Climb: The Floor 10 Boss
The Scale Emblem finally storms the icy cave castle of the 10th floor boss. Various high ranking members of the Alliance are joining in on this first raid against the boss of the 10th floor, ready to put an end to the boss that has plagued peoples' minds for so very long.
Warning: Chance of character death and consequences is high on this one.
For the past few weeks, scouts have been monitoring Kagachi the Samurai Lord, a name that took a great amount of observation in and off of itself. Its inspect is a mangle of various strange characters that keep shifting and changing. That green shield that had been there before the Apocalypse is there once more, causing a great drop in morale. There had been hopes that this time around, this boss would not be facing them with its unusual effects. That it would be 'normal' this time. A fixed bug.
But instead, the enormous samurai steps through these halls, hauling a massive katana with it. Its red mask and cap, along with its full armor and guantlets hide any signs at what kind of humanoid species it might be based off of - if it even is as such. But there is one solace. There is a pattern in its patrols through the icy-cold crystal region.
Ducking out from underneath one of the massive bridges that runs the region, the raid party looks out upon the approaching figure. A massive rope has been fastened to try and trip the creature.
"Whether it falls or not, we have a battleplan."
Standing there with them is an unusual showing to the Raids. It is Heathcliff himself, bearing his crimson armor, and his massive towering kite shield. The gray haired man addresses people over the raid radio, so he doesn't have to shout and alert the enemy.
"Mages and ranged troops, use the ropes hanging from above to get up on the bridge above us. Members in melee, rush his body. It may be giant, but that just means its center of balance is higher. If we can topple it, it will allow us to focus on it. And remember, this battle is centralized around scouting out weaknesses. Go all out, but keep an escape route open." He reminds them.
He quickly moves his hand to stop any battlecries. "Get ready."
Like soldiers in the trenches, the troops sit at the edge of the battlefield. Ropes hanging inwards from the overhang of the bridge above them. The lower tunnel they are keeping out of leads to a massive set of doors that lead to the tower's stairs. They are ready to retreat if needed.
The enormous stomping boots of the giant samurai in armor come closer. The earth trembles as its body gets closer by the moment. It appears not to have noticed anyone or anything. Its size about twice that of a house. Not unclimbable, but certainly difficult to fight at their own size categories.
Its foot steps into the rope... bolted to the sides of the narrowed hallway leading into the domed hall up ahead. The rope strains...
Only for the metalic bolts that had been used to attach them to be ripped from the halls, rushing towards the bridge they are hiding beneath, and slamming into a wall just to the side! The Samurai slowly turns in confusion, as the gates behind them suddenly begin to close. There's the loud slam of their final closure, followed by a strange green shimmer that seems to seal it off entirely. A shimmer not normally seen.
"Go!" The cry comes from a young woman with black hair, who bursts with intense speed up from the dip in the ground, using one hand to push herself off, and darts onto its boot, trying to stab her blade into its shin. The young woman known as Kuroyukihime demanding; "I am going to take back what you stole that day!" As her blade thrashes into its body...
Only for the green shield that flickers with radiance to flare to life, and push her back!
The sight of the doors swinging shut with that strange, green shimmer only seems to redouble that feeling. She takes to the ropes when the order is given, starting to climb to join the other ranged DPS on the bridge.
There is a wide-eyed look as she makes it to her vantage point, adjusting her witch's hat as she opens her spellbook. "Don't freak out, don't freak out, don't freak out." She's freaking out.
The witch summons up a ball of dark energy, which hovers between her fingers, lingering just above the spellbook. With a movement of her hand, she launches it towards the samurai's upper body, trying to follow Heathcliff's orders. All the while, looking as if she wants to be anywhere but here.
Setsuna was, eager, to say the least as him and his Skeleton Knight stand in the back row with a rope in his hand as he looks at the party. " Not like we havent dealt with glitched monsters before. This should be easy. " Looking over at his knight he does a few hand gestures to help communicate his commands and the guard takes a ready stance but stays at the rope as Setsuna begins to strike. Just in case the boss summoned minions to destroy the ropes or something better to have a guard for the moment. Meanwhile as he gets about half way up, he summons an orb of darkness in his free hand and lobs it towards the boss. If nothing else , maybe it would be blinded enough for the other attacks to hit.
"Brain, Brain dead," he chants. "Obey your blood oath, come forth from the land of Avalon. Fire of Gehenna," he shouts, "become a fiery blast and burn everything around us!" He pauses, then gestures dramatically. "EXODUS!" And as he says that, a gout of horrible fire spews forth from his hand, and if he let it, it seems like it wants to burn everything, but he focuses it on Kagachi the Samurai Lord. Hopefully it will burn him badly. Most targets would be wildly unhappy. Or extremely dead. But bosses are a different thing, and this one's apparently different than most bosses.
This battlefield may be huge, but it's environment is perfect for someone with the right speed and parkour skills. She turns and kicks off a wall to direct herself at an angle without slowing down, charging up one of the ramps to leap over the ground shaking from the huge man's steps.
And propel herself right at his midsection, trying to hit as close to that center of mass with a combination of momentum and physical impact strength with her clawed battlegloves thrust before her like a battering ram. Even if she can't get through the barrier she's trying to hit with enough force to at least through off his balance, much like Heathcliff was suggesting.
If there is one thing she's learned, its that just because a shield stops damage doesn't mean it stops the force its being hit with!
As the signal sounded, he dashed to the first point of flesh he could see. His claymore lashing out in a fast set of strikes. With a bellow on high of "Feck ye shins" Taggart attacked the achilles heel with abbandon.
That shimmer at the door is certainly ominous. "Did anyone else see that?" She murmurs, but draws her blade and readies herself. As soon as the word is given, the old Paladin draws a breath... And rushes in, blade flashing in her hand as she makes for the giant samurai lord.
Lin steels himself, taking a few full breaths before the battle starts. The shield shimmering into place is a disappointment, but Lin stays focused on his goal. Right now it's time to play conservative and see what horrible surprise is on the table. Before starting anything else, he flicks open his UI and taps a few quick actions. The Pooka's nose wrinkles in quiet disapproval. He lifts his spellbook flips to a page at the front, chanting the words of a divination spell to search ahead for weaknesses.
She looks at the young woman it's her again. No time to worry about that as she primes her tank abilities and rushes in.
"GALE OF SWORDS!"
She launches into her attack as the strange green shield she recalls from her failed attempts on this boss flares up again.
Holding her great axe, fidgeting slightly, Fuka waits with those who fight in melee. As the boss samurai approaches, she raises her axe. And when the call comes to charge, all fear is forgotten as she lets out a battle cry and calls on the wind to launch herself at the leg of the armored monstrosity, swinging a fierce strike that barely avoids ricocheting off the Samurai's armored knee straight into the ground. She doesn't even notice as the doors close behind her, sealing with that green light. That would worry her. But... it's only a game right?
He'd fought this boss a long time ago, or at least it felt like a long time ago. Back when this was just a game and none of it mattered. Now it was different, now everything mattered. Clad in his new armor, new weapon and ready to strike, he watches as the plan immediately falls apart, "No plan survives first contact with the enemy.." He mutters to himself.
As everyone rushes in, he joins, a bit slower, more guarded, aiming to strike, for sure, but also aiming to keep an eye on any surprises. Adds, strange people who don't belong here, new mechanics that weren't around the last time they fought this floor. The list of what could possibly go wrong is extensive, and all of it is running through Kaydon's head as he moves to strike.
At least Heathcliff is here. The leader of the ALF's presence is a reassuring one, albeit one that is all but immediately counteracted by the odd shimmer that flashes across the only apparent way out. "You weren't the only one," Prophylaxis murmurs to Amalthea as he rappels toward the bridge. "Remember to use your healing potions if you need to," Prophylaxis says across the raid-wide band. "I went all out on this batch. Healers and main tanks, yell for emergency recovering if your stasis crystal shatters."
