Festival: The Bun-Bun Wave
Adventurers have long been eliminating monsters en-masse upon the 'Aincrad Island', allowing the wildlife to prosper. However, as wilflife prospers, so do the BunBuns. And with so many monsters eliminated around the Carmina and Alne region, a large sum of them which have recently gained adulthood move upon Alne in order to sate their hunger.
And blinds some from staring down to the ground beneath.
There's a confused sound from a young man as he spots a red gleam within the streets of Alne. Reaching out to pick it up, there's a sudden drop in health. And before the confused Adventurer understands what is going on, he is pulled into the darkness. His scream silenced by the rapid diminishing of HP and eventual shattering of light.
Within the Olympus Headquarters, a team observing Alne gets a call from one of the observers, remarking that he's seeing strange movement near the Main Street, and is requesting a team check it out.
Within the Scale Emblem alliance, Misa Takayama sends out a team to investigate a crew that was supposed to be out training out near Alne, but didn't get back in time - with Ais Wallenstein leading a team.
A group of New World travelers moving from Carmina Gadelica to the port was staying over at Hostess of Fertility, ducks out of the shop half drunk when they too spot something roaming within the dark and head into a small alley...
Only for their scream to suddenly cry out into the night. The red gleam of light quickly retreating back through the alley as their screams are finally silenced.
But then Proteus pauses, sending a message elsewhere, diverting her attention to scouting the side streets and alleyways from above.
And then they snap back open with a haunting flash that blanks out her irises, as the flaming spectacle frames manifest around her eyes. She gazes outward, but no longer simply the dark streets... but rather trying to peer through that darkness itself
Fukaziroh has been cruising the regions looking for places with bun-bun population increases, figuring they're good sorts of regions to find exclusive seasonal content! 'Tis bun-bun season after all, and the not-quite-pro gamer girl is more than willing to break the immersion of this game world to get some unique loot!
She'd been enjoying some of the local festivities when she became alerted by the screaming. This was NOT part of the plan! She'd expected to have to go out hunting tomorrow perhaps, not react to a city invasion! Still she's game, and heads out to take a look around. Using her magics and glide-capable wings she gets up high to see if she can search out what's going on before it finds her first.
The city of Alne, where Yuuki just happens to be for one reason or another. She does get around a lot, sometimes on guild or alliance business. But tonight, strange things are afoot and they do go unnoticed by the Imp.
No, that wasn't a typo. For Yuuki is currently VERY engrossed in her current, very important task of eating her way through a plate of cluck-cluck wings.
That is until news of the situation filters up through the Olympus channels to finally reach her. Yuuki looks mournfully at her unfinished plate of wings, before standing up and heading outside.
Glancing around, Yuuki gets in some stretches as she muses to herself, "Whoever is causing trouble is going to owe me some food!" Appropriately stretched, Yuuki darts off in a run as she starts moving through the dark streets of Alne, looking for a source for the disturbance that has interrupted meal time.
"Where are they..."
He honestly has no idea what he's looking for other than, you know, missing group. Well that is until there's a scream, and then the scream is cut off, "Well shit, that ain't no good. Come on!" He rushes towards the direction of the scream. He's gonna try to find whatever's out there.
Moons. An ever-present reminder that she's in a fantasy world. Mizuki is looking around the scales' training area when she hears her name called in a way that makes the fur on her tail bristle. A former kindergarten teacher no doubt knows exactly how to call people in a way that grabs the attention of something deep inside. Hopefully her motherly aura helps ease the discomfort of giving Mizuki that dreaded 'the teacher wants to talk to you, you must be in troooooublllllle' sensation.
Ais is a no-nonsense sort, apparently, and skilled enough to merit it -- which means Mizuki can work alongside her just fine as long as they don't disagree about what to do!
"What could possibly have made a team disappear near *Alne*?" Mizuki wonders, as the head to the area where the team was. "After a year, even our lowest-level combatants should be able to handle Hagar in a party, right?" As they get close, she steps ahead of Ais, grinning fangedly. "Time to put those racial benefits to use, right?" She looks around, moonlight making any tracks or the like as easy to see as in midday, and sniffs, focusing on her senses for anything unusual... particularly the smell of monsters, or a large group of imanity...
Rizadoman, the forever designated driver, even in a world without cars he pulled the short straw of making sure the half drunk ttravelers were only ever half drunk. When one of them takes the wrong turn down an alley to relieve themselves , the lizardman sighs heavily. " Somehow I swear Shiruba swapped that straw." Just then his lizard eyes see something in the dark down the alley as he stares and is going to regret what he is about to do but he embraces his monster side and takes a deep breath, even flicks his tongue to enhance his senses even more to see if he can make out the shadow in the alley by the smell.
