Chasing Glass

Resurrecting the last bits of energy in the Mirror left behing by Glass, Proteus goes on a dangerous solo mission...

Plot Room 1

When Proteus sets the last of her tools down, she's staring at a piece of glass inlaid amidst a wire of enchanting catalyst, trying to draw the last bits of energy back out of the mirror before it can properly 'escape'. She remembers the activation of this device - it had been rather obvious. To shatter the mirror.

It takes but a small little hammer...

A little tap.

A crack appears in the mirror, and she can feel a burst of light appearing around her, shuddering in its activation.

One more tap.




The remains of the mirror shatters, and she sees the telltale sign of a Chaos Gate recall appear all around her, right before she's pulled away. A flash of light...


Her eyes open, her HUD flickers before her for a moment as her eyes focus on the area before her. A beautiful massive white church. There's women wearing coifs wandering around, as well as a man with a Miter off to the side, just entering a door. Before her, pews stretch the distance. There's beautiful stained glass windows bringing in glorious sunlight into this place.

There's a startled sound from one of the church women at her appearance, and she quickly rushes into one of the doors, trying to get someone. The startled sounds continue to rise around her. People are confused and worried at Proteus' sudden appearance - as she had not been expected.

Except for one individual, sitting somewhere in the middle-right of the pues, with a gloomy look on his face as he stares at Proteus. Gloomy, yet... there's that little smirk on his expression, behind those glasses of his. The hooded male rises up - though the hood does little to obscure his appearance. Wild blonde hair, a set of glasses that are slightly too small for him, and an outfit that screams 'Alchemist!'

He closes a book and slowly rises up, and starts siddling aside until he gets up, and just starts to leave while chuckling to himself.
Plot Room 1

It's in Proteus' nature to poke things. Even before the Black Wave, when the rules were much more lenient, she had a habit of doing things on her own and playing fast and loose with trading her safety in exchange for valuable information. She did, at least, leave a note with her findings and intentions beside the desk before she engaged in her experiment.

They deserved to know that much. Regardless, the array is set out, and she traps the glass within so she can maintain the fading energies long enough to wring them out. It's a simple task for the rest. Simply... use as directed, feed it a little more power to make up for it being a piece of a whole, and the energy will naturally follow the way the enchantment works... One more time.

It only needs to work one more time, after all. It's a proof of concept... And what a concept it is. If the mysterious woman can accomplish this feat... It stands to reason that Proteus could as well... If she had the knowledge.

And Knowledge is Power.

And so she entrusts herself to the eternal vortex of time, and breaks opan a path to a future. She vanishes, and... The hooded Imp immediately looks around on arrival, taking in her surroundings. "... Cathedral." She says quietly to herself as the purple eyes take in what is going on arround her. The trappings are obvious enough... But /where/? This doesn't look like one she recognizes. And what's more, the people present seem to be surprised. Of course, an Imp appearing out of nowhere in a place of worship... There is a little smile beneath that hood as she considers how that might strike some more religiously-minded types using old-world thought.

But this is a new world, with new rules and behavior. Her hand comes up in a calming gesture, trying to maintain the illusion of knowing what she's doing even if it might not be the case. "Be calm, everything is fine." She says, even as her eyes sweep over to lock onto the distinctive sight of the 'Alchemist'. Immediately, she attempts to Inspect that one before he escapes, but she doesn't interfere yet. The sight of the churchwoman rushing away is also noted. She casually walks towards the exit, stopping at the end of the aisle that the man is extracting himself. As he passes, Proteus says quietly, "It seems like you were expecting this to happen." She says. "Would you care to tell me where precisely I am?"
Plot Room 1

As she looks behind herself, she may notice that there is a rusted looking Chaos Gate right there. Except, notably, this one has some gemstones set into the 'wheels' of the gate that seem to flourish just fine. Still, were she to interact with it, it doesn't interact at all. There's no menu that comes up.

Inspecting the Alchemist, she may notice that this one holds the following Icons just before he gets out of sight: [I, Wings, Castle]. His name looked normal, but she didn't quite catch it in time. Though no doubt, she could follow him and do the rest of the reading on him.

As she looks around, the people around her only have the following icons: [I, Castle].

The people within don't appear to be at /all/ relieved to hear that things are 'fine' and to be 'calm'.

Catching up at the exit of the church, she finds the man standing there on a path. The church is on the outskirts in the midst of a forested valley, though she sees a large castle town a bit of travel down the road. The air smells incredibly fresh, and she can see a few Bun Buns hopping a little further down the road.