Hopefully they won't need them, but...
Something in his bones tells him that this will not be an easy fight.
The boss is still glitched.
Mizuki's heart sank when she learned. However... she has been a gamer all her life. And that has taught her that no matter how bad or impossible the level or boss looks, it isn't over until GAME OVER.
And even then, you reset the game and try again. They can't exactly reset here, but over the past year it's become clear that this world is more than just a game. If combat doesn't work, after they respawn they can look for other solutions.
But right now, they are here.
Heathcliff said they're rushing the boss. She steels herself, and pictures how cool she's going to look running in a ninja outfit with long red scarf trailing behind her.
It helps, a little. She smiles fangedly.
Mizuki charges at speed, but instead of attacking the front, circles around. She leaps at the back of the giant's leg, drawing her daggers and trying to plunge them into its flesh like climbing pitons. A hard-to-reach spot, she hopes, while the giant is dealing with the others. From there she can begin to climb higher. That's how you fight giant monsters!
Yuuki bounces up and down on her feet as she waits somewhat impatiently for the lumbering giant to wander into their trap. She's only slightly paying attention to Heathcliff... Getting the cliffnotes so to speak. Enough to know that she's supposed to charge its body once it falls. If it falls.
It doesn't fall.
Disappointing. Yuuki was looking forward to the loud thump as it hit the ground! But that's okay. It just means they'll have to fight to bring the giant samurai down themselves!
The time comes. Yuuki charges! She rushes up the provided ropes and starts running across the ground towards the giant's feet. As she does so, she looks up at its impressive size and grins, "This is going to be fun!" Even with the glitchiness that might result in their failure. Plus, its size is not something to be afraid of...
A fire bursts to life around Yuuki's blade as she draws it, "You know what they say, the bigger they are..." She leaps into the air, passing by the back of the giant's leg as her blade slashes through it. She lands again, spinning around and skidding to a halt, before darting right back in for a stabbing strike to the samurai's foot, "The more loot they drop!"
Beyond the dark, she can see the tremble of that green light, resisting her attack. It tears and rips at the barrier, but seems to make no headway regardless of the power she's putting into that attack! An utterly frustrating sight that echoes the memories of those who've stood where she stands today. Setsuna's orb of darkness then blasts against that same spot, along with a sea of spells from the supporting raid warriors. Devastating blows erupting against its body. It's like a battleship performing a board-side assault from its cannons. Detonation after detonation of spell, ice, lightning, darkness, all elements erupt against its body. Arrows join moments later, giving the melee forces cover.
At its feet, Heathcliff stabs his blade to its foot and howls; "GRAND CROSS!" As a blaze of holy light spreads from his position, tearing away some of his health as the attack tears at the shield, clawing at it for any kind of purchase! Kuroyukihime, previously pushed back by the barrier, rushes back in, slashing her blade at its body, practically seeming to teleport around its foot, clambering along weak footholds, jumping off of arrows that flow low, jumping off of helmets, dragging her twin blades across its body! At one point, grabbing Vertina mid-jump, to swing her up higher - sending that searing battering trust against its hip and causing the entire body to hop-step a bit to the side. Physically, it seems their attacks are at least causing some effects!
Above them, Schneider's flames lick and grab at its scabbard. Some of the rope it's attached to catching fire and causing the device that its Katana once held to fall to the ground. The enormous thing slamming into the ground, causing some of the melee forces to have to get out of the way. It is not a moment later that the Samurai's blade comes up, and then swipes in a viscious sideways slash towards the ones at the 'bridge', which is nothing more than a piece of crystaline furniture's arched lower region, seeking to tear it apart and send them all falling. Its massive right foot rising, and coming down towards the melee troops!
This allows Taggart free roam of its other foot however, joined by Amalthea and Fukaziroh as they all lance their blades for the back of its foot - the heel. That claymore and Amalthea's blade rip against the shield, while Fukaziroh's axe comes down and sears down towards the ground. They can feel the heavy force-feedback on their attacks. It's like they just struck something unforgiving. Something unmoving, causing the resonance of their own attacks to bite into their hands, their arms, their bodies! Yet, that foot moves! Trembling and shifting ever so slightly to the side. Gwen presses the attack, rapid wind-thrust cuts tearing across the heel, weakening its stance. It hops on that foot, trying to regain its posture! In that moment, Lin tries to find weakness. But the divination spell comes back filled with undecypherable characters all over its body. It's like something was halting even this kind of invasion to its body!
Kaydon's rushes underneath the foot that was getting moved around after the combined attack by Taggard, Amalthea, Fukaziroh and Gwen, and ends up on the other side with a few Raid allies, and strikes it right as it comes down, causing the Samurai to skid for a moment! They all spot a moment of weakness. Right before they'd hear the detonating sound of that sword skewering down along the bridge, threatening the mages. Kaydon is joined not a fraction of a moment later by Yuuki, as her blade joins! The tip of her blade stabbing in towards its shimmering barrier... only for it to hold!
"Grunty Troops, Flank!" Heathcliff demands, followed by a sudden surge of multiple Grunty riding warriors to come from the passages behind them, rushing for those falling from the bridge, of having trouble. Handgrabs going for the casters, while another squad flanks the Samurai and attempt to rush its foot. Lance after lance stabbing into its skidding foot! There's a few extra Grunties in tow, along with Peko, that people can grab to get a ride!
Jumping off of the traveling Peko, Mizuki gets the footstool she needs to get higher up, stabbing her blades towards its leg. Only for the barrier to halt her from digging them in. She slams against the barrier like George of the Jungle. Mizuki did not watch out for that tree. The barrier however, doesn't feel 'smooth' as she drops downwards. There's facets to it, almost like a crystal! It trembles beneath her daggers, as they occasionally catch and release on her way down.
As its foot finally descends once more, it crushes someone. Only for them to barely manage to get out from underneath in time, that crystal of Prophylaxis' managing to save his life just long enough for a healer to get him, and another to Peko-race past him and scoop him up. A single step was all it had taken to get that person practically all the way to zero. But a step that gets undone moments later, as the raid pushes! With all of their combined efforts, shield or no shield, they manage to bring the creature down towards one knee! Its massive knee falling as it drops before them, grunting!
After hewing the bridge, and stepping towards the melee troops and coming to a kneel, Heathcliff manages to get on a Peko as the Samurai raises its blade, and stabs it into the ground to catch itself mid-kneel. It then begins to... whirr. To change. The metal along its shaft shifting as the Samurai presses his hand along the top of it, slowly shrinking it into something alikened to a hatchet. Blue radial light spawns from its shaft. The entire body altering in a way that not even Elemental Beings can perform! A green pulse then rushes along the ground!
A green ring that travels rapidly outwards. Thin enough that people can jump over it, but thick enough that it's not an easy time. It follows the ground and walls perfectly. Rushing outwards. Those who try to jump to the wall to avoid it perhaps being surprised and having to push off again in the chaos! Only for that blade to have turned into a Hatchet, and being used from its lower position to CHOP at anyone close enough...
Lin, Merek, Schneider, Fukaziroh and Amalthea are unlucky enough that they don't manage to get away from the sudden green pulse! In that moment, their bodies tighten, unable to move further on their own volition. Slowly being lifted into the air as ribbons of energy surround them. It's like their consciousnesses fade...
Until suddenly, there's a white light that blankets the area. A barrier forming around Lin, Merek, Schneider, and Fukazioh! It's a limited ability clearly, and the source is hard to pinpoint. But Amalthea is not lucky enough in that moment. She feels her consciousness fade. And suddenly, just she, stands amidst a field. At the center of strange ruins. Right outside of her own old town. The sound of children coming just from over the hill, from what looks like her old home. From what she was younger. It sounds like her daughter is playing just ahead...