From deep within the shadows, movement. Proteus' people within the Plant Hwyaden HQ report movements, directly the Imp and guiding the shadow-race away from the main street and towards a sector of wall closer to the edge of Alne. She's joined by Fukaziroh, featherfalling down towards her. There, she comes upon a white 'wave' of movement, rearing /over/ the wall of Alne. At this angle, the glint of red amidst the wave seems like an infectious disease. And all of them quickly seem to select the Imp and Sylph as a targets, as the 'wave' falls to the ground, then rears up from the group, up towards the building she stands upon. Almost like a maw opening to devour them whole!
Yeowang waves her flames near the Main Street, stepping into the alley. Finding the flame to reflect upon an arm as it gets pulled into a mass of white and red, before the arm shatters to pieces into that telltale light of defeat. After which the wave of Bun Buns rush straight for her! She's quickly joined by the Nightmare, Kauchemar, her flaming eyes giving her better insight into the large sum of Bun Buns that begin to move upon their position - reaching for them with buns extending outwards almost like claws. Syx follows a moment later in, along with Rizadoman, all witnessing the falling mountain of Bun Buns towards them.
Yuuki ends up following Ais Wallenstein and Mizuki, joining up with Miho as well, as they enter a different alley and find a very similar sight to what Yeowang and Kauchemar just found. A wave of Bun Buns reach out towards them almost like a force of nature, grabbing towards them like some massive clawing hand, seeking to grab and devour them! With Ais rapidly spearing her rapier at a group of Bun Buns that are falling from the roof above, about to devour Mizuki, protecting her with quiet precision.
Yuuki slows down as she reaches an alley with some other Adventurers. Most of which she recognizes. She's about to greet them when something draws her attention. What is that... Is that a... Giant mass of Bun Buns!?
And then tactical advice filters in through the Raid channel she joined, 'Emphasize area attacks!'
Yuuki gets a very deer in headlights look, "Eep."
The massive Bun Bun mass paw crashes down towards the group, Yuuki included! Yuuki starts running away fast as the buns flow like water through the alley trying to catch up to her!
Yuuki's zigzagging as she runs to avoid buns crashing down on her, soon running up the side of the alley wall as the soles of her boots glow with a soft light. All the while she's rapidly flailing her sword behind her, not even really looking. Not that she needs to with such a rich environment, "Stay away! Stay awaaaaaayyyyyy!" Flailflailflail.
...Which is why he's present and accounted for when a certain training party goes missing and needs finding. TECHNICALLY he could do that in an instant, but such resources are precious. Instead, he aids in a much more. . . manual investigation. He split off from the rest of the search party a short while ago, his own intuition (perhaps as a result of his particular sub-species of Cait Sith?) leading him down other avenues...
And then there's a GIANT BUN BUN MAW in an alleyway and Prophylaxis quietly curses his own lack of judgment. Not because he could have ever predicted GIANT KILLER BUNNY MAW, but because he REALLY should have been keeping better tabs on the bun-bun population of the Isle of Beginnings.
"Damnit, this is what I get for skipping on the cannibalism. Looks like rabbit stew's back on the menu!" He strikes the cobblestone path underfoot with the base of his staff, a rat's nest of vines erupting from the point of impact before sprouting a dozen nipping serpent's heads-- all of which lunge forth and bite the terrifying bun-bun maw directly on the snoot.
Always starting off with poison debuffs, this doctor...
Rizadoman had heard tales, he remembered many proud lizardman warriors covered in bites and scratches returning to the village one day talking of the fluff. They talked about the nightmare of the waves of buns and how so many others had fallen and even an entire neighboring village. The bun-buns came and then there was nothing left. The moment he sees the giant paw shape he can't help but let out an animal growl, " For every lizardman that has died at your paws I shall end you here and now. You shall not take this city." With a slash of his claws he unleases bolts of fire at the paw as if trying to match it with pure force.
Mizuki's ears turn at a distant scream. She looks up... slitted eyes widening at the sight of the bunbun horde! The air around her begins to ripple with heat-haze and small bits of flame as she inhales. But she can't help noticing Ais trying to fight the swarm with a rapier. Concern flits across Mizuki's mind:
Precision weapons aren't good against swarms! Wait... is she protecting me?
She was just thinking of Hagar as possible threats that the training group might have encountered, and is reminded of Gwen stepping in Hagar's way, back before they knew they could respawned and thought they might die for real...