"Hmmm, yes. When Glass told me that her teleportation had been flawed, I figured that something like this would happen." The man gloomily answers her, his eyes looking a bit on the tired side. He even has dark rings under his eyes. Closer to him now, she can read his name:

[ Kyo Ethnina ]

"I suppose I can welcome you... though I imagine with them freaking out, someone at your Level won't be sticking around too long." He looks to the side. "Welcome to Berg." Before looking back to Proteus. "I am Kyo Ethnina. I didn't expect any Hero Invaders coming here so soon though..."
Plot Room 1

The Chaos Gate type assembly behind her is certainly something of note. A moment spent attempting to interact and activate it gets her nothing. Curses. Dormant, just like the ones in her own land.

What's not like the ones in her own land are the plethora of people present with that icon combination. More of them, just like Glass. Landers... Who are also Adventurers.

"You know Glass, then." Proteus replies to Kyo. "I met her recently. She has been attempting to attack us in our own land through the use of some kind of distortion." She tilts her head, looking into those dead eyes for several moments. "Hello, Kyo. My name is Proteus..."

She goes quiet as the mention of Hero Invaders comes up. "... I see. So that's the shape of it. Glass was attempting a strike to prevent precisely what they think is happening now. They believe we're here to attack them, don't they." She looks back over her shoulder into the Cathedral. "And this means they're probably organizing some people to come after me, aren't they." She sighs. "Berg, hmm? Sounds like a nice enough place... Except it doesn't exist in my world at all to my knowledge." Her tail flicks about behind her, irritably.

"You're right. I will probably need to leave shortly. You don't seem to be concerned though. What's your take on this? If you have any information to spare before I am inevitably chased off, I'd appreciate it. I don't have any intentions of bringing destruction to this land. Glass has been doing a good job of predisposing people poorly, however."
Plot Room 1

Kyo looks over Proteus' shoulder in that gloomy way of his, even sighing, before looking back to her. "Yes, I know Glass. She's one of my fellow Heroes of course." He explains to Proteus, as if this was the most obvious things in the world. "And very much, your arrival here has proven that the tales are correct. Things are likely only going to get worse from here." Kyo proposes to her. "I suppose I could solve this situation myself, but I can't really be bothered right now. I'm busy doing other things." He mentions in such a rediculously flippant manner.

Clearly, Proteus is his problem, but he's too... well, him-like to deal with that problem right now. Damned lazy bastard. But it's working in Proteus' favor at least.

"But you've got the gist of it. Luckily, that means I don't have to bother." Kyo explains, while running a hand through that wild hair of his, and then pushes his glass back up his nose, flashing a gleam of light for a moment while he corrects his posture upwards. "Of course Berg doesn't exist in your world. This is our world. Your world is your world."

He then raises his brow at Proteus mentioning that Glass has been doing a poor job. "I'll have to talk to her about that matter." He mumbles, and then motions his hand for Proteus to follow him, as he starts wandering in the direction of the castle. "If you want to talk, just follow me. I'm not going to hurry for your benefit, but... at least it'll take the guards a bit longer, I suppose."

The gloomy man starts heading down the way, while a few birds chipperly make sounds. A sweet breeze flowing through the area. "My take on this is that the legends are probably right. You're here already after all, just as was expected. But the other Heroes will no doubt prevail as soon as we get that Gate properly under control." He remarks, right before he winces...

"Not so loud." He grunts at nothing in particular.

"Damned Chimlinks. Normie King thinks that he gets to just chat all he wants on this thing, just because he's royalty and I decided to be nice."
Plot Room 1

"She's a bit of a problem. Have you considered telling her that she's creating a self-fulfilling prophecy? I cam here because she attacked us and left a trail behind. Either way, things always seem to tend towards chaos over time." There is another shrug from Proteus as she shakes her head. "I know the feeling. I keep having people pester me while I'm working on something important. It's why I usually like working alone."

There is a nonzero chance that this guy is leading her into a trap. The glasses push seems like a universal indicator of a certain type. He might be a Villain in Glasses, but that doesn't mean he behaves the same as the one she is more familiar with. "I'll go with you for the moment. Staying here is a foolish choice."

She follows along, matching pace with the man. "I am guessing the legends speak of a Hero that will come and destroy the world, or something similar. We don't even call ourselves Heroes. We're Adventurers, people who came there from another world entirely in order to find fame, fortune, and solve the mysteries of that world."