Outside of Amalthea's mind, the battle continues to rage on, as the Samurai points its gaze towards Amalthea and begins to move his blade into position. Almost as if merely pointing at Amalthea will be enough to do... something.
One moment... One moment Amalthea is laying into the boss, blade ringing off that green shield as she grunts and heaves with exertion--
The next moment that green pulse flows over the ground and- she's too slow to jump it. Clenching her teeth as he rbody stiffens, she fights it as best she can before...
Everything goes black....
When Amelia Theodore comes to, she furrows her brow.
Spending a moment to glance around her new surroundings, the old ruins and field are verymuch not where she was just a moment ago.
Clueless now to the battle going on around her body in the world beyod, she takes several furtive steps towards the hill and the sound of children. She knows one of those voices.
"... Ariana?" Called out as she starts making her way in the direction of those voices.
Her glasses knocked eskew, she pushes them straight onto her nose, her breathing quick and heartbeat pounding in her ears. Fear is a very real thing, and it begins to show in the slight tremble in her fingers.
"Keep it together." She whispers to herself, eyes darting from those captured members of the raid party, back towards the boss. She doesn't have anything that could help them, other than continuing to throw DPS towards the Samurai.
Sweeping her hands together in front of her, she forms a sphere of wind that seems to solidify into dusky glass. Then, launching it towards the monster, it shatters upon impact, creating a whirling vortex of shrapnel, bolstered by dark energy.
Her daughter smiling at her, the dog, Lucky, looking up from beneath her arm. Lucky lets out a playful and amused 'BORK!' It's like she is being welcomed. But... something is wrong. Lucky flickers. Like a TV starting to lose signal. Snow appearing across parts of it. Slowly starting to fade.
Mizuki realizes a tiny fraction of a second before impact: Oh right, shield. Her expression of realizing how stupid this attack was would no doubt make a hilarious meme in some alternate timeline, for those too young to remember that spot in a Super Mario Brothers 3 level appropriately captioned with 'I didn't think this clever plan all the way through'. Fortunately, no one can see it because she immediately slams into the leg, but is rewarded with a curious discovery about the barrier from her extended contact. She wails on the giant's foot, trying to keep doing damage, but a hatchet swing comes around and sends her slamming into the wall with a cry of pain. She slumps, collapsed, at the base of the wall, before shaking it off and getting to her feet just in time to leap over the incoming green ring -- and then leap off the wall! Only to see her comrades trapped. "NO!"
On the other hand, while the giant is busy pointing at Amalthea, it's not attacking, right? Mizuki charges in to attack the barrier with claws, daggers, and flame. Too desperate in the moment to think of some flashy attack name to shout or reference to make.
Setsuna watches that green ring as it spreads out and climbs as fast as he cn to get out of the way and then one of those hatchet strikess comes towards him. In a blink of an eye he moves from one spot in the way of the blade, to another as he is knocked to the ground with a hard thud as he lays there for a moment. The chimlink is buzzing with all the things happening to Amalthea right now and he looks at his knight. "So much for you catching me, at least get in there and hit something with your sword. " With a monsterous grunt the skeleton knight runs forward wielding it's rusted blade as a dark aura wraps around the blade. The knight grips the blade with both hands and brings it down hard towards the now hatchet wieding samurai.
This brave new attitude may well come back to haunt Fukaziroh. Kagachi emits a ring of expanding green light. "Flashstep!" cries the little Sylph, only she took too long to do it. Her air-enhanced leap was too slow and she was caught by one foot. Fortunately she was freed from the effect. She scowls, slapping herself on the cheek, trying to get her head back into the game, and fails to defend herself from the boss's sweeping attack. Knocked flying, Fuka shrieks and lands in a crumpled heap. Still only for a moment, the heap of blonde Sylph mutters a curs then raises a hand, blindly pointing. "Shock!" she cries with some effort, not giving in to the pain, but also not particularly effective. She'd kind of hoped the electrical attack would be effective against an armored giant foe. Perhaps she underestimated its shimmering glitched shield?
"Slayer, slayer, bakemono! Dark thunder of Balmor! Bal Volt!" But it seems that his recent experiences have taken more out of him than he expected, his attack is poorly placed, most of the damage slamming into the ground at the samurai's feet. He swears in frustraion! This is not the time to be goofing up.
Trapped in her own mind and not quite sure what the hell is going on, Amalthea can do little but interact with what she can see, oblivious to the shouts of her name because she foolishly failed to dodge the boss' mechanic.
But... This isn't quite right.
Ariana should be in her late 30's by now and already had a daughter of her own. And looking down at herself... "Ah when was I this young?"
No, it's still not quite right, she furrows her brow as she flickers, staring down at her hands.
But there's Ariana and Lucky plain as day, smiling and barking happily as though nothing was wrong.
It's a sight that she can't help but smile at.
"And what are you two doing out here playing all by yourselves, hm?" ...
Did Lucky just flicker? She squints, eyes narrowing, trying to keep her focus on the shaggy hound as he begins to fade.
But his feelings of ellation are short lived as the samurai begins to emit a ring of green. &R With a well practiced flourish. his claymore a slab of metal with an edge at this point was burried into the ground to offer some protection. &r Pulling the impropt burial mound from its hole, Taggart raced forward again to the heel of the towering being slaming the blunt side of his weapon like a hammer to a nail.
Prophylaxis stares as that awful green ring expands outwards from the bug-ridden boss. With a grimace, he darts out of the way just in time to run headfirst into the terrifying wave.
Except that wasn't him. That was a simulacrum, a copy-doctor that disintegrates into so many little fragments of light. Prophylaxis, the real one, stares in horror as the 'Data Drain' takes effect.
"...Amalthea," he hisses a whisper as flame begins to curl up around his extremities, his skin cracking like burning parchment as it begins to glow from within. "Damnit. No, not again--" Seeing it from the outside, knowing what's going on within, it's worse. Somehow it's even worse. With a roar he hurls himself from the bridge like a living comet, driving his flame-swathed staff into the Samurai Lord's flashing barrier-- but in so doing, exposes himself to its follow-up attack. He carries through regardless, desperate to get whatever the monster is doing to /stop/ even as his own HP bar ticks steadily down...
It's down to one knee! Yuuki cheers, jumping into the air for a moment, "Woo! Making progress!" So is the samurai too, by the look of that transforming weapon. It pulses, a light rushing across the ground. Yuuki isn't sure what it is... So better to avoid it than not.
Yuuki dashes away from the light. It follows her, quickly getting closer. She runs up a wall, hoping to lose it. It follows her, quickly rising up towards her foot. She leaps off the wall, backflipping to land on the ground it has already passed... It does not follow her! Phew.
And judging by those who got caught by the light, it's probably good that it didn't catch her too. Yuuki looks in concern towards those... Seeing that only Amalthea is kept from returning to the battle. The chatter on the raid channel is a bit confusing to Yuuki. She's not sure what's happening to poor Amalthea. But the answer to helping is obvious: Just defeat the boss!
Yuuki looks back towards the samurai giant. A soft aura of light forms around her as she leans forward. Then with a small burst of wind, she darts forward, running at high speed back towards the boss. It swings the weapon-formerly-known-as-katana towards the raid party, Yuuki included. But the the speedy Imp isn't going to just take that hatchet. She leaps into the air, twisting her body around to let the massive and no doubt sharp axe head rush past beneath her.
Immediate danger avoided, Yuuki lands on her feet in a run once more. She closes in on the boss, specifically the leg that is still vertical. Her blade takes on a dark sheen as she unleashes a battle cry, launching into a combo of slashes towards the load-bearing leg to try and bring the giant down further.
There's nothing she can do for her friend save keep fighting.
She warns of the law break over the raid link before she gets on the move again.
The towering woman will charge right at the boss gain launching into another attack.