...But there's no time to process those thoughts right now. Mizuki breathes out, sweeping a plume of flame over the massed buns like a flamethrower! "Time for a rematch..."
Mizuki hopes she can keep all her limbs this time! ...Aww, man, she really wishes she hadn't remembered that ^-_-^
Fuka plummets out of the sky - well no, from a nearby roof - to join up with Proteus, who she vaguely recognizes. Together they face a wave of bunbuns coming over the wall. "Well crap." the little Sylph says, brandishing her axe while she takes stock of the surroundings. "We're outnumbered." she says, and shrugs.
"Guess it's a target-rich environment! What's the worst that could happen? Little bunny bun buns eating us? They'll have to get past my axe first!" she cries, calling powerful air magic into her weapon and cleaving her way into the horde of tiny vicious rodents.
Then she stomps a hoof to the ground, causing runes to briefly flicker as she flicks a hand through the arcane gestures. The runes flicker and glow as summoning rites tend to as her eyes flash back to their supernatural glow... but there's not visible monsters appearing even as she raises her voice in her usual manner.
"o/~ What if I try to kill you? o/~" She finishes the gestures and snaps her arm to point at the Bun Bun Paw form. "Does that make me evil in your view?
If I strike you down tonight, will that make the swarm feel fright?
But I will shed no tear..." Her visage finally spreads into a cruel smirk as she lowers her head forward a bit, and a dozen glowing eyes appear in the shadows behind her. "This is PAYBACK for last year! o/~"
The glowing eyes erupt past her, shadows forming into large wolf-like forms that seem to flicker in and out of visual spectrums that make them hard to follow. One could even call them... where wolves... They lunge and snap at the mass of buns, their ghostly bites doing not physical damage, but instead inflict crippling statis effects and hindering the Bun-mass's ability to recover from the damage others will do.
"o/~ Run, run, but you can't flee tonight.
The Nightmare comes and she's full of spite.
Calculating vengeance precisely
Chances of surrender: UNLIKELY o/~"
He stops after a few steps and turns around, his fists lighting up as the Buster Gauntlets ignite, "Time to be very, very loud, because I'm hunting rabbits!"
And thus Syx dives into the fray, swinging fists and feet like a madman while doing his best to dodge anything coming his way. He probably more closely resembles a whirlwind than a salamander at this point.
She flicks her hand, producing her chosen weapon, a... puzzle box the size of someone's head. The sides suddenly press in, twisting and clattering. "Paradox... Second Alignment!" The weapon shifts, unfolding as large, bulky latches lock into place, the metal forming into a hefty puzzle-pole with a clattering chain, a heavy flanged sphere on the end. The Imp spins the weapon, the flail's head whisting as her hand traces a pattern in the air in a window that opens before her: ^ X O
A moment later, she swings, spinning the flail and sending cutting waves of air slashing through the mass, trying to force it to disperse. "Come on. We have the pieces. Let's get them together...!"
Then the buns emerge in a swarm, and right in front of her, but Yeowang is anything but timid, and delivers a series of hard punches as the giant swarm appears suddenly. She will give ground, drawing it fully out of the alley so that everyone can hit it.
A net of vines grows, halting the wave from overwhelming Merek in that moment, as the Doctor starts poisoning the buns. Individually, they have little health, and the poison has a rather immediate effect. But lacking infectious vectors, the poison effect itself is not doing much more than the initial vine bites in tearing apart Bun Bun lives. A wave of air cleaves forth as a group of them wave upwards, and start to gnaw on Prophylaxis' foot, tearing apart his shoe-wear before he can retreat - Fukaziroh protecting the Scale Emblem lead. A second pulse of air BURSTS apart the maw that was just about to rear up to engulf them all, exploding it into a rain of Bun Buns, which individually spread around them and march to take their lives. With Syx
Back at the mainstreet, Bun Buns suddenly burst out of the alley, pushing out Yuuki and the others, following after them. Parts of the form collapsing onto the ground, while others form back above them. Almost like a paw deforming, only for another one to reform above it and reach out! Yuuki tears apart a 'talon' of the paw, causing the structure to collapse for a moment and avoiding being overwhelmed by their form in that moment - only for more to reach out towards the source of damage! Her yelps and cries and movement only seem to spur them on!
Behind Yuuki, the other alley spills out as well, sending Rizadoman and his allies out of that alley as well. The two waves of Bun Buns seemingly pushing Yuuki and Rizadoman towards one-another, seeking to collide them and collapses upon their positions! Flaming bolts tearing holes into them, but it's almost like those gaps are being 'healed' over by new surges of hungry Buns!
