sheathing his pistol, he stepped forward and inclined his head to look up at Sensui. "Black Angel? I may not be as knowledgeable as you on demons and whatnot but if you believe what this guy's peddling? Then he's got my vote."

    Pleased with Sniper's loyalty, Sensui nodded in agreement. "That's great to hear, Sniper. I'm sure the others will be just as receptive. Once they hear we've not just any demon at our doorstep but a ruler of Hell itself."

    Motioning for Astaroth to follow him, Sensui and Sniper lead him into another room in the apartment where the other members of the Sensui Seven were gathered, with Kamiya AKA Doctor looking at his watch, no doubt in an attempt to see when his shift was going to come up and when he'd have to split. Then you had the two more 'innocent' members of the group in Gamemaster and Seaman respectively. Both had personal stakes in wanting to aid Sensui's cause. Seaman to get back at the people who had bullied him and had shown that humanity had no depths to which they wouldn't sink.

    Gamemaster's was far more manipulative in nature. Having spent most of his time at arcades due to a lack of friends and his parents not being around enough, Sensui was able to worm his way into the boy's head and twist it to suit his own needs leaving Gamemaster to see Sensui in an almost substitute-like fashion for his parents. Though given Sensui's own mental afflictions, this might not have been the best role model to say the least.

    Gourmet might as well have been an enigma. He didn't say much and when he did? You never would have expected it from a person who seemed as simple-minded as him. But who knew what might have been lurking within Gourmet's stomach?

    Then there was Itsuki, Sensui's lover though it wasn't quite clear how much Sensui returned the affection or if he was just another pawn in Sensui's grand scheme. Not that Sensui would have given any kind of straight answer himself, Itsuki was convinced it was so. He loved Sensui for all of his percieved faults and had been with him ever since Sensui had been a Spirit Detective. But picking up on Astaroth's demon energy and how excited Sensui seemed to be while standing near him, Itsuki's face scrunched up in what could have only been interpreted as annoyance before he appeared beside Sensui and clung to his boyfriend.

    [​IMG]

    "I see you're all just as excited as I am for our new guest." Sensui said simply as Gourmet smiled and pointed at Astaroth. "The guy's giving off mad demon energy. He's gotta be at least an S class. You sure he ain't one of Spirit World's goons?" Sensui had initially mulled over the idea before deciding Koenma wouldn't have been foolish enough to send one of his troops straight into the lion's den as it were. So the thought had left as soon as it had entered.

    "Oh no, our guest is no spy. Or someone sent here to stop our glorious plan. In fact he proposes a way to see it through to the end. All we need to do is one small favor for him..." Sensui started before Gamemaster held up a hand. "Hey, just because this guy's got strong demon energy or whatever doesn't mean he's going to be apart of us is he? Unless he's going to mess with all those jerks himself! That's one powerful demon in that case!"

    Shooting a glare Gamemaster's way, the child quickly zipped the lip and let Sensui resume speaking.

    "..As I was saying, our guest is here to help us with our plan. Which is for humanity to finally get it's grand comeuppance that's been long overdue. In return we simply need to stand guard over a floor of a realm known simply as Tokyo Babel. In doing so, we might be facing threats from angels, humans, to even demons. But you're all here because you believe in our cause don't you?" Sensui didn't need to wait long for a response as the group practically shouted a 'yes!' back in unison. That is with the exception of Itsuki who had remained dangerously quiet throughout this meeting. Something didn't feel right about how 'gracious' Astaroth was being with his help.

    "As for those threats? You need not worry, Astaroth. I possess an energy that is neither human nor demon. But something far beyond both.." Sensui explained as an angelic yellow glow of aura began to appear around him.

    [​IMG]

    "Sacred Energy.."

    @Kaykay (I'll reply in zombo/reality later today!)
     
  7. Samael and Setsuna both merely continued to walk away. Samael was well aware she had grown no stronger, and the nanobots' prowess could be overcome. Her own poison even could overcome them. If Astaroth or Lucifuge had finished her off rather than leaving her for dead, there would have been nothing Setsuna or Lilith could have done. But that didn't mean there was no chance. She may have been the angel of death, but she was also the angel of deception, the one who'd caused the fall of Adam and Eve. If direct combat was not an option, she'd use trickery to get the job done.