He pushes that thought out of his head, and tries to focus on doing his job. He can't allow his own doubts to get the better of him. He has to be a strong, focused leader. He manages to hop over the ring of energy with a flip, but then he manages to land right in the path of one of the hatchet strikes, taking the blow despite his best effort.
He has to attack, though. He drives in, swinging a wild strike with his blade, trying to slash past that barrier and maybe actually do some damage, "Come on!"
A crunch that, thankfully, she does get up from abiet worse for wear. Okay, the direct approach with just hammering down at the boss isn't going to work.... and she's honestly a bit surprised even -she- has realized that. She tends to be full-steam ahead. But there has to be something. There has to be a way, even if she can't see.... Or maybe she's looking the wrong way.
Vertina exhales, the best attempt at calming herself back down as she steeples her hands together, then closes her eyes. She focuses her mind as best as she can, trying to see the fight and battlefield through something other than her eyes. The spirtial side of the world often holds a view the normal senses cannot see. If she can draw on that, and focus it on the giant Samurai...
... There. It's just a glimmer, but...
Vertina's eyes snap back open. "He's going to do an Earthquake attack," she snaps over the Raid chimlink, "But he'll use a shield insead! Be ready for the shockwave, and try to hit him before he can get his weapon back into a defensive position! He was staggering from force of impacts even if he wasn't taking damage!"
It's a small thing, but if there is any chance it might help it's worth it...
Arcane glass shatters across its barrier. The splinters of the magical attack shattering in various directions. Catching onto small facets of the glowing crystaline barrier that surrounds the Samurai! Some of them getting stuck long enough for some melee folk to use as footsteps, while pushing against the Samurai's body!
Almost immediately, Mizuki finds use for those handholds. Using those arcane shards to push off and run across the Samurai's body after jumping off of that wall, tearing claws, daggers, flame, everything she's got at it. Trying to rake across its face, but even its mask near the eyes is protected by that damned barrier!
Mizuki's flames are suddenly enhanced, as Merek's flame potion bursts across its body. Flames seeping towards Mizuki's claws as she blinds it with her constant barrage!
Below her, Setsuna's knight brings its arcanely charged blade down upon the Samurai's foot, as the hatchet continues to climb towards Amalthea. Green light starting to flow 'from' Amalthea towards the blade and its green glowing core! Fukaziroh comes down and casts shock, which blasts across its chest, rippling out and flashing brightly amidst the rest of the spells that are constantly being thrown out. She can see a moment of paralysis, a fraction of a second, before it seems to recover again!
Coming cutting down along its body, two sawblades of water aim to tear through the barrier. The facets causing the water to glitter with sickening green light, yet Lin's attack doesn't bear fruit through its mysterious armor! Tearing with them, Fukaziroh's shock's energy bears down, and re-energizes Schneider's attack, blasting against its foot and tearing into that barrier. It can be seen trembling with a higher frequency!
Amalthea watches the hound's body begin to fade.
What was that dog's name again?
She knows she gifted it to... was it to Ariana? No... wait...
What was that dog's name again?
L.. L... it's on the tip of her tongue.
Outside, Taggart's attack rings heavy against the heel of Kagachi the Samurai Lord's foot! Again, that resonance bursts back into his arms as the blade tears against that barrier... and drops in integrity. He can see it plain as day as the Integrity - the health of an item - drops substantially from that strike! Prophylaxis' staff then BLASTS into its heel not a second later! Landing right next to Taggart as the doctor tries to do what a blade could not do with magic instead. But, lacking the fact that this staff is a relic, he sees the same result as Taggart. The staff, having slammed into that barrier, cracks a bit. Its integrity rapidly coming down!
Yuuki joins in, tearing into its heel! Crash after crash of her blade bites into that barrier. A relic blade, it refuses to lose Integrity to this shield, but she's not making any headway. Tearing into its shield with strike after strike, it refuses to fall before her! Only to have to jump out of the way as Gwen SONIC LUNGES into its heel, slamming her blade, lowering the blade's health!
They watch as other warriors being their blades down on its foot. Against its body. Swords shattering into light, causing those people to be disarmed and forcing them to retreat, or pull a new blade from their backs if they were lucky enough to carry a secondary weapon!
Kaydon's attack latches in against its finger. He feels it bite down for a moment, only to realize it stuck his weapon in between two facets of the barrier, and gets pushed away!
The Samurai begins to rise, as the hatchet's tip finally ends up pointed directly at Amalthea... and those ribbons of energy surrounding her flash to the tip of its hatchet.
A dog? Nah, it must be a stray. Right?
And burst! Amalthea falling down towards the ground, looking no worse for wear, though she's slow to rouse from her moment of unconsciousness. After which the being's barrier seems to grow stronger for a moment, and its weapon begins to transform once more. Expanding, thining out, as it holds it out along its arm. Slowly turning into a /massive/ shield that reaches from its head towards its feet. It seems to even have a /stand/ to it as it SLAMS that massive shield to the ground, causing the earth to quake and the ground to split open!
Green light then pulses out once more, right as Heathcliff calls out; "Retreat! Move back to the door and get it open!" The man is not willing to keep allowing this Datadraining assault upon his people. Be they Scale Emblem, New World Alliance, or Olympus, he demands a retreat!
"Kuroyukihime, try to keep it off-balance!" He demands, as he turns his Peko and begins to move towards the door. Multiple people already grabbing at the knob. Normally, the door could be opened. Normally, they could even use something like a Dungeon Heart to draw back...
One of those present at one of the Monster Lair raids raises a Dungeon Heart to the air and shatters it...
But nothing happens.
The door... refuses to budge.
As the Samurai begins to turn the corner and rips the piece of furniture away, exposing the way down, and gazes at them. Another green pulse rushing towards them! But some of those keen enough spot that in the moment those green pulses connect, a green 'laser' seems to shoot out from that massive shield and the green gem that sits at its center, which rapidly 'fires' at them to try and trap them into that Data Drain state.
A girl runs out from near the back lines, blonde hair and white dress, and calls out; "O merciful Earth Mother, please bless us, the weak, with the powers of earth." Putting her staff down to the ground. "PROTECTION!" Followed by a barrier of light to appear, blocking the green light from proceeding. In fact, halting it in place as it tries to push against this shield of light that has been put in place!
Heathcliff grimaces, staring at the creature coming their way. They are cornered like rats! Morale is dropping all around him. The massive Samurai coming their way.
His beltcape along in the wind while he will take the time to bring about a healing sigil. It begins to shine upon the whole battlefield. And within it, is one thing that is important for all. It feels like a hope. Like a warmth that heals the body along with the mind. He is a good fighter. What he really wants though, is to protect people. It might not mean a lot, though to him, it means all. "HEALING FORCE FIELD!"
Mizuki sees a chance to climb to the giant's face, but it seems there is no weak point in that infernal barrier! Some kind of magic flames enhance her attacks and that's REALLY COOL, she'll have to look into how that works later!
Unfortunately, the giant gets her, and she's thrown to the ground again, health near zero. Someone's calling retreat... Heathcliff is calling retreat? CAN they even retreat from this fight? She didn't think it was going all that hopelessly just yet.
Although... now that she looks around, there are a lot of low health bars...
It's not GAME OVER yet. They have to keep fighting!
Mizuki stands up and puts on as brave a face as she can. "Don't give up! As long as you have even one hit point left, you can keep dodging its attacks and firing back!" She raises a fist. "We're gamers! We see the pattern and find the weak point! If you throw the controller before game over, you'll never win!" She flashes a big smile, then takes a deep breath... and starts spitting fireballs! Smaller than usual, trying to time repeated small blasts in time with the others' attacks to keep the giant off-balance and buy time!