Ais Wallenstein may not be using a weapon best suited to deal with swarms. But her attacks are incredibly fast. Launching Sword Arte after Sword Arte, joining with Yuuki on the defensive while Mizuki gets to flank the wave of Bun Buns after the push out from the alleys, roasting the wave from the sides! Only for a 'branch' of them to split off and going for Mizuki!
Only for Kauchemar's wolves to spread out, ripping apart Bun Bun lives. There's the occassional 'Kriii!' sound as a Bun Bun gets grabbed and gets its head torn apart, or its body slashed to pieces. But the cries of pain are silenced by far, by the sound of hungry 'konkonkon' noises! Ghostly bites halt the lives and movements of various Buns, allowing Mizuki to get to safety for a moment. Only for a new branch to form and approach Yeowang and Miho's after the duo each punch and cut apart a 'talon' of the legion of Bun Buns - shattering the lifeless bodies of Buns away from the main street.
But the waves keep coming. Spilling up along the roofs. There's the cries of some people as they spill in through windows and into doors near Proteus and Prophylaxis. Another splash of their wave moving up to meet them, spilling over the buildings. A second wave creeping up to them from behind, as one of the branches from the alleys manages to get to them.
Near the main street, the alleys seem almost breathe with white heat and red eyes, spilling further into the main street and surrounding the active team, reaching out from all directions!
But she is able to bring her martial arts to bear in extreme defense, counterattacking the buns that get close, hard punches, harder kicks, though stepping on them when she can is not a tactic she will shun. Spinning elbow if one comes from the side, or even a hip check to smash one into a wall, or bump it clear so she can smash it with a heavy kung fu blow.
Flailflailflail. Yuuki continues to flail her sword behind her, just managing to keep ahead of the flood of buns as she sloooooowly whittles down their numbers with sword strikes. So far though, things aren't that bad!
Yuuki rounds a corner to see Rizadoman running towards her, a large fluffle of buns behind him. Not good! Not good! They're going to collide!
... Though, this does present a good opportunity. Yuuki calls out to the lizard man, "Switch!"
Sweeping her sword out to her side, a dark wind comes to life around it and then rushes up Yuuki's arm to engulf her. Just as she reaches Rizadoman, Yuuki leaps, planting a foot on his shoulder before she leaps again towards the rush of buns behind him. As she does so, she twists her body into a rapid spin, sustained by her Air-based movement buff.
With her blade out, Yuuki effectively turns into a blender as she blasts through the collection of buns!
Hopefully Rizadoman fares just as well~
Though she's doing her best to tear apart the formation of bunbuns, Fukaziroh is being quickly overwhelmed by the sheer mass of the little critters. "Don't worry, I won't let them eat me!" she declares boldly to Proteus. "They haven't even brought any flowers or chocolaAAAH!"
Yeah, that's Fuka getting swarmed and repeatedly bitten. Eaten, even. Well she tried, but the bun-buns were even fiercer in retaliation! Her weapon goes flying, and she has to scramble to recover.
She even manages to fire off some lightning while disarmed, managing to pull herself out of the mass of small fuzzy bodies. With some help from Merek, it has to be said. Her lightning is ineffective, but she's regaining her feet at least. Bloodied and savaged, she looks more mad than scared. "IS THAT ALL YOU GOT?" she bellows.
tRizadoman sees the paws coming and spews flames forward to act as a deterent and wall and when all is said is done the lizardman is disarmed, literally. He stands tall as his left arm is missing and with a growl retrieves his shield from his back and throws it like a frisbee and watches it ricoche around, it would eventually end up back in his free hand but his accuracy is a bit off. " It appears I underestimated you due to the cuteness, I will no longer make that mistake. "
Ais and Yuuki's swordwork is damn impressive! Distracted as she is, it's just a meaningless blur to Mizuki as attacks chain faster than her mind can process. Because right now it's processing buns! As a swarm comes after her she leaps back out of the alley, flinging precisely-aimed kunai in midair to kill several individual buns at the front of the pack, keeping the paw-branch that split second further behind her...
She lands in cat stance with her front foot already up as if she's going to use it to block, but instead slams it into the ground, dropping into horse stance and 'bending' the earth so a wall forms in front of her, with a slight dip in the ground in front of it on the buns' side. Then she makes a sweeping, tai-chi-like motion with her arms while breathing out, standing up straight and breathing in as she commands water to well up from the ground -- magic water that moves so as to keep things stuck in it, trying to catch the buns that are no doubt making their way around the wall and drown them...
...And then she reaches up at the wall with claws extended from her left hand while opening the menu with the right and tapping, twice...