A pause, and she glances over at him as he complains about the chimlinks. There is a low chuckle. "I can commisserate. I guess that's a universal facet, no matter what world you are a part of." She frowns for a moment. "Do you happen to know where I could acquire a map? I want to know more about this place. I know no one is going to believe me when I say I'm not here to cause trouble, but I may as well take advantage of the opportunity while I can."
Plot Room 1

Kyo groans and shrugs at the self-fulfilling prophesy bit. He's probably thought along that line himself as well.

"Aye. Four heroes in fact. Which is no doubt why Glass was confused on your side as well. Trust me, I think the Legend may be a bit too... cooked up. But it has enough truth to it to be dangerous. It spoke of purple clouds and waves of monsters. And we're dealing with that."

The man continues to saunted forward, one hand against his book, the other into the pockets of his pants. His wear seems a bit on the modern side, for fantasy gear. But then, the people back in the castle looked 'mildly more modern' than the Landers he came across. Far more... European perhaps, is the better phrase, rather than truly 'modern'.

"Heroes come to this world, bring a blight. Our world is destroyed in favor for theirs. A challenge." He explains, shrugging his shoulders. "A map? Ehmm... I don't have one on me. If you manage to get into that castle town, you could probably steal one from a merchant." He motions lazily forward at the far distant castle city walls.

"Berg isn't exactly that notable. Crazy king, bunch of Heroes making lives miserable for others. Glass getting all superior, like L'Arc thinks he can play big brother to everyone. I don't even know what you really are." He motions at the wings and tail. "Some kind of demon spawn?" Notably, everyone that Proteus has seen has been... human.

"And I'm not going to sketch this place for you - before you ask. I don't feel like it."

He looks behind him. No guards yet. Forward again, lazily strolling down. "Last L'Arc came back, he was even defeated in that other world by some team of low-levels. They really need to focus more on Leveling more." He raises his hand and scratches at his hair, rubbing it in frustration.

"What made you foolishly come here anyhow? If you are not here to destroy us. I mean, /really/, what are you doing here? You seem more like my sort. The Mystery sort, instead of the Fame and Fortune one."
Plot Room 1

"Four Heroes? But there's..." Proteus pauses. "But our world has nine, and they're not Adventurers at all." The Imp muses for a moment. "Our world too has been subject to purple clouds and waves of monsters. They've been happening when Glass has been attacking /us/." She folds her arms, shrugging her shoulders under her diminutive wings folded over them like a mantle. The clothing style is noted, but as one might expect, she has more immediate details to deal with.

"I'm sure there are people who would engage in that behavior in any world." Proteus shakes her head. "But in the meantime... This is all due to a prophecy. A prophecy from whom? For what purpose? They are a puzzle that attempts to shape the future. Who set this into motion? Why?" Proteus isn't even asking these questions to Kyo, simply looking at the sky and speaking aloud, rhetorically. "I wonder if those Heroes invading you are the result of a prophecy for them as well. I mean, you should absolutely defend yourselves, but there is something..." She taps her chin, her tail swishing back and forth.

"Huh?" She suddenly perks up as if she wasn't paying attention, lost in though at the shape of this new situation. "What am I? I'm an Imp. There's a lot of different races in my world. Were Fangs, Cait Sith, Spriggans, Human, Salamanders, Undines, Pixies, et cetera." Her tail swishes and points at Kyo around her waist. "I went with the random selection for character generation. I think it turned out rather well." She chuckles. "It always felt right." Yes, she's talking to a Lander, but... Who knows? She, too, has been looking around and keeping an eye out for guards or worse.

"So you mention Glass and L'Arc. These are other Heroes of your world? Glass was..." She pauses. "Troublesome. I suppose you have the advantage in higher Levels... But well, you've already heard the problem with invading our world. It might be a better plan to call off the invasion plans. I think we have more to gain by working together on this purple clouds situation to determine the true nature of it."

She shakes her head, then. "Why did I come here?" She laughs. "Do I look like some kind of terrible world-destroying warrior to you? You apparently could Inspect me, right? You know I'm way too low level for that. No, I'm an archaeologist. You're right. I'm here to unravel the mystery. Both of the tool Glass used and also the reasons for her actions and others." She spreads her hands at that and giggles a little. "And look at what I found, something /amazing/." A pause. "Well, I still have to survive and get back home, but it's already a hell of a ride.
Plot Room 1

"No... it should be four." The man creases his brow. "This is a mess." He grunts, tapping a finger to his head over and over again while leaning it to the side, trying to figure out this situation. "The prophecy came from the Church of course. The Pope and his people have passed it down through generations." He points out to Proteus. "Hrrn... I hate puzzles when the puzzle pieces don't fit."