He chants, "Kaizard, aruzard, kisk! Hansay Glossik!" The dark chanting gathers force like a miasma. "Unleash total destruction! Sage of Hades use the seven keys to open the gates of Hell!" He strikes a dramatic pose, arm outstretched as he unleases, "HALLOWEEN!" Many of the players here have seen his big boom before. The dark energy and the intense flames meld together in a very unpleasant way, and there's an unclean feeling afterward, but no one can say that Schneider's not putting out his share of damage.
Panic. A feeling like being trapped. Even though she manages to avoid the green pulse yet again, it doesn't mean that her mind doesn't reel from what is going on. It is a bit too much like being cornered again, trapped somewhere you cannot escape with a threat of real harm coming towards you.
"I shouldn't have come... damnit, Jurou." Jurou had always been her protector. The one who had kept the bad things from reaching her, but Jurou is not here. She rarely comes to these boss fights. Then again, Kita has never needed that protection quite so much as right at this moment.
Another hit, and her health drops into the red, dropping the Imp to one knee as the she tries to back off, closer to the door. No escape. Nothing to do but fight. It isn't so much bravery as desperation that drives her onward, the Imp drawing up a spell of purple flame. It hovers in her trembling hands for a moment, and then explodes outwards in a dark fireball.
What was that loyal, compassionate, loving, beast's name again?
Something with an L...
There was a dog?
Nah. There couldn't have been.
Just some mutt.
Amalthea is clueless of the goings on beyond her own little world, that light being ripped away from her body as something precious and lovedis stolen away from her.
Amalthea's eyes flutter open.
When she comes to, she's back in the crazed field of battle. And that green flash is coming again.
"--not... Not this time." She hisses, leaping over the green wave as everything goes to hell.
There's no escaping.
People are pushing on the door. It's not moving.
They're trapped. Trapped in here with this *thing* that is the tenth floor boss.
As morale plummets all around Heathcliff, Amalthea grits her teeth.
It was bound to happen one day huh.
She's made it this far without getting killed. She made it all the way to the tenth floor! That's an accomplishment. But if there's no escaping here... If there's no getting out...
Amalthea storms her way toward the gigantic samurai, sword in hand.
"What the HELL are you all doing panicking at a time like this? Stand and fight!" She calls to the raid party. "With your courage we can conquer... In your swords I put my trust that you will honor. I'll be the higher ground, should you concede it. Let my body be your shield, should you need it!"
If she goes down. Let it NEVER be said the old lady went down without a fight as she rushes in to spam her taunts in the boss' face.
NOT! Fuka knows she's not the combat monster some of these people are. That's just fooling herself. But she's tough, she's quick, and best of all she's ANNOYING. Plus she has this item she acquired through a lot of gameplay and hard work that just *might* make a difference.
Fukaziroh reaches up to her neck, drawing a scarf out from under her neckline. The scarf, consisting of a variety of frankly rather horrifying bits of bones and similar materials joined together, begins to glow. "Hey, big smelly and ugly!" Fuka shouts out. She points with her axe one-handed at the boss. "I bet when the girls see you they all run screaming!" she bellows fiercely. "Like, AAAH THERE'S A BIG UGLY MONSTER THAT SMELLS LIKE ROTTEN TIN CANS!" she adds, and setting feet to words she runs... away, trying to encourage the Samurai to turn from the raid and chase her. "And the rest of you RUN AWAY TOO!" Fukaziroh calls out. "Break through and get out!" she yells. "Away from this UGLY SMELLY TIN CAN!" It might work. It might not, honestly. It might give some fighters a clean shot at the boss, or it could just get everyone smashed. And not in a good way. Worth a try right?
Setsuna couldn't escape the eearthquake as the shockwave flings him out of the way. Standing up he looks at the exit and hears the problems with people escaping. It's all ok, " You are just a dumb monster!" He shouts over the battle at the samurai as he retrieves his dagger and begins to run towards the monster. " You are just a dumb monster! I capture your kind, I command your kind, and you are just a broken piece of stupid data that is meant to be my damn PLAYTHING." Finally coming to a stop infront of it, a good 3 and a half meters seperating the two. " As the master of monsters, I command you to freeze. " With that he rears his dagger back and throws the relic blade straight at the boss with a grin that says he has accepted whatever comes next.
Yuuki's blade swings and strikes, connecting with that barrier multiple times. But it's not doing anything! She frowns at the lack of progress they're making on the boss's HP bar... No doubt the glitchiness is making it difficult. That barrier in particular is rather annoying. Maybe the things people have been saying about this boss are true. Maybe it IS undefeatable... Even the great Heathcliff is calling for a retreat...
"No... No!" Yuuki slaps her face to shake off those thoughts and to psyche herself up. She looks around at the rest of the raid group as they attack the giant. She's fought a number of the tower bosses alongside them. They're all the best of the best. Yuuki knows this. She also knows that she's not going to just sit back and accept it as this boss tries to beat them all down! If anyone in the game is capable of getting past this boss, it's this group here!
And Yuuki is going to try her damnedest to make sure that they have a chance to do just that! She eyes the giant's weapon. Or rather shield, right now. It's been using it to try and trap them in that state that Amalthea was in. That Data Drain, as it's apparently called... If they didn't have to worry about that. And yet, the barrier she needs to get past seems indestructible... Let's see just how indestructible it really is!
Vertina calls out the boss's next move. An earthquake type attack... Best not to be on the ground when that happens. Which suits Yuuki just fine for what she has planned next. Yuuki bursts out into a mad dash for the closest wall. Just as she reaches it she leaps, landing against it. She then starts running up it, a soft green glow emanating from the bottom of her feet. She runs up the wall, even as the earth trembles behind her, splitting open. She's safe from the effects as she continues higher, evading the sweeping lights of the Data Drain by leaping onto a bridge. It takes her closer towards the giant.
As Yuuki rises up, her blade is starting to glow. It's not the normal glow of a Sword Arte though. It's something else. The Imp turns her head to watch the giant Samurai as she gets up higher, silently hoping that this works, otherwise things will be really, really dire.
There's a faint shine from Yuuki's new headband.
Yuuki leaps off the side of the bridge towards the giant, raising her sword up over her head and calling out, "I'm going to teach you the meaning of the Absolute Blade!" Yuuki falls towards the giant, bringing her blade down with her in an overhead strike! But it's not aimed for the giant samurai specifically, but rather the shield he holds.
Sure enough he changes his weapon into a massive shield and slams that into the ground with enough force to make it actually break apart with the shockwave! There's an 'oh crap' under her breath as she tries to use her fiery speed to leave over one of the splits in the earth... But the opposite side also happens to heave up, causing her jump to misjudge and she slams into the edge. Followed by her chin smashing into the ground as she drops over.
Which is followed by the screech of blade on stone as she jabs both of her Direclaw Cestus into the stone and arrest her descent. Bits of rubble jarred loose from the Earthquake continue to pelt her even as she climbs back up to the surface. She shakes some disheveled blonde hair out of her face, then glances back. Just to see that there's no way for the wounded to even get out. And if this Boss gets on top of them at the doors...
Hands clench into fists. "Fuck it all." Flames ignite, as one would expect from a Salamander. "But if we're going down, there's only one way to do so..." Followed by the blaze igniting in an entire aura around her as Vertina puts her athletic speed to use and charges towards the Samurai once more, flames searing through the air in her wake.
She barrels forth, intending to take her own divined advice. She barrels ahead, moving in as the gigantic warrior is starting to lift his shield from the ground but not able to fully utilize it yet. That's when she tears in like meteor, gloriously burning itself down blazing through the atmosphere.
"HOLDING NOTHING BACK!"
Vertina hurtles herself off the ground, on some crackpot hellbent hope that maybe they can at least delay the Boss long enough for someone to find a way to open the doors. All that fiery fury, that passionate spirit, that reckless bravery, is brought forth upon her foe with the crash of two blazing fists!
There's only one way to go down in her book... Go Down Fighting!