The were-tigress flips herself up on top of the wall in Flower Cut's sword arte stance as a longsword rezzes in her hand...
If she planned all this right? Maybe she can sever a large piece of the 'branch' and keep its composite buns trapped and drowning!
...Or maybe the bunbuns went *up*, ignoring the water, and she just put herself in harm's way while locked into performing the sword arte...
He immediately gets swarmed, bun-buns trying to murder him in the most adorable torture ever. Suddenly he manages to launch himself out of the pile of bun-buns, covered in red marks, but holding one of the bun-buns in his hand.
He turns in midair and drops back into the pile, cratering the one bun-bun he'd been holding onto and sending others flying in every direction.
The Nightmare Were Fang narrows her eyes, blows a snort out her nostrils and scrapes a hoof on the ground much the same way horses do before stameding into action. "As I was saying." She clenches her fists as the shield simply floats near her. "Their natural predator is monsters, so..."
She lunges forward with her considerable speed and grace, fists and hooves seeking to stomp on any part of the Bun-Bun mass that gets within reach. "LETS GET MONSTEROUS!" she bellows for flare... just before using her unhingable monster jaw to chomp down on one of the Paw's digits with her venomous serpent-like fangs! Let's see how they like being on the receiving end of the biting!
She staggers back, turning to leap onto an awning and bouncing off it towards a clear rooftop as she twists around. At least she still has Paradox. Instead of a hand, she works on performing the gesture with the flail itself... ) - O
With a flash of light, Proteus brings the weapon up, slamming it into the ground as a radiant wave of light flashes outwards... But unfortunately, it's not going to be as useful as she hopes.
"... Explosions. We need more... explosions." She groans. "Keep it up, people, we can't lose Alne to these blasted things!"
What's /un/expected, though, is that bun-bun incisors are apparently able to chomp straight through stone. Or, rather, stone/skin./ "Ghh--" Prophylaxis grunts, skipping back just a moment too late, just a foot too far. He nearly tumbles over a chunk of debris and extends a hand out of reflex... Only for it to immediately be set upon by a swarm of hungry rabbits...!
"Damnit-- damnit, get /off/ of me, you ravenous rodents! My body is not yours to devour...!" It's /technically/ speaking somebody else's. The doctor's eyes chill as his breath frosts on his lips. His arm is torn to shreds, but as it's lost...
It begins... to freeze.
"O' spirit of winter, I offer a greater share of warmth than usual today. Feast on this limb of mine, and all those who stand against the power you and I possess!" The spring-like atmosphere fades before a wave of quickening frost. The bun-bun swarm closest to the fallen doctor seems to slow, then go still, as a wave of glacial ice swallows them up completely. "Winter's Embrace!" Prophylaxis shouts as he tears free of his (now completely ruined) limb and backpedals closer to...
"Proteus," he says with some relief. "I've got a few. But I think we're going to need bigger guns for this many. Something that'll spread from one rabbit to another more quickly than they can recover. Something that... /won't/ kill us in the process. I've got ideas, but none of them are anything I'd risk this close to Alne!"
She survived that attack thankfully as she then launches a counter-attack at the Paws as it were again more sword arts and very angry Miho sounds as she's also breathing fire into the mix.
Behind her, she can hear the call of a practiced Sword Artist as arcane energy winds about a blade and blenders Buns. Fur seems to practically go flying, turning into light as heads are chopped and parts of their bodies are split in twain! Blendering into the Buns while they keep trying to push her out. As she goes high, more Bun Buns come low, making it hard for Yuuki to move as she wishes to. And she is having to work extra hard as the Lizardman behind her is having trouble keeping up with her intense cadence!
Mizuki manages to slow the cadence by getting behind the 'lines' of the branches of Buns, halting their approach and drowning large pockets of them. Being as rapidly moving and hungry, their breathing is far more intense, causing them to expire faster than they normally might have even in the wild! From her position, she watches as Kauchemar rushes into the midst of the enemies. Her monsterous maw biting into the Buns in large chomping motions. Miho moving in with Kauchemar to keep the largest brunt of the assault off of her so she has the freedom to move still!
The buns attach to Kauchemar's head, tearing into flesh. Some of them get under her armor, while others start biting onto her legs, trying to devour her while she tries to devour them. A ball of devouring energy welling up in a manner that seems almost eldritch in nature. Kauchemar momentarily touched by someone else, as Ais Wallenstein jumps onto her shoulder and off into the roof, heading towards the wall while touching her ear with one hand.
But she halts on the roof, looking back, realizing she can't move yet. As such, she jumps down where Mizuki was holding down the wave of Bun Buns reaching into the main road, and begins to tear into them to relieve that pressure!