    But on the chance that both she and Setsuna failed, Winslow had to remain here.

    The black-haired girl approached Winslow, seeming to want an audience with him.

    [​IMG]

    "Hey hey, you don't want to just twiddle your thumbs, praying for her success here, do you? You look beaten, but you're not dead yet! ....Well, that's probably the wrong phrasing, given we're in hell and all that, but you catch my drift, yeah? That blockhead is, like, almost retarded when it comes to getting people's feelings, so don't worry about what he said! We're pretty low on manpower, so we could use the help. At worst, you can, like, carry our picnic sandwiches or something! So? How 'bout it?"




    Astaroth calmly followed the pair into the next room, simply keeping the same expression on his face despite some of the aggression within the room. Given the interactions within the room, it seemed that so long as he had Sensui's trust, the rest would neatly fall in line. A simple, usable hierarchy.

    Even as Sensui showed off his Sacred Energy, which even Astaroth had never seen before, his expression only shifted slightly, seeming just the slightest bit amused.

    "Impressive. A truly unique human. I believe you will have little trouble fending off those who would challenge you. But..."

    Growing serious, the demon lord allowed his full energy to be felt, the magnitude of which was more like a natural disaster than a single being. But that wasn't the most overwhelming thing about it. His aura induced adoration and fear, servitude and rebellion, calmness and violence, love and hate. The combination of such twisted contradiction and the immense power that radiated from him felt like a constricting darkness, like an invisible boa slowly squeezing down upon your throat, just enough to make you understand your life was in its grasp.

    This was what it meant to be in the presence of the Great Duke of Hell.

    "...Do ensure you do not grow arrogant, and perhaps fall to someone beneath you because of a careless mistake."

    With a single swipe of his hand, a rectangular portal opened, just a little larger than an average double door entrance. A bright light like the sun poured out of it, but Astaroth walked in without a moment of hesitation. He needed to say nothing, his actions spoke for themselves. Whoever wished to follow could, and whoever didn't simply would not.

    Tokyo Babel awaited them, and a goddess's time of reckoning grew ever closer.

    @Chewy Rabbits
     
    • Nice execution! Nice execution! x 1


  8. [​IMG]

    "...?"

    Winslow had to admit that he'd been frozen up after Samael had asked him to stay back. Mainly due to feeling betrayed and hurt that he was forced to stand back while his only friend moved forward. To combat a threat that she seemed to stand no chance against. What was he to do in the meantime? Stand around in Hell? With nobody to talk to, nobody to hold a line of conversation with. The mere thought was reminding Winslow of all the time he had spent locked up in that studio. Forced to write and write with no breaks. Until he could no longer hold a pen, until the medication's effect no longer worked on the Phantom.

    Thankfully Lilith's little speech had shaken him out of it. Though he wasn't particularly enthused at the idea of holding picnic sandwiches but he imagined she was likely being facetious.

    "Thank you..." He murmured softly before moving forward with his cape fluttering behind him.


    [​IMG]

    "Have no doubts, what you ask for? It'll be done with zero issue."

    As Astaroth flared his energy, the other members of the Sensui Seven were nearly floored. This was unlike any kind of power they had seen before. They knew Black Angel/Sensui was powerful enough to rival an S Class demon but this new guy had a power that nearly brought them to their knees. Sensui still stood tall however even as his Sacred Energy faded from around him. Wasn't much use in this world after all, since if he were to try and use it to it's full potential in the Human World, the strain of it would be far too much on the planet's surface.

    Gourmet however while wary of Astaroth's power saw potential in harnessing it for their own. Why bother going through the effort of being this guy's errand boys when they could get this power another way? That of course being to simply devour Astaroth whole.

    But as Gourmet was about to ask said question however, he froze up as he read Sensui's mind and got his response.

    "You're free to try and devour our guest if you'd like. But in doing so you'll be forfeiting your membership in our little group we've set up here. I see potential for Astaroth as well and I doubt a demon of his caliber is foolish enough to let someone like you get your mouth near him. I can tell you're reading my mind and hearing this so perhaps you'll give it some thought in return and avoid making a mistake that could cost you your life, fool."

    "Nevermind..."