He takes a step back, one hand clacking from the sound into the catfaced pouch on his kilt. His flask appears, the reasuring liquid makes short work of his feelings as he takes a quick swing.
Recharge he steps forward into the fray once again ignoring the integrity of his weapon. The cheap steel a replaceable object in light of his goal. To beat this we gob shie int the groud.
One a shield folds about her off hand arm, two for a brief moment, as the data drain hits the following message, can be seen superimposed over Gwen.
Gwen is shocked at this, she will not complain about this fact, she also has the feeling the shield can't do it again for some time. So this is all shes' going to get. Something snaps in her, a cornered rat will fight the cat, the unarmed civilian will fight the gang banger. So too will Gwen fight this thing, maybe time can be bough for a way out to be found.
Wind and holy power surge up about her now there's a storm bout her as she faces down the boss.
"CREATURE WHO BREAKS THE LAWS OF ALBA! I SHALL CUT YOU DOWN!"
With that she forms a massive wind blade about her owns wor getting larger and larger as she channels the attack and then will drive the blade trying to cleave into the boss with this blade made of light and wind magic.
Heathcliff is calling for a retreat.
"Damnit," Prophylaxis whispers amidst the absolutely palpable pall of despair falling over the raid. "This thing... It's not just a matter of perfect tactics or absolutely unpredictable patterns. What the hell kind of guardian is this...?" It's like being trapped in a room by a PK who has managed to legitimately hack himself into infinite HP and unstoppable attacks. And...
And there's no way out. Even with Heathcliff calling the retreat, there is nowhere to retreat /to./ Trapped like rats in a sinking ship, is what they are. Was this all planned from the start? Who built this tower, who placed this monster at the end of its tenth floor...?
But... Someone refuses to give up.
"Yuuki--" The Absolute Sword charges boldly into the undefeatable monster. Prophylaxis grips his staff tight, the wood creaking beneath his white-knuckled grasp. With a swear and a flourish, the magus steps forward into yet another attack, his HP dropping like a rock. A crystal shatters as he sweeps his staff forth, unleashing a wave of rapid regenerative magic over the faltering raid, with the bulk of it focused on the girl at the point of the spear. "Yuuki! I've got your back! We'll get out of this. We'll survive this one, just like we've survived everything else!"
He reaches into his cloak and retrieves an ordinary looking gold medal. A perfectly unremarkable token, except for the sigil engraved onto its surface, "It's time to pull out all the stops! O' hero of ages, I invoke your favor! Abomination of the tenth floor, by my command--" The medal flashes, then shatters into a haze of light that sweeps toward the Samurai Lord, "--Turn your blade aside, and halt your attack!"
Aiming for the same spot he had just hit previously, his blade bursts into flames as he strikes, channeling the fire through his tattoo in order to generate extra heat through the blade. He just needs to land a hit, get through the barrier. He can't allow this boss to kill everyone without taking a single hit of damage.
It's like a struggle. Each healing spell brings peoples' health up, only for another attack to draw them down. Peoples' mana stores are dwindling. Mana potions are being used while people are desperately looking for answers. Many have decided to go out in a blaze of glowing.
Blazing currents of flame blast against that unmoving barrier, as Schneider's Helloween tears across its body from top to bottom, blasting a hole into the ground beneath it! But some of it ends up absorbed by that shield of its! A blazing purple ray of flame TEARS into that shield, causing it to slam against the Samurai's face. The barrier slamming into barrier, causing it to brightly declare: <<< IMMORTAL OBJECT >>>! Almost like it was angry as Kita's blaze slams against it time and time again, Arcane energy enveloping it!
Amalthea calls out for their bravery. A storm of melee troops rushing forward, diving for its shield, only to get shield-slammed into the wall. The Samurai moving forward. Only for its focus to fall upon the tank herself and tries to slam its shield down with its butt against her! But just when it's about to slam her into the ground, it's halted for a moment. Fukaziroh's words drawing its attention. The Samurai turns its entire body, following her for a single step. Another...
Then... halts. And cranes back around. Fukaziroh winning them precious seconds! As it begins to turn, Setsuna throws his relic for its foot, stabbing into it! For a moment, the entire body of the Samurai is utterly frozen. Unable to move with its shield at an angle. In that moment, Yuuki spins up with her blade, and is joined by Kuroyukihime on the other side of her. Both women rushing up. Yuuki moving to the bridge while Kuroyukihime uses her twin blades coming from below. Both blades biting into its shield...
Yuuki's swords come from above. Kuroyukihime's blades coming from below. Tearing /through the shield/! Tearing into the planks, ripping it slowly in twain. There's a moment where people regain their morale. Thinking for a moment that the barrier is broken as the two girls swoop past eachother, and sweep their blades in opposite directions, like Samurai having finished a slicing standoff...
The shield falls apart, dropping in half. Only for the giant to grab the green gem that begins to fall to the ground, and set it into its helmet instead! There, it shines brighter than ever before as it moves its hands out like ten fingerguns!
Only for Vertina to slam her blazing fist to its face, causing it to break out of Setsuna's relic's ability, and stumble for a moment. Glaring at her and swatting Vertina away like an annoying fly, but clearly losing its posture enough that it has to sway its arms around. Its hands grab to the walls, digging into it! Debris falling down towards the ground! Spikes of ice rain down on those positions, making it slip from one of its handholds, and have to grab a different part of the wall thanks to Lin! But it's angled back! Taggard and Gwen join together, coming down towards its belly, claymore slamming down... shattering upon it, but forcing it down to one knee once more! Gwen's blow blasting both of them down, before they have to both get out of dodge as its now free hand tries to slam down upon them against its belly! Kaydon striking his blade along its arm to push it /just/ enough out of the way to stop it from shattering the lives of Taggard and Gwen!
Only for it to... freeze once more. Its barrier seems to shimmer. Dimming for a moment. A beam of light bursts from the coin Prophylaxis holds, before the coin itself detonates into a BLAZE of black two-dimensional circles that rise into the air. A sight that Prophylaxis has seen before. A terrifying song playing at the back of his mind for a moment.
But it halts. The Samurai Lord truly, legitimately halts for a moment. Strained amidst its attempt to raise its arms to the air. There's an eerie moment of silence, as its body strains. Clearly seeking to bring its fists down, but unable to do so.
Then... the fist comes down. Everyone is prepared for it. Everyone knows it is coming.
"PROTECTION!" The call of that Priestess comes once more, but those two massive fists shatter right through it, coming down towards those who had not moved away in time yet!
An earthquake spreading. They had tried their best attacks. Prophylaxis had given up a precious item. Yet the door laid unmoving. When another door opens. Not a proper door. But a door in space itself. A 'white' landscape laying behind the Samurai. On the side that Fukaziroh had aimed to lure it. Stepping out from that large gate comes a single woman wearing a white robe with purple markings, holding a simple staff. Her eyes obscrubed by the strange visor that comes down from her priestess-like hood.
Purple lips smile at the man across the stage. Heathcliff grimacing. "Now you show yourself, Helba!?" He demands from her.
"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, old friend." She demands, before looking up at the enormous Samurai. "I bid you hurry." As the Samurai rears up and brings its fingers out. And green light begins to wash out. Like lasers, it tries to data drain more people as they begin to rush towards the gate!
Then Schneider! Kita is next, followed by Lin and Setsuna, both getting caught as Setsuna tries to dive away, and ends up accidentally knocking into Lin. Gwen tries to use her shield once more, having protected her last time from the Data Drain as that beam comes her way in a last moment effort... but she too is lifted to the air, as the others rush through the portal.
There, a pale white place awaits them....
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
He swats her aside afterwards, but due to various circumstances and actions of others it isn't really much of an attack, just a 'get the fuck away from me'. She can easily catch herself in a roll, minimalize the damage, and be back on her feet. Hot winds like something you'd expect in a desert whisp around her as she again draws on her elementalist powers to evade the Data Drain tendrils lashing out.