Back near the walls, Fukaziroh's attack ripples into the Wave of Bun Buns, only for them to overwhelm her position again, forcing her to remain on her back foot, and not letting her rest. Already, they've taken a part of her body. And they seem hungry for more. Red light glowing near their maws at this point. From this position, they can tell that the Source of the Buns must be here at the wall! For it's here that they are flowing over!
A comet of flame bursts down into the wave, creating a hole, as Syx dropkicks a Bun Bun into the mass, detonating it within the depths of the 'wave' of Buns that keeps coming from over that wall! The wave temporarily gets cut off, as Prophylaxis' burst of ice shreds across them, causing the other side of the wall's wave to fall back in on itself momentarily and creating temporary respite. But the Bun Buns around them have not lowered in as great numbers as they might prefer.
The wave about to devour Proteus as she demands more explosions, only for there to be a loud ROAR of a sound, followed by the entire roof to suddenly detonate with intense physical force, Proteus being flung by the sheer force of the attack to the nearest house. When the debris settles, an orange skinned ogre of a man rises with his uniquely styled blade and laughs, flame bursting from his mouth. "Come on-come on- COME ONNN!" He calls out for the group while laughing boisterously.
< Gabi joins the Maw party >
Yuuki's movement buff ends, which also ends her spinning. Unfortunately, the blender move-while quite effective!-did not last particularly long. And soon enough, Yuuki finds herself being swept along by the rush of buns, quickly beginning to sink down into them.
Yuuki flails her arms above her, trying to find purchase to grab hold of something, but it's no use. The Imp cries out in dismay, "Noooo! This wasn't how I was supposed to go! It was supposed to be epic!"
Yuuki then disappears beneath the surface of fluff.
After several moments, the flood of buns shifts away to go after another target, the numbers in the immediate area shrinking until they are gone.
And there, lying on the ground, is Yuuki. Mostly intact, though her HP bar has taken a bit of a hit. The Imp sits up, going, "Owowowow!" She looks at the glowing stub of her right arm and cries, "Nooo! That was my favourite arm!"
Yuuki jumps to her feet once more, picking up her sword with her left arm. She's not exactly especially ambidextrous, as evidenced by the unease of her practice swings. But she'll make do. The advantage of being a one-handed wielder who doesn't dual wield or use shields.
Yuuki looks around for a few moments, before running off to chase after the bun flood. She starts hacking into it once again with her sword, "Hah! Take this! I will avenge my arm!"
With one arm useless, Fukaziroh is severely disadvantaged against the horde of bun-buns. It's only a flesh wound however, and she's still able to hold her weapon as she tries to find her footing and secure her defense. She's also extremely mad, and that's not a good thing... not to the enemy at least!
While struggling to free herself Fuka channels fire, flooding her body with mana and destructive artes. The flames successfully drive back the bun-bun horde, at least for the moment. But she's not quite done! Shuddering in pain and baleful wrath, Fukaziroh weaves runewords and gestures, channeling her power into an old faithful spell.
"I may be all out of axtions, but I've still got the fire within! FIYAAAAAHBAAAAAALLL!" she screams out, unleashing hell upon the largest source of bun-buns she can see in the Maw region of the battle.
Rizadoman was not keeping up and at he rate he was going was going to end up with him visiting his ancestors as the paw swipes towards him again he lets out a roar of challenge as his scales turn blood red. The rabbits would collide against him but find his scales momentarily impenerable. With a momentary reprieve , and still missing an arm he breaks apart his shield into his twin blades. One in his left hand , and the other held by his tail. Without missing a beat he charges forward and begins to carve away buns , one swipe and then another, and then another. Finally as he lays in his final slash and reforms the shield, every slashmark burst into large flames.
Much like a mob of gansters, it's punches and kicks everywhere, her swings picking up speed, even cracking with small sonic booms just as a particular punch connects. The extra damage isn't the important bit, a solid hit knocks them into pixels anyhow, but the thunderclap after is dramatic, and will stun a couple of the closest, which will set up her next attack.
Then much to his surprise, a healing wave washes over him, and his limbs return to full strength. A quick look at his health bar shows him that he's far too close to death for comfort, but none the less, he has to stand strong! Because it would look really bad on him if he bailed out when so many people were in danger. Or in general. He's supposed to be a tough guy.
This would be so much easier if he had ranged attacks, but he doesn't so instead he has to try to make himself unpalatable to the bun-buns. He does this by slamming his gauntlets together to engulf himself in flames, and then diving headlong into the bun-bun maw, trying to set off a massive detonation inside of it with all the firepower he can muster.