    Pleased with that response, Sensui watched as Astaroth opened up a portal. Gesturing towards it with an open palm, Sensui smiled. This was going to be the beginning of the end. The last page in humanity's history was fast approaching and he would be the one to close the book.

    [​IMG]

    "Move out. Time is of the essence. Humanity's judgement is within our grasp and once we do what's been asked of us? We'll be able to punish the guilty and absolve them of their sins." Sensui started as he stepped towards the portal. "By wiping away them from the surface of this planet..." Emboldened by Sensui's declaration the others eagerly followed in step behind him. Though Itsuki would have been the last one to go. He knew Sensui was still within earshot and he didn't want to upset his lover. But he knew that Astaroth had his own plans at stake here and Sensui's group was just a piece of it.

    But for now, his resistance was wilted down to dirty looks aimed the Duke's way.

    Soon, all the members of the group would have stepped through the portal. Tokyo Babel didn't just have one problem.

    [​IMG]

    Now they had seven.

    @Kaykay
     
  9. A feline grin spread across Lilith's face. "Heehee, figured as such!" Like she was prancing in a meadow, she caught up to Samael and Setsuna. Neither objected to Winslow following. After all, neither of them had commanded him to stay. Samael simply said she'd leave him there, and Setsuna only said he didn't recommend it. If a man wanted to follow and offer what he could, who were they to stop him?

    The fallen angel even smiled as he stepped in behind them. The four of them left hell for Tokyo Babel.


    Upon arrival, it looked like a fairly normal high school. There were classrooms, dorms, a library, even a field for exercise. Greeting them was someone who appeared to be a teacher.

    [​IMG]

    "Yo. Good to see you guys, again...is what I'd like to say, but I was hoping I'd never have to see this shit hole again. And, oh? Who's the new guy?"

    The three of them left it to Winslow to introduce himself.

    "Hm. Well, don't be afraid to give me a shout if you need something, alright?"

    With that, he entered a classroom. Compared to the empty place Astaroth had left, Tokyo Babel had managed to collect a fair amount of people by now. Lilith took off, leaving Setsuna, Samael, and Winslow alone in the fairly quiet halls. Though they wouldn't stay there for long, Setsuna bringing them to a particular dorm.

    Inside were futons, a closet, and a kitchen. Enough for four people to relax in comfortably. Notably, though, there was another girl already in there.




    "Hello Setsuna, Samael...and you are...?"

    @Chewy Rabbits

     
    • Love Love x 1


  10. Truth be told, Winslow felt much better finally accompanying the others. He knew that if they ran into that man again? It'd likely spell the end of him(whatever that meant in this context given he was dead.) But come hell or high water, he'd always stand by Samael no matter the costs. As they finally arrived to their destination however, Winslow couldn't help but be the slightest bit confused.

    This was the base of operations? It seemed like any other school? Well, perhaps better than the one Winslow went to. Riddled with grafiiti and filled with students who obviously didn't care to be there, Winslow's high school years weren't the best what with constant ridicule for everything he said and did. But if he knew than what came next in his life? He would have savored every bit of that time.

    But it didn't seem there would be much time to reflect upon the past as they were still moving. Noticing the man who seemed to greet them, Winslow spoke up quietly. "Winslow Leach, sir...A friend." It felt awkward introducing himself to people when what had only felt like a few moments ago, he didn't think he'd be saying anything to anybody anymore! He'd just be a spirit drifting along in some quiet corner of Hell with Samael at his side. But instead it seems like he went and gotten himself mixed up in something far bigger than Swan could have ever hoped to be.

    But as long as he had Samael? Then he'd see it through to the end. As they continued forward, Winslow stepped towards the girl as he glanced down at her.

    [​IMG]

    "I'm Winslow Leach, a composer, a musician, and...Well, I suppose a friend to some." He'd say looking over his shoulder at Samael in particular. "It just so happened to be that I wound up in all of this. Who might you be?"

    @Kaykay

     
  11. "Mm, is that so?"

    As Setsuna nodded his head in affirmation, she simply sat down on her knees at the short table inside the room before resting her head on it. "Would you like...some...coffee...?" And with that question, she was out like a light, snoring atop the table. Winslow probably wouldn't be getting that coffee anytime soon, if he even wanted any. With that fiasco of an introduction out of the way, Setsuna and Samael also sat down, ignoring the sleeping girl.