She looks towards the strange white gateway that has opened.
Looks back at the unbudging doors of the battleground.
"... Better the door that you don't know where it goes, than the door you can't go anywhere through," she mutters, and uses the end of her evasive technique to sprint for the white exit.
Only to skid to a stop on the other side amongst the other escapees. She looks up, looks around. The door where they didn't know it leads is quite accurate, as she has never seen a place like this before. So white, save the one chair and the strange portals? Viewports? Something... Well, there's really only one way to sum this up.
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
Yuuki lands after her aerial assault and passing by Kuroyukihime. She looks up to see the results of her attack. The giant's shield has been broken in half! Hooray! Except the samurai retrieves the green crystal that appears to be the source of the data drain and attaches it to its helmet. Boooooo. And unfortunately, Yuuki doesn't have another one of those attacks in her... Not today, anyway.
Still, this is yet more progress. Surely this will improve morale the raid group can continue to-
-Wait. Where is everyone going?
"Guys? Where are you going!?" Yuuki glances around, seeing most of the raid party running for a bright white something.
"Really!? Come on! We were getting somewhere!" Yuuki is reluctant to run now, feeling like they were just starting to wear the boss down. She of course fails to realise the gravity of the situation given that her HP is still pretty damn high.
Soon enough, Yuuki is one of the last few still facing off against the giant samurai. She briefly entertains the idea of trying to solo it... Yeahno. Given its glitchy behaviour, that's probably just a biiiiiit outside her capabilities. So Yuuki quickly turns around, starting to run towards the new exit in the distance, calling out, "Waiiiiit! Don't leave me behind!"
Yuuki runs out of the whiteness and into the strange room. She slows to a stop, looking around in confusion, before saying, "I don't think this is part of the boss fight mechanics..."
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
This isn't working.
This isn't working at all, and when the shield bash only batters aside those who came to her aid, Amalthea grimaces.
What is there to be done?
Certainly nothing against this boss...
Then it makes to data drain again-- "Merek damn it, no!" She blurts as he steps into the path of a Data Drain meant for her.
But a new path opens up.
Who the hell is Helba?
No time to ask questions.
"--Now! -NOW- retreat! Everyone into the glowing door!"
She is, admittedly not the first person to make a break for the door, hanging back to make sure others get through before her.
There's little she can do for those caught in the path of the Data Drain, but she can at least start pushing people, ESPECIALLY YUUKI, through Helba's gate before shoving herself through.
"... Alright where are we now?" She says after a long moment of trying to catch her breath and stop her heart from hammering in her chest.
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
Fukaziroh had hoped that she could buy enough time for people to break down the barrier. She hadn't expected them to fight on, though it surprises her only a little. Some truly effective and badass fighters here! And it is, after all, kind of just like a game right? So lives aren't truly at risk. Just mental trauma.
She's pleased to note that some of the attacks are actually effective. Some combatants broke the shield, some harmed the Samurai itself, and she lets out a cheer of victory! Too soon however, as the boss seems to just get stronger by taking the fallen gem and ... oh, ew. Ewwwwww.
FORTUNATELY they now have an escape route, and even more fortunately it seems to be near Fuka! She pauses just before diving headlong into it. "This way to escape!" she yells. "Exit is here!" At least she hopes it's a way out. Maybe they can regroup, consider what they witnessed, come up with a plan. Or ... well, that's something for more strategically-minded people to consider. Fukaziroh's got solid tactics but she knows little about leading groups. All she knows is the more they hit the Samurai, the stronger it got, and the raid leader called for a retreat. She charges for the exit, not sure where it goes, but figuring it can't be worse... right?
Arriving on the other side, Fuka peers around, then backs away from the portal as if a giant ugly smelly samurai might still come through it at any moment. She stares fixedly at the portal, relieved to see people actually following and escaping alive. And so far, no boss following. But some people... some aren't coming through. They didn't make it?
There's a portal and people run. This fight is over... so Mizuki runs too. Who the heck IS that? Where are they going? Somewhere safe, hopefully! Once inside, she stops to catch her breath and looks around. "Merek? Setsuna? Wait..." She looks around, and then hurries back to the door, but doesn't dare go back through. "GWEN!" She looks back at the others, distressed. "H-how did we get them all down last time?! How do we get them down?!"
Lin, amidst a strange stone place that looks like stone henge, in the middle of the street crossing that runs to their home. His mother calling out from him from the house, saying he should hurry up and get home. Then, the sound of children running, and his grandfather stepping out of that house for a moment.
For Setsuna, he's at a street crossing as well. There, he hears the din of music coming from a bar. The clink of bottles being tapped together. Koichi waving at him from the treshold of the door. "Come on!"
Kita is standing outside of her new house. Standing right in front of her is her dad, holding out his hand. "Come on, let's go inside."
Schneider steps into his house, stepping away from that stone-henge like structure everyone had arrived amidst of. The sound of a television playing various things. Almost like it could not decide what channel to be on. Flashing from a WWII movie, to anime, to a computer screen.
Merek is standing amidst his home's garden, in the midst of that stone structure. There's a gardening rake near him, but there's also a table carrying flasks and other kinds of scientific gear, which begin to flicker...
Gwen finds herself outside of a piffle princess. The cheers of people in the distance within. A feeling of pride... fading, as the cheers fade.
Moments later, the sixsome are dropped from the grasp of that green light, as something is pulled from them. Stolen from them. Things they once held precious. Dropping to the ground, the sixsome come to amidst the continued retreat of people. Kita finds the hand of Priestess grabbing hers, looking to draw her away.
Merek is grabbed by another New World Alliance friend. Schneider is grabbed by the scruff by a massive guy with a big blade, who looks suspiciously designed after Guts. Setsuna is caught as he falls by his skeleton knight, lifted over its head like a prize, and it runs off with him!
Lin is found by Kuroyukihime, grabbed by both hands and told to hurry, while Gwen is caught during her fall by Heathcliff, who puts her back down and hurries her along.
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
Is there a way out? Once he arrives in the empty room he finds himself looking at the emptiness, "Uh. We didn't die right? We're still good?"
But he has to. He has to try. And when he does, and that voice at the back of his brain is silenced by the most spine-chilling song he has ever heard, all that's left is the stunned terror of watching the behemoth slow to an absolute halt.
...Only for it to be replaced by absolute information overload. That green wave washes out again, and it's all he can do to keep from being skewered. A strange woman-- Helba, he will recall later-- opens a portal to a place unknown, and before he can stop himself, he begins to run.
No. Not run. He bids the earth to move. A chunk of stone hurls out from underfoot as he shoots forward and--
All but /yanks/ Yuuki straight into the mysterious white room-- and apparent safety.
But... There are people missing. There are people missing, and the doctor's blood runs cold. They were caught by that wave. Drained of part of what makes them /them./ His heart hammers in his ears as he falls to his hands and knees, unmoving until he slams a fist into the stark white ground and chokes back a scream.
Again. Again, lives slipped through his grasp.
Again, it just wasn't enough. Not to save all of them. The people that followed him here--
What has become of them...?
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
The Imp girl falls unusually quiet, even as her hand is grabbed and dragged away by the Priestess. She doesn't seem to show any sign of caring where she is, or how she got there. She just follows the retreat, for now. Perhaps there would be time to make sense of it all, later.
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
Setsuna looks around very confused for a moment as he looks towards the bar and he licks his lip for a moment as it calls to him and swears he remembers that bar before his focused is pulled away looking towards the voice of his son, "Koichi...?" Running after him through the door way. "Come back, we need to talk about your birthday. It's only 4 days away. " Moving through the building he finds Koichi and watches on the screen him playng the old Elder Tales Offline, " I know we have been loving playing this game together. So what do you say if or new years eve, we play..." The world begins to fade from him, he reaches out for Koichi as if for that moment he knows he should just give his kid a hug.