His movements gets a bit irrate, going a bit faster. "Damnit, I'll have to talk to someone about this." He then pauses for a moment as Proteus points out her species... raises his finger, then lowers it, and continues moving.

"Other species? Were Fangs... Cait Sith? No, those are beings from the ancient books. They no longer exist. I suppose they can exist in other worlds?" He mumbles to himself, not seeming to respond to the mention of character generation at all, as if he'd not heard it - though there was a twinge of his eye, as if something irritated him.

"Yes. Glass, me, L'arc, then there's Kizuna - the useless girl, only good at leveling - and Therese. She's probably mining for gemstones again." He remarks. "Glass is probably our lowest level Hero." He explains. Five heroes in this World then?

The man's finger-tapping continues, this time against his book in that irritated way, right as the two of them pass a small little hut along the road. There's a bunch of kids... singing there, while a woman seems to direct. Various instruments being played.

"Ugh, noisy..." He grunts.

It's quite the impressive chorus. It sounds a bit like the 'Logo Screen' song but... no, it's definitely different.

"Yeah, Heroes can Inspect others. So I can tell that you're lower level, and that your name is Proteus." He answers back. "You're a Hero like us." He points at some place in what is presumably some kind of display for him. "Wings." The man points out.

"And I'm not stopping right now. Those Gates are far too interesting to tinker with." A pause. "Oh, the tool Glass used? You mean one of these?" He pulls something out from beneath his robes. A mirror. "I made this..."

"Better to return home, than die to that cheating Shield Hero with that rediculous offensive power..."
Plot Room 1

Proteus grunts and puts a hand up under her hood, rubbing at her hair as she considers the situation. "It's a contradiction. A paradox, maybe. If the pieces don't fit, it means we're looking at the wrong puzzle. The Prophecy doesn't fit what's happening, therefore there's a reason for that."

She continues to follow along with Kyo, stepping quickly after him. "A comparative study of our histories might reveal a great deal of interesting information. I could arrange for that... Of course, I would need to find a way back to my own world first." The irritated twitch gets a little smirk from Proteus, however. Yeah, they're still a Lander. The Imp doesn't push the issue however. There's only so much breaking character Landers put up with and she doesn't want to ruin this.

"Glass is the /weakest/ of you?" Proteus sighs. "Of course. It's never that simple. It's like I'm in a..." She pauses, about to say something but just stops and shakes her head as she rubs her temples as if she has a headache. She gives a nonchalant gesture. "So you don't have Adventurers at all in this world. I see. How long have you been a Hero? What were you doing before then?"

Suddenly, she tilts her head and turns it towards the children, listening intently as they pass. Her hands move, menus opening up in her vision as she tries to take notes about the chorus the children is singing. She might have a present for Kaleido when she gets back. "I definitely find the Gates interesting myself. After a recent event in our world, they stopped working. I've been wondering how I might be able to get them functional again, but so far I have had no luck." She stops as she sees him pull out the mirror. "You made it? Are you willing to part with one, perhaps? The intact design might allow for some interesting insights into the nature of movement in this world and others."

She does pause, and blink. "Wait? Shield Hero? Offensive power? How do you have an offensive specialty as a Shield Hero?" Proteus sounds confused. "Well, either way getting into a brawl right now is the last thing on my mind. Dying here would be unpleasant at best, I think." She taps her foot. "So how did Glass come to my world in the first place?"
Plot Room 1

Kyo just grunts as Proteus points out the contradition. "The Church has never been wrong. I'm sure it's just a misreading of the old texts." He points out to his 'travel companion' as they pass by the singing folk. "You coming, or what?" He grunts gloomily. It is rather obvious that this man is not the most fun of people to travel with.

"Yeah, she's the weakest. She's got a bad vitality." And he doesn't mean the stat. "No Adventurers. Just Heroes, and fellow Landers of course." Kyo answers Proteus inquiry on that matter. "I inherited my Hero status when I was..." He squints his eyes. "Summoned... to the Church?" He looks confused, almost like he's stumbling over something.