    "C'mere, Winslow, take a seat!"

    Assuming he did so, the two of them would be staring right at him. It wasn't a look of disgust, as he might have been used to, but they both somehow seemed...cautious. As they began to speak, it became obvious why.

    "So what are your abilities and attributes applicable to combat applications?"

    "Eh? Who speaks like that?"

    "...I do."

    "Haha, I guess that's true! Well, what he wants to know, Winslow, is what you can do in a fight, or to help prepare for one. In that little mess we got involved in, I could pretty much do whatever I wanted, but if you want to climb Tokyo Babel without dying it's gonna be a whole 'nother story. Even I don't offer that much in direct combat anymore. My poison and illusions are probably gonna be my best bet from here on out. So about you."

    Samael jutted out a finger towards the phantom.

    "What do you do? Can you still heal up your own wounds? Move faster than the speed of sound? Break comets with your fists? Or maybe you're really good at tactics. I don't know, I'm not you. What do you do?"

    @Chewy Rabbits
     


  12. [​IMG]

    "No, I'm fine thank..."

    Winslow paused as the girl seemed to fall asleep right then and there. He had to admit, the inclination to shake her awake had come. But if things had gotten this bad that Samael was having to team up with others to combat this threat, perhaps sleep is what is needed. The best ideas often came when one slept after all. Not that Winslow could particularly relate with that given he hadn't been able to sleep in quite a long time. Drugs Swan had fed him kept him up every day, every night. Just to slave away on music that Swan would only steal from him again.

    Instead, Winslow reached over and with his gloved hand gave the girl a pat on the head. It wasn't the most affectionate gesture but then Winslow wasn't the most affectionate person around. Not anymore at least. But he had more important things to focus on like the questions being thrown his way.

    Well, he knew for certain that he wasn't going to be breaking any records in terms of speed. He'd kept himself in shape during his brief stint in Sing Sing but given how deplorable the conditions were there, Winslow hadn't much of anything else to really occupy his time.

    "I..I don't know about comets but I tore down a steel door once. That's got to count for something right?"

    As for the contract, Winslow had hoped it would have ended when he died. But perhaps Swan would have had the last laugh after all. Drawing his knife from his sheath, Winslow pulled off one of his gloves and laid it on the table. Digging his knife into his hand, Winslow began to saw straight down the middle but while blood ran down from the intended wound, his hand still remained in one piece.

    "It doesn't hurt nor does the wound appear. I suppose that while my contract with Swan may have broken on termination, winding up here did something with the magic that fueled said contract in the first place. Leaving me in the same rut I was when I was alive..." Winslow growled irritably though sparing a soft glance Samael's way, he sighed. "But at least I am among friends now..."

    @Kaykay



     
  13. "Mmnnn..."

    The girl seemed to appreciate the gesture, even if she wasn't awake. Though as Winslow spoke, Samael could only laugh.

    "Haha! Sorry, but that's not gonna get you anywhere. But you know? You're the first person I've seen sad about being able to regenerate their wounds! But, I mean, unless you want to be a living shield or something, that's not too helpful either. And even then, if they just stab through you, whoever's using you would still die! Or, like my poison, they might have a way of getting around it to begin with. Hmm, I hope your brain is some good, then, unlike mine..."

    Samael and Setsuna sat in silence for a short while, looking almost like a pair of siblings considering a difficult math problem. It was all good and fun to have friends around and stuff, but they still did have to scale Tokyo Babel. And to bring someone with little to offer would only be exposing them to danger for no reason. Neither of them wanted that.

    "Hm." Setsuna grunted, suddenly seeming to get an idea. "I did not simply scale Tokyo Babel as I was myself. Winslow, would you be willing to undergo some training?"

    "Eh? Training? Humans don't have that much magical power to begin with, really."

    "His biology may not be as powerful as my own, but if he can regenerate from any wound, the training can become appropriately more intense, and we can extract results at an accordingly faster rate. However, it will be painful. Very, very painful and difficult, and if you can't manage to grasp the concepts of magic, there's no guarantee you'll even get any results. However, it is almost certainly your best bet for becoming an asset on our pilgrimage. I leave the decision to you."

    "Nn, if he wants to train...he should sleep..."