Next thing he knows his skeleton knight is holding him and dragging him through the portal. Him and the knight roll though the room and almost into one of the holes, he reaches up and holds his head as if he was trying to recall a dream that is slipping away faster then anything else. He remembers Koichi, he remembers ...Koichi, that was about it. Looking around he appears to be in a room that feels like his own head for the moment. "Tell me this room makes sense to someone."
There are people missing. But some of them are quickly found. Gwen gets a hug from a giant talking cat. "You're alive!"
Although, after a moment, Mizuki's expression goes from relief to confusion as she looks around the room. "...We are alive, right? This isn't some kind of afterlife or purgatory we have in this setting, is it?" She frowns. "I... don't actually remember what it was like last time I died. WAS it like this?" She scratches her head.
The man begins to try and maneuver to get into the path of the data drain, if he can protect even one person. "TRY TO GET AWAY!"
Then he finds that he's back in his garden. Well, what could all of that mean. Amalthea, well the people would need that woman, important to lead, a friend. He will go around gardening for a little while, and looks to the alchemy supplies. Eventually, it all seems to fade away, and he tries to pick it up, "Wait, wait... The flowers that I was making for her." Then he's pulled away and back to the world, and being put into that gate with the party. It was like a while for him. He doesn't remember what he was doing, actually. "Where are we?" he will ask, and looks then to Amalthea. "You are alright?" Then a look along to people that he knows, "Anyway."
After the people, and a last minute Peko rushing through the gate, it shuts, and the woman turns towards those present, taking a few steps into the chamber itself.
"I would ask you all to leave through that hole please. Which leads to Alne." She asks of those present. Heathcliff is giving her one hell of a look, but Helba is remaining quiet on this front. Her gaze then jumps from Schneider, to Kita, Merek, Lin, Setsuna, Gwen. There seems something sad about her expression.
"You must not engage with that enemy, until you have a way to break its barrier." She tells them with a firm tone. "I expended a great deal of energy to save you all." Before planting that staff down firmly to the ground.
Looking to Mizuki, she explains, "This is a Lost Ground. And one that isn't kind to Adventurers and Landers. It will erode at you if you remain for too long. I bid you hurry." She points the staff at the hole that looks like it comes out over the forest near Alne.
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
Where's Gwen? Schneider? Setsuna? Kita???
Not only is a personal friend of hers missing, but several of her cherished Odysseia Knights.
Beginning to pace around the Lost Ground in search of the missing faces, she lurks like an agitated den mother missing her beloved cubs. "Where the hell are you..." She mutters to herself, before they start making their way into the Lost Ground, led by Heathcliff, Kuroyukihime, Priestess, Not!Guts, and that skeleton knight, she heaves a sigh.
"Gave me a real fright the lot of you did." She says heaving a heavy sigh.
"I'm fine, Merek. ... Thank you." She asides to him while rubbing her brow.
And then Helba says to get the hell out of dodge.
She's... Not going to fight on this topic. She'll start pushing people toward the Alne hole if she has to.
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
There is no Gwen here, only Jenifer O'Neill aka Jenny to most people she's a lot younger here as the young redhead girl is there at the Piffle princess she looks around for a moment. She was so happy she was so proud of things here, there are her parents who are beaming at her. Yet she starts to wonder why is everyone so happy she didn't do anything important here she didn't even have a reason to be here today...
However long this takes Gwen will find herself caught by Heathcliff and carried to safety.
She doesn't fight it she's too out of it here, once she's able to be set down by her saviour she'll wonder.
"What, is this place."
Soon a woman appears and warns them not to fight it till they have a way to kill it.
"I agree... that would be wise."
Then she pauses with a look like she understands the danger, like she's run into it before somewhere.
"Then we better move."
She'll turn to Heathcliff.
"Good sir I owe you one, thank you."
With that she'll make for the portal.
If some smaller people refuse Gwen will throw them over her shoulders to carry them out.
"A Lost Ground? Wait, who are you?" Mizuki realizes she's been addressed by their mysterious savior. As a curious cat, she can't help but glance at a few of the nearest portals. "What is... why are you only showing up now? What's going on??"
They are alive. He tells himself that, reminds himself. They're still alive. The doctor sighs and pushes himself to his feet. "You... Heathcliff mentioned you were called Helba. What... is this place? A 'Lost Ground?' And that--" He indicates towards the Tri-Edge emblem, "What is /his/ mark doing here? What... what kind of power can overcome that barrier? There are so... so /many/ questions...!"
But how long do they even have to get answers. The Doctor looks to Helba with pleading eyes. "Please. I can't let something like that-- I can't keep standing by powerless to do anything to help...!"
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
She looks over the group a moment, and all the tired and dour expressions. "I know it's not much to help, but the tavern will be open for people needing some liquid assistance in dealing with ... emotional issues."
Vertina reachs over to grab Mizuki, and drag her home if need be. "Let's not tick off the testy lady with a bunch of questions after she barely saved our butts Mizukichi."
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
He doesn't have any walls to punch, so he just grumbles loudly to himself. This was all a waste of time. They're going to be stuck on the 10th floor forever. Frustrated, he just heads for the hole that was marked as an exit. He has to go find somewhere to brood.
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
She glances down at the mark down upon the ground. "Tri-Edge happened to this place." She expresses. "If you wish to overcome that barrier, seek the power of Data Drain. It is not something I can teach you, or help you with. If you want to know more, ask your leader instead. Though I am sure he'll try to remain tight-lipped."
Heathcliff glowers at her. "Some things are better not mentioned." He answers her in a very sturdy tone. Helab seems to be ignoring Merek's question about the holes for now. Largely because she's already told them which hole to go into. She does look to him for a moment when he mentions Data Drain. "No, you don't. You have an item of power, but whomever gave it to you has not yet laid in the access to that power."
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
Granted he'd much prefer a deadly showdown but when the party saw bail, needs must.
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
Setsuna barely gets his thoughts together when someone is pushing his knight through a hole, which is still dragging him along and down the hole he goes. Where he falls no one but the lady he didn't get the name of knows, but she said it was going to be Alne. He thinks. Really this is worse then that one time he had customers try to drink him under the table the night before the signing of the new contract. The last thing he hears is Helba explaining things, so many things. So many headaches. It was probably better if he just limped from Alne to Tolbana, and drowned this headache.
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
Once Yuuki realizes that the boss fight is over-more specifically that they lost-she sighs in disappointment, "Awww man. And we were doing so well." At least, from her perspective.
Yuuki ruffles her hair a bit in annoyance, "That barrier was a pain though... I can see how trying to get rid of it would make it easier to fight him again. Mmmmm... No idea how to go about that though. I mean I was able to cut through it, but get rid of the entire thing? Probably need someone smart on this. Maybe June will know something."
Yuuki is brought out of her thoughts by seeing the others diving into a hole, apparently leading back to Alne. Well, beats walking. Yuuki jumps in as well, landing in the forest. She stretches before saying to the others, "Well, good work anyways. Even if we didn't get it in the end. We'll just have to try again at some point! But for now..."
Yuuki grins, "I think it's time for some food! That fight got me feeling rather hungry." She starts making her way back to Alne, remaining as chipper as ever in her normal Yuuki way.
His eyes turn toward Heathcliff. Both he and Naobi have been playing so many cards close to their chests, haven't they. "...I think I need to get some answers. If we intend to continue this climb, we need the tools that will enable us to do so, won't we...?"
The portal is there. He should leave soon, but he waits to hear an answer first, if one is given.
Lost Grounds - 0 - 0 - 0
Mizuki looks at Helba for a moment. She looks at Heathcliff. "It seems that we don't have a choice to not mention them..." But, unless further information is forthcoming, she takes a moment to relax and stretch, and then jumps through the hole to Alne.
She needs to talk to some of the other Knights...