Darkness swirl up around the Nightmare, and then nothing but the whisps of black and purple flit between the digits of the Giant Bun Paw as it clenches down upon where she had been.
True to form with her speed and stealth she seems to disappear from one spot and reappear at another, moving on the edges of awareness to emerge near Proteus. She knows what's going to happpen, but she does it anyways, throwing an arm into the Maw's mass to shove it away before it can snatch the Puzzle Imp up again, hissing through gritting teeth as she feels the limb dissolved to the bun-bun wave in the process. Well at least this time it wasn't a leg.
It was a calculated risk. It's something worth doing for friends.
"No eating other Duck members on -my- watch." Kauchemar grinds a hoof into the pavement to brace herself. "My, what a big mouth you have." She looks directly at the maweful terror with a scowling expression.. but the hint of a smirk at the corner of her mouth as well.
"But mine's bigger." Again she opens hers wide. "And louder!" Followed by a hideous scream, the banshee-like whinney a Nightmare posesses amplified by the dark energies resonating in those violently vibrating waves directly at the Bun Bun Maw.
Mizuki wishes she had a wider-arc slashing attack... technically she can equip any weapon, but she's mostly practiced with daggers (and katars, in pre-Apocalypse VR.) Kauchemar demonstrates one option... Mizuki thinks 'I'd be too afraid of buns biting my face to try that' and winces as, sure enough, that is exactly what they try to do to the nightmare! "Kauchemar!" She looks down at where Ais is fighting the buns in front of her. "Ais, hang in there for a few seconds...!"
Mizuki crouches and LEAPS as the stone wall grows and flings her through the air, out of the way of oncoming buns, to land atop Kauchemar's shoulders! She makes some hand seals with her free hand. "Life'srefreshingbreezecomeforth! Aero! Thismighthurtalittle..." As the wind around her whips up into a spinning shield of air, Mizuki drops down and hugs-- the swarm of bunbuns?! Where'd Kauchemar go?! Oh well, all the more reason not to stop now! Mizuki opens her mouth, and fills the air shield with flame! It's the same technique she's practiced for drying off after swimming, but this time she's using more fire... it might damage her a little, but hopefully it damages the bunbuns she's accidentally dropped into a lot more!
"Ghh... This isn't going well...!" Prophylaxis grunts as his brief respite is soon terminated by a resurging wave of rabid rabbits. "When this is over... When this is over, we're instituting a Bun-Bun Bounty! FLAME SHIELD!" With a swing of his staff, the air around the magus begins to ripple and broil, before boiling over with a wave of protective pyromancy. A dozen bun-buns flash-broil before the oppressive heat, but...
With so many of their number thoroughly dis-armed... Even reinforcements might not be enough to save them at this point. So instead, it's time for the doctor to do as a doctor must. "Hold on, everyone. Things will get better soon!" He lifts his staff high, the lower gem blazing with inner light as he thrusts it into the earth.
At first, nothing seems to happen.
...But then, around each of the injured fighters, the flora at their feet begins to writhe, sprouting and growing far faster than plants ever should. Their bodies surge with regenerative energy as vines coil up around severed arms like bandages around a phantom limb. But these are no mere prostheses-- under the vines, they can feel their fingers twitch and their muscles coil. Mass-regeneration, courtesy of the Doctor of Tolbana...!
"We need to find a way to deal with the Paw still her Katana lights up again, she's not very happy. The battle keeps going if they can deal with this part of the horror. Everyone else can focus all their might on what remains.
Her blade burns brighter than before as she launches herself at the enemy shouting as she does so.
Near her, Rizadoman seems to be energized however. In losing his arm, he seems to recall what it means to truly be a lizardman... to become more akin to a dragon! His flaming slashes carving waves and lines across the Bun Bun forces. Mizuki's earlier granted reprieve allowing them to finally get the momentum on this assault! Flaming wreaths fanning outwards from his position! A sonic boom detonates a line into an alley, splattering the bulging wave of Bun Buns like an apple being cored, then detonated from within as Yeowang sends a mighty punch forwards into the group of Bun Buns before her!
Followed by another alley to be set aflame, as Mizuki jumps in and sets herself ablaze! Flame licks at the Bun Buns while they try to reach her, jump at her! One of them bites her right on the nose, right before bursting into light and flame right before her very eyes! Ais jumping in with her to assist, using her quick rapier techniques to create a wind force around the flame, feeding Mizuki's burning technique further in order to create an even wilder attack for her to use! And the moment Miho jumps in, erecting further flame, they both get a nod from Ais, who calmly moves on to the next alley solo, without any concern even as some of the rats bite into her arm and tear pieces of red into her body. She just calmly keeps moving, devastating them.