    Raziel had roused a little from her sleep, apparently.

    "...No, I do not believe that would be helpful to any degree."

    "You never know till you try!"

    @Chewy Rabbits
     
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1


  14. "I'm really worth nothing..."

    Winslow had to admit that he was disheartened at the prospect that even with this curse lingering?

    He may as well have just been himself for all the use it brought to the table. What good was his ability to shrug off a hit if he couldn't even harm the one doing it? For as much as he may have wanted to aid his friends, it seemed like the odds were stacked heavily against him. But he couldn't stand by in the pits of Hell and watch his friends walk off to their doom! It just wouldn't be! But as Setsuna offered the idea of training, Winslow immediately hopped to his feet with his one good eye wide behind the mask.

    [​IMG]

    "Training?! Whatever it is, I'll see to it that it's done! Too long has the ability to 'help' been taken away from me! Much like everything else in my life. But I won't stand by and let my best friend be taken as well! If their's anything I can do to be of use then I'll see it through to the end!" Winslow practically yelled before frowning at the mention of it being painful, incredibly painful even.

    "Pain? Hah! Some may regard their ability to heal wounds as a gift, a power beyond compare. But I see mine as a burden for it can heal almost any wound and leave it as nothing more than a cosmetic impairment. You want to know pain as I see it?" Without any prompting on his part, Winslow plunged the knife deep into his heart as he twisted it. Blood ran down from the wound but Winslow didn't seem any worse for wear.

    "The heart doesn't beat for a dead man nor does it make one feel pain when I stab it. It's useless to me just as I am useless to you two. But there is a wound that will never heal. It' follows me even into death as you'll see soon enough.." Winslow pushed up his mask and revealed how the left side of his face was still engulfed in grotesque burns. His left eye was glassed over and may as well have not been there.

    [​IMG]

    "All my other wounds closed and waited until I perished to open all at once. Stab wounds, bullet wounds, broken bones, internal damage, the whole lot. Hit me like a freight train. But even as a denizen of Hell, I still feel the burns on my face. Forever a symbol of all that I've lost in my life."

    Lowering his mask and ripping the knife out of his chest, Winslow cleaned the blood off it as he glanced away from Setsuna and Samael.

    [​IMG]

    "So, please do not worry about me when it comes to pain. I'm intimately acquainted with it..."

    @Kaykay
     
  15. The three, considering the girl was partially awake now, watched as Winslow declared his determination, both with words and with actions. They all knew of loss, they all knew of pain. Even the angel who lay half-awake, who before the first Tokyo Babel only knew eternal bliss, had endured pain of her own now. At his display, she finally sat up properly, resting her hands on her lap with her back straight.

    "I see. I am Raziel, an angel who creates records. Pleased to make your acquaintance."

    "Hnhn~" Samael looked satisfied with herself, as if saying "I didn't expect anything less!"

    That then left Setsuna. He stood up from the table and began to head for the door. "Then please wait here." Then he was gone, leaving the two angels, one pure and the other fallen, alone with the phantom. Though Raziel was finally properly awake, she still didn't seem keen on starting any particular conversations. She was perfectly content to simply stare, it seemed. Samael, however, was not so easily pleased. Out of the blue, she suddenly asked Winslow a question with a loud voice.

    "Uh, let's see, small talk time then! Hey, Winslow, what's your favorite anime?"

    "Is he even from a world with anime in it?"

    "...Of course!"

    "He isn't, is he."

    "Who knows?"

    "Shouldn't you know, since you're both friends?"

    "Yeah? Well, what's Setsuna's favorite anime then?" Samael seemed slightly agitated, or perhaps defensive, like someone whose beliefs were being questioned.

    "His world was destroyed. There was no anime."

    "Oh. That's right."

    Her agitation dissipated completely.

    And with that, Setsuna finally came back.

    "Do you remember Belial? He was the old man you met upon your arrival. He is going to be your teacher. If you have forgotten the way, I can lead you back to him."

    "Heeh, Belial, huh? Good luck, Winslow!"