"It's not important." He then decides.

"I've been a Hero for months now. And in case it's unclear... I'm the strongest of them." He points out, though there's no pride there. Still, it's a red indicator. Not black.

"And yes, I made the mirror. Honestly, things went a lot faster after the church helped me make my bond with the Burning One." He explains to Proteus. "But no - I am not giving this to you. You already came here after getting a single shard. If you bring people here... who knows what would happen. Honestly - I may be talking to you like this, but I don't exactly... trust you. This is just... what it is."

He turns and keeps moving again. "Don't get me started on that cheating Shield Hero. As for coming to your world. It's simple. I couldn't get the Chaos Gate working, so I used these gems I made and laid them into the device. It seems to power up just enough once in a while - allowing us to travel there to fight the other Heroes. Each hero had to travel to one of four temples to obtain the right elemental stone to get it working."
Plot Room 1

Proteus starts. She doesn't get much time, it seems, to attempt to take the notes needed. But that's okay, she'll have more chances later. In the meantime, maybe she can help some of her guildmates on their own passion projects. She scurries a bit, catching up with the irritable Alchemist. "You have a lot of faith in that Church." Proteus observes. "Are they really that great?" There is a shrug from the Imp. "I mean, I'm not blaming you if they are. It just seems like there's a great deal of trust in them. What did they do to earn that trust?"

She hums for a moment. "Well, I suppose if they gave you your power, you do owe them something." She muses aloud as they continue on... But there is a squint as she sees the way he stumbles over something and then... passes on. "Not important, eh?" She leans in closer, peering at the dead-eyed alchemist with a little sharktooth smile. "Everything is important. Especially when it comes to /you/." She pokes him with her tail lightly at that. "If you don't watch out for yourself, who will, right?" She tilts her head, leaning back and shrugging nonchalantly. "But yes... The Burning One. Now that /is/ a parallel. We have The Burning One in our world too."

There is a little grimace. "Of course I came here after getting a single shard. You know the Law of Affinity as much as anything. Glass was careless and left a trail. You can blame her for being sloppy or you can congratulate me for being clever enough to find and follow up on it. But yeah, I can see why you wouldn't trust me." That nonchalant little shrug again. "Just this random demon-girl showing up in your world and practically fulfilling the prophecies you're all afraid of. I would trust me either. But then, I don't trust you either. For all I know you're walking me right into that Shield Hero you keep talking about."

She pokes again. "But I'm still following you, aren't I? Because if you're going to trust someone, someone has to take the first step. If you betray me, I'll probably be killed. I think we have a lot more to gain by working together on this instead of just being at each other's throats. This phenomenon is happening... And yet we have to ask the most importand question."

She turns, looking to the sky and throwing her arms wide. "WHY?" She calls to the sky, and then looks back down after the bit of theatrics, smiling. "And don't tell me 'It's the Prophecy'. Prophecies aren't supposed to create phenomena, they're descriptors of existing ones conveyed through coded language. Prophecies that self-fulfill are traps. And do we really want to risk both our worlds on a trap?"

He explains the deal with the Chaos Gate, and Proteus arches a brow. "You've found an alternate power source. It's responding to..." She trails off for a moment, the tail lashing back and forth like a metronome. "Why would they be related though? Could it be...? Huh. Maybe that's why the hourglass. The energy is released when..." She tilts her head one way, and then the other. "Well, it's a theory. I'd need to do more examination to check to see if it's really the case or not. Still, four temples, elemental stones... Now that's a tale old as time." She chuckles at that. "And you got to live it out, eh? Well done."

A pause. "But there's five Heroes. Four stones, five Heroes? That doesn't add up."
Plot Room 1

The Alchemist has this kind of 'tired' look on his face as Proteus continues to talk, as if some of it was going into one ear, and out the other. "The Church is far more important than any one hero. It is through them that we gain our exceptional power. It is through them that we were summoned. And I am not going to let the lives that were sacrificed go to waste." Kyo tells Proteus with a dour mooded tone.

It seemed like there was a bit more to it than that power. But there is that sly little grin as she mentions /power/. He backs away as her tail suddenly comes alive and points at him, almost like he was expecting like... a laser to cut out from that. "Good - don't trust me. I'm not walking you into a trap though... certainly not to the Shield Hero. He's in the other world."

He grunts and shakes his head. Only to get startled again as she suddenly throws her arms wide and yells to the sky. He quickly glances behind. There's some people pointing their way to an armored guard of sorts.