An unceasing fire rolls into the maw of Bun Buns as Merek's alchemist fire shatters within the multiple overlapping waves of it - causing the flame to rapidly begin to spread across their small bodies. In their unceasing quantities, they begin to smother the flame, but many lives are being lost in the process!
And just as it seems like they might smother the flame entirely, Fukaziroh's fireball TEARS into that hole, and spreads the oil of Merek's flask, seeding the flames further and wider while casting an enormous hole into their numbers!
Flame starts casting more and more shadows against the wall, as Syx envelops himself in flame, burning the Bun Buns that get too close and seek to devour, only to use those same flaming fists to breach lines through the waves and collapse them time and time again, not allowing them to reach up to the house she's using to stand upon!
Only for some of those flames to finally be silenced, as the sonic and arcane waves of energy spread out from Kauchemar and /push/ the wave against the wall, splattering Bun Buns under their own weight and shattering their little beady-eyed heads!
After a bit of time, the Main Street area seems to be cleared up, but they still have to deal with the Wave at the edge of the Wall. They have clearly thinned out the main body of these Bun Buns, but they still have a bit to go! And as long as that Wave isn't deal with, more Bun Buns keep sloping into the town! A new wave of them /spilling/ off the edge, creating a momentary shadow against the moon, right before a fierce hewing strike from Gabi tears across the horizon, leaving a blue wave of light in its wake as the powerful Salamander puts his skill to the test. Still, more of them come spilling forth!
Feeling the healing force fixing much of her injuries, Fukaziroh's greatly cheered by Proph's support. Between him and Merek, she's feeling pretty good about the fight. When Kauchemar shows up and screams, she feels even better. She's not the one being screamed at after all!
"Let's show these vermin what we're made of!" Fukaziroh calls out. "Like, not blood and meat and stuff, I mean STEEL AND FIRE!" she says, taking up her axe once again in both hands. It's not necessarily her best attack against a horde, but she doesn't care. She's feeling the need to tear bodily into the enemy. And ... well, she might even hit one or two, but the bun-buns near her are falling apart anyways, and her striking a few of them just isn't going to contribute a huge amount. But she's having fun now and that's what really counts right?
Rizadoman doesn't hesitate , as soon as the paw breaks down he begins to make his way to the wave at the wall , using his shield as inended , blocking and knocking away any bun buns that come at him. Finally he makes his way to where the others are as he moves into a defensive position, doing his best to keep knocking bun buns back away from the group wih his shield , one would hop up and he would bat it away back into the pile. His bes attacks were on cool down, so it was better if he took a more defensive stance for now.
Using her flail to steady herself, she jumps backwards to keep some space, facing her destruction... When the building detonates! She is flung away and falls to the ground, grunting as she drags herself to a wall, pushing herself up to look up to see... "Gabi!" She gasps, looking to the massive berserker. "Thanks for coming... But watch out!" Things are beginning to turn around... And then Prophylaxis begins healing people. With a wash of restorative glitter and happy green numbers, Proteus's arm returns... and she grins. "All right. Let's break some Bun-Bun!" Her restored hand flicks out once more. > U
The flail bursts with watery power as she spins forward, crashing the watery attack into the mass that's swarming at them. If they can be forced to break up, maybe they have a chance...
He once again goes to work with his gauntlets, as he really begins to go to town, the gauntlets heating up and glowing white hot as he begins to slam hit after hit into as many of the bun-buns as he can get to. It's rapid fire, machine-gun like flaming strikes. Looks super impressive no doubt.
This time it is, while still exceptinal speed, more of an actual teleport. Or transposition might be more accurate. Most people just call it Blink, from which Kauchemar steps back out of one of the alleys, and raises her voice in an somewhat perky song that's at odds to the words she's singing.
"o/~ Don't you like it? (Day's gone), I know I do (Night's on)
How about you? (Day's gone) What do we know? (Light's passed)
Tiny patterns (Day's gone), hypnotizing (Night's on)
Terrorizing (Light's gone)...o/~"
The Dark arcane energies she's been drawing in as she does are channeled, and then sent hurtling towards the Bun Bun invasion in an engulging sphere of shadows and entropy.
"o/~ Turn The Lights Off! o/~"
Mizuki shrieks as a bunbun BITES HER NOSE... but she's shrieking fire, at least! It's honestly kind of horrifying to watch the bunbun burst into flame that close up!
And then... Ais is there