    @Chewy Rabbits
     
    • Bucket of Rainbows Bucket of Rainbows x 1


  16. Watching as the hole he had made in his costume with his knife eventually closed up, Winslow let out a sigh. He'd let his temper get the better of him at that moment. But it was nothing but the truth. He had perished with the hope that all of his worries would be over. He'd be able to spend eternity with nothing but the company of Samael. But as it seemed fate had other plans for Winslow Leach, he wouldn't be able to rest just yet. He had plans to tend to, plans that involved bringing down that man who had brutalized Samael before his very eyes!

    Clenching his fists in anger as he was forced to recall Samael getting a hole put in her chest, Winslow's breathing began to grow unsteady as he was starting to see red. He'd go through this training and whatever else was necessary to see that bastard pay! But his anger all vanished without a trace as Samael asked him that out of the blue question.

    [​IMG]

    "I...Suppose I never really gave the medium much of a look over. I was always far more engrossed in my music than anything else. But I will admit that in my off time? Well, whenever I gave myself a break that is, I read up a little bit of something called Space Battle Yamato? It was certainly an interesting read to say the least. Pretty much an opera set in space but involving romance, sci-fi battles between ships and humans, it was quite something. But I didn't venture any further than that. Hope that answers your question."

    Winslow didn't see himself as a snob by any stretch of the imagination. But when his sole desire was to make people happy through his music, other forms of media didn't exactly grab him as much as music did. Television and movies were all fine and well but Winslow drew inspiration for his music from other sources like Faust for example. But it was an odd enough question to be asked to say the least. Though at the mention of Setsuna's world being destroyed, a somber tone fell over Winslow's mood.

    His world was still in one piece, no doubt it'd keep on spinning minus one Winslow Leach. But the world as far as Winslow saw it? It'd been taken from him and crushed before his very eyes along with his hopes and dreams. Leaving death as the only avenue out of a miserable existence and even that didn't seem to work if the current situation was any indication. "I'm sorry for your loss." He said simply to Setsuna before turning in the direction of where Beilal's office was. "It's quite alright, I introduced myself to him when we first entered. I know where to go. Thank you for the vote of confidence, Samael.."

    With that Winslow made his way off to meet his presumed teacher. Knocking on the wall to signify his entry, Winslow spoke up.

    "Beilal? We didn't get a chance to speak earlier but I'm Winslow Leach, I was instructed to come here? It seems you'll be the one to teach me the training that I need to stand with the others."

    @Kaykay
     
  17. "I knew it!"

    "So there really was anime..."

    The angel duo aside, Setsuna didn't seem to react to Winslow's condolences at first. However, even though he wasn't there for the previous conversation, he was quick to understand what he was talking about. He closed his eyes and nodded, walking past the phantom as he headed out.

    "Good luck."

    When Winslow knocked on the wall, it took a few moments before there was any kind of response. Soon enough though, the same middle aged man from before had opened the door, though he somehow seemed more fatigued than before.

    "Tch. Yeah, yeah, that brat told me all about it. This wasn't what I meant when I said give me a shout..." After muttering a bit to himself, he straightened up again and crossed his arms. "Well, whatever. Can't help it if a newcomer needs some help. What was your home world like, kid? You understand magic? Or you like that Tendou boy, and you've got a bunch of man-made upgrades going for you? Well regardless, the first thing we're going to do is train your magic. I'm no good with that science stuff anyway. Follow me."

    Apparently having no more classes to teach for the day, Belial led Winslow to what looked like a completely normal school gym. A familiar face was waiting for him once they arrived, though.

    [​IMG]

    "Yo, Winslow! So you're going to do some training, huh?"

    Belial just sighed as he scratched his head. "You can ignore her. Just pretend she's a mosquito, or something like that."

    "Hey! Who're you calling a mosquito, you old man?!"

    @Chewy Rabbits
     
    • Love Love x 1


  18. [​IMG]

    "...Magic? Samael and Setsuna mentioned it as well.."

    Taking some time to think it over, Winslow figured that the connection that kept him alive was magical in nature. More so thanks to the fact that even after his contract was broken, the magic lingered and nothing would harm Winslow's body. At least unless he bumped into someone who possessed a weapon similar to Samael's scythe that had taken Swan's life.

    "I suppose I'm certainly no magician. I can't wave my hands and cast a spell. I'm not even that great of a fighter. After I was wronged, I put on a costume, grabbed a knife and went to work. It was only through the influence of the Devil himself that I could not be harmed unless the person who signed the contract with me perished as well. Samael saw to it that fulfillment was met and so all of my wounds tore open at once."