"Look... it's not a power source. It's more like... a Catalyst." He explains to Proteus. "Through them, I was able to adjust the attributes of the Gate. I am not powerful enough to do it directly." He remarks to her.

"Ah, yeah... we didn't send the useless one." He then remarks to Proteus. "She's only good at slaying monsters. So what's the point to sending her to pick up some magical stones?"
Plot Room 1

"The Church is important... why? They gave you the power... why? It's through them you were summoned... Why? Don't you think it's more important to ensure that those lives that were sacrificed have meaning because the purpose and methodology are pure?" She sighs, and shrugs. "Suit yourself. I'm just a skeptic at heart, I guess." She buffs her nails on her tunic at that, smirking a little.

A laser from her tail would be impressive, but Proteus isn't laying down Arcane Bolts yet. "... The Shield Hero is in the other world? Wait, what are they doing in our world?" Proteus blinks, a look of concern on her face. "I'm trying to build some bridges here. Maybe Glass could have done the same if she wasn't trying to smash one of our Heroes with a sandworm. That was pretty inconvenient, you know."

"Adjust the attributes of the Gate..." She hums. "I suppose that might be easier than the alternative I was working on, but much less flexible. It's not like you're getting a choice as to what world you're going to, right? If there's one other world, why wouldn't there be two? Three? Ten? Did you find a way to calibrate it to the source of what you believe the problem is? And if our world /is/ the problem, maybe we can find out why." There's that word again.

Proteus nods solemnly and says in a lightly sorrowful tone about 'the useless one', "What a terrible fate, to be so useless that you can't even help on the quests you were supposed to be a Hero for."

Kyo glances back, and so does the Imp, and she blinks at the sight of some people pointing in her direction. "Well, that's a problem. I guess it's kind of hard to hide my nature considering the whole horns, tail, and wings thing. Where /are/ you going, anyway? We should probably get there faster."

There is a blink. "Oh, right. You have Chimlink too. I have an idea..." There is a flick of her hand, and she opens up a menu and sends Kyo a friend request. "It might be to our benefit to remain in contact. I don't think it will persist across worlds but there might be a use regardless."
Plot Room 1

Kyo grins at her. "Oh, I'll figure that stuff out in due time. I haven't gone to any of the other world myself, because I have more important things to figure out." Clearly, her words are not lost upon him. But there's this sly smirk in his eyes that is ever so hard to read.

"And, yes. We have access to... two worlds for now - out of the... /dozens/. The ones the Church has provided the information to. There is your world which is supposed to have... four Heroes. But it has Nine. And... Adventurers, which are something else? What /are/ you the Hero of anyway? Looking like a Demon?" He's not too sure. "And then there are the Four heroes from the second world. Which includes the Shield Hero, the Lance Hero, Sword Hero and Bow Hero." He explains to Proteus.

He halts for a moment, pulling his book towards his belly and raises his brow at Proteus. "You want me to add you to my Chimlink? I... suppose I can." He remarks.

The man lifts his hand up, and there's suddenly this painful SCREEEETCHING sound. Like chalk on a chalkboard coming right out of her... well... right ear. Right where most of her Chimlink hearing usually originates. The screetching dies down, but she's practically got tenitus in that one ear. "There, I adjusted its attributes. I will now be able to contact you, and vice-versa."

On her UI, she'll see that a Friend has been added. They show up as 'Online', by his name. "I suppose that kind of contact can be... cute. Or beneficial for the future."

He then looks towards the guard running their way - then over the hill, more guards. "As for where I am going? Home. In the Castle Town over there." He motions, as he lazily continues moving.
Plot Room 1

"There's a lot of important things to figure out." Proteus replies. "More than we can discover in our lifetime, but that's what makes it fun, doesn't it? It would be boring otherwise." She nods back in response to that grin.

But there is another sigh. "And again, the Church. I wonder..." She hums. "They sure have control of a lot of information, don't they?" She blinks again. "Huh? What Hero am I? Well if you insist... I suppose I am the Hero of Knowledge. It /is/ power, after all."

She nods in response to him as he accepts the request... And then there is an incoherent scream as she clutches at the side of her head, Proteus hunching over in pain as the noise just overwhelms her senses for a moment. "Hells... That's /adjusting/ its attributes?" She says it overloud, perhaps due to the ringing in her ears. She frowns, looking over her menus, seeing him in the list... Then tilts her head. "Wait. What do you mean by 'adjusting attributes'? That's a very pointed definition of a term..."

But there isn't much time to get an answer, as she looks over her shoulder and notices the large group of guards. If they're anything like the ones in her world, this is a Problem, and Proteus blanches. "Uhhhh... Aren't those guards coming awfully fast?" She fidgets, caught between running for it and sticking with Kyo.
Plot Room 1

"Thanks to the bond with the Burning One, she gave me the ability to adjust Attributes. How do you think this Mirror is linked to that Gate?" He asks her. "The same with the stones. It's all very limited though - needing extra items to make it all work." He grunts.

He then glances at the Guards as they start rushing for Proteus. "It's not my problem. You're not one of this world's Heroes." Kyo points out gloomily and keeps on walking at his lazy pace. "Ugh, I bet Arc is going to bitch about me not doing something about you. Those guards like to tattle... Uuuugh." He groans, lifting his head up as if this was all just such a darned /inconvenience/ to him.

"Alright, Hero of Knowledge, it's been nice." He then sighs. "It's up to you. Either I can make you return, or the guards will. Either way, this isn't going to be fun for you. But luckily, Heroes have a few Lives... so you should be fine."
Plot Room 1

"I find that very... interesting." Proteus replies. "I'll have to investigate that... later."

Unfortunately for her, there's the imminent issue of the guards. She stares at both him and the incoming guards, a scowl growing on her face. "Of course it's not your problem. They're not going after you. I suppose I got what I wanted but in the end I still compromised my position. I could have left immediately and made this more difficult. But now..."

She frowns, thinking. "Even if I'm going to die, that doesn't mean I am obligated to make it easy." Immediately, she turns and gives a gesture of a wave to Kyo. "See you." She says, before she bolts for the woods nearby. The guards will inevitably follow.

She expects that.

Once she hits the edge of the woods, she begins gesturing: ( N O

A moment later, a series of Dark Balls blast out, engulfing the area in oppressive shadow. Within the darkness, Proteus scurries up a tree, attempting to hide above them and let them rush past so she can move in an unexpected direction. It's a gambit.
Plot Room 1

Kyo groans as Proteus says she is going to make things more difficult. "Ah, yes, of course. Well, I suppose that saves me from actually having to do anything." As he just continues walking - while she forks off another way. The gloomy man just carrying on with his life with some more things to think about.

In the meantime, the various armored guards rush into the woods after her. They're remarkably fast, wearing half-plate armor. The lot of them are rather... unimpressive looking. That is to say, they look strong and well trained as one might expect, but their weapons and armor look like what you would expect from Medieval Europe.

They chase her into the woods, fanning out around her, rather than lining up. The Dark Balls she does fire engulf a large area, hiding her from at least half of the team. With the other half remaining at the periphery. They appear to have lost sight of her for the time being. But they're not so easily departing.

In fact, it almost feels like they are /waiting/ for something.

Or someone.
Plot Room 1

The good news is they lost track of her. The bad news is they're sticking around. She wasn't expecting them to keep a perimiter on the edge of the forest, though she should have. They have enough for it.

But someone's coming that would put an end to these shenanigans, she's sure. There's plenty of Heroes around. Again, Proteus mutters to herself, wishing she could have leveled enough to get Blink back. But that's spilled milk, and Proteus refuses to cry over it. Instead, she has other options. + <

The classic. A blast of flame erupts in the trees, aimed nearby some of the guards but not directly atop them. Make it look like she's mis-aiming. Desperate.

Well, she might be, but she's not out of options yet. The blast should get their attention. While they're looking that way... ^ S O

She launches herself out of the treetop, sending herself the opposite direction in a bid to add confusion to the situation and keep the guards guessing where she actually is. The moment she hits the ground (or perhaps another tree) she begins bailing towards the one place they probably wouldn't expect her to go:

Back towards the castle town. If she can lose herself in the shadows of the city, maybe she can get enough time to gain some more information and find another way out...
Plot Room 1

The Guards let out squawks of confusion as fire suddenly breaks out in the trees. "Shit! Fire!" It seems they care enough for the local forest. She might spot a few of them touching their blades and summoning small mists before them, before water suddenly begins to spread out. Casting magic using their blades - splashing the various trees!

"Control the fire! Fan out!"

It seems she's lost them! She manages to launch from treetop to treetop, they're utterly unable to find her or to follow her, due to taking care of the fire that has broken out. And it doesn't look like there was a commander with them to command a split-off or evaluate the best approach.