    Before Winslow could elaborate any further, he noticed the woman from before. The one who had inspired him to stick with Samael despite the odds. Noticing the reaction she seemed to inspire in Belial, Winslow couldn't help but flash a grin.

    "A mosquito you say? Is she quite the pest?"

    @Kaykay
     
  19. "Not you too!"

    "Hm? What pest? I don't see anything."

    "Then buy some glasses, old man!"

    "Well, that aside."

    "...Oi, you're really dedicated to this joke, aren't you."

    Lilith seemed slightly downcast, but this only inspired a grin from Belial.

    "So you've used the power of Lucifer himself, and you have no proficiency in magic. Talk about bad luck. Well, whatever. This is why you're training, I guess. Well then, the first order of business." Belial didn't move a muscle, but suddenly a pillar of fire, a pillar of water, a pillar of air, and a pillar of earth appeared surrounding him. "Dodge all of these. With your eyes closed."

    The girl seemed taken aback. "Gack! You're gonna make him do that already?"

    "Hm? Setsuna said to train him as fast as possible."

    "I guess we really don't have that much time to sit around. Hey, listen up, Winslow. You're gonna have to learn how to reach out and find magic. It's like a sixth sense, you know? Shutting your eyes is actually to make it easier, in theory. Like how you might close your eyes to listen to really good music. Hmm, it's hard to describe, but I guess it'd feel...tingly? Uh, good luck!"

    "That's enough of a cheat sheet. Now, let's begin!"

    The pillars would fly towards Winslow, but they didn't behave like he might have expected pillars to. They didn't simply move in a straight line from their spot to the target. Like living beings, they began to move around, looking for angles at which they could get in. Live pillars of the elements sought to crash down upon the phantom and rend him apart!

    @Chewy Rabbits
     


  20. [​IMG]

    "Close my eyes...? But then I won't be able to see the attacks!"

    It didn't seem like complaining was going to get Winslow very far here. Closing his good eye, Winslow tried to look deep within himself. For some kind of 'tingling' sensation he supposed. But he'd just been a normal man before he wound up with Swan. How was he supposed to have anything like this? Before he could ponder any further, the the pillar of earth smashed right into Winslow, knocking the Phantom to the ground and sending his mask tumbling off.

    Groaning as he rose to his feet, Winslow had kept his eyes closed throughout the ordeal. How was this supposed to help him? He couldn't see and things were coming at him from all sides! Continuing his inner search for apparently something, Winslow was set upon by the pillar of air. It lifted Winslow up and smashed him against the floor. Slamming his fist into the floor, Winslow wished for nothing more than to open his eyes and say 'to hell with it!' with this training!

    He may have been dead and his curse may have healed whatever wounds he got from this. But what good was it if he just stood here like a fool with his eyes closed? It didn't make a lick of sense to Winslow. But as the pillar of fire slammed into him, Winslow felt to his knees as he could feel the fire burning away at him through his costume. Clutching his hands to either side of his head, Winslow couldn't understand this! This all felt like it was at his expense. To put him through these various attacks so he'd give up. So the others wouldn't have to babysit him and he could go sit nicely in some corner of Hell.

    [​IMG]

    Digging his fingers across the floor of the gym, Winslow struggled to keep his eye closed as the flames continued to burn away at his body. He didn't feel anything other than the fire! How was he supposed to find some kind of magic within it? What would this magic even do? Reaching out from the fire, Winslow gripped onto his mask and placed it upon his head. Staggering to his feet, Winslow looked towards the last pillar.

    Was this one going to leave him soaking wet and electrocute him due to his vocoder? Presumably so unless he stopped it somehow. Holding his hand out, Winslow slowly opened his eye and his mouth dropped open. What had that feeling been?

    [​IMG]

    "I..I felt something.."

    Whatever Winslow might have felt, he had to wonder. Was that the magic that Lilith had been talking about? What was he supposed to do with it? What could he do with it? It didn't seem like he'd get much of a chance to figure it out as the last pillar slammed into him and sent the Phantom flying back, soaked to the bone. He felt absolutely miserable after that whole experience. But at least he had gotten something out of it.

    @Kaykay