Back towards the Castle Town she goes. Getting a ways through the trees...

Right before something suddenly sails her way! She feels a sudden pressure against her chest, right before she ends up pinned against a tree by an enormous scythe which has embedded itself into the side of the wood. The pressure of the pole fierce, but not entirely unmoving.

When she looks forward again, she sees a tall Redhead looking at her. Simple red and brown leathers grace him, and his arms are largely bared - showing off a unique black tattoo.

In his right hand, he's holding Kyo, who is demanding; "Let go of me!" While he dangles from his robes over the forest floor far below. "Kyo - bro - you need to stop making work for me man." The redheaded male remarks. If she inspected him, it'd mark him.

[ L'Arc Sickle ]

The same Symbols she might expect from a Hero of this 'World'.

"Sorry kiddo. But I am afraid you came to the wrong World." He remarks to Proteus, as he holds his hand out towards his scythe... which begins to tremble. "Any last words before I send you back?"

"Damnit, you bonehead, unhand me!" Kyo demands in the meantime. Which just gets a hearty and well-natured laugh from L'Arc.
Plot Room 1

Damn, too slow. If she just had a little more time...

But time is, as ever, not on her side. As the sickle pins her to the tree, she emits a low grunt and gasps for air as she is caught between a blade and a wooden place. "Tch." Proteus hisses, slowly bending straight and facing the man who would slay her. As one might expect, she Inspects him. Such things are normal and necessary.

Her jaw clenches and unclenches as she wracks her brain for something to get out of this... But no.

"So, I guess this makes you the Sickle Hero?" She asks. "A pleasure to meet you." She tilts her head for a moment. "I am not your enemy, L'Arc. I never was. I have done nothing to harm you or your people. You plan to execute me for the crime of wanting to understand why Glass attacked us. Don't make the same mistake she is making. Don't turn your prophecy into a self-fulfilling spiral of pain and death. There is another way, if you have the courage."
Plot Room 1

"Yep! That's me! The Sickle Hero - L'Arc!" He answers her, pointing a thumb to his chest. "And this little weasel is Kyo." He then jostles the one he's holding.

The Sickle Hero gives Proteus a wry look. "Look, this is exactly what the Church said you would say. Which - I mean... of course you would." He motions towards Proteus. "What else do you expect some demon spawn to say, or even just a regular person. I can tell you are speaking genuinely. But I really can't take that chance - you know?" L'Arc remarks to Proteus. He almost looks legitimately sorry.

"L'Arc, listen to her, if the Church..." Kyo demands, but...

"Church's got just... too much power. Too much history to Ignore. And our Worlds will destroy eachother if we don't kill Heroes like you. It's just inevitable... it's the way things work. Now - you be off now. And don't come back to our world, unless you want to get killed again. Remember! You only have so many lives! Best save them for the next Wave, okay? That way we can fight fairly! Try to level up super fast - so it can be fair. See ya - Kiddo!" He's so... darned pleasant about it. He's chipper. Upbeat as he is talking about killing her.

Right before that Scythe suddenly returns to his hand.

There's a pain at her midsection. The tree behind her falling. She can feel that ache spreading. Below her, she sees the red zone of damage... as it almost seems like her legs are getting longer. She can feel the sudden shock. The realization of what just happened. The expectation of pain. The mental shock that should sicken... that might haunt her. Her lower body lowering compared to her face...

And then...


As the counter begins.
Plot Room 1

She tried. But she's not as clever with her words as Att, not as charismatic as Kaleido, not as deadly as Haseo. She's hit the edge of her knowledge. And truth, the way she understands it, is not enough to sway the man. He, after all, has his own truth. His own convictions.

And his knowledge is his own power. He gives his own retort. Is that the way it is? Is that how it has to be? Maybe. But in the end... She can't accept it. She never will.

Because in the end, it's just people taking away what someone else has created just because someone told them to. It's happening again. The pain of the scythe cutting her in half is nothing compared to the icy realization that spreads through her mind and heart, and as she begins to slide apart, the rage against the powerlessness.

Pain, physical, mental... Perhaps even spiritual, in a world of data. But her thoughts unravel, the ball of her consciousness fading away along with her maimed body. She says no more. Words will not reach this man. Not here. Not now.

She simply stares at him until she falls away, dissolving into the lethe.

Home again, home again, jiggedy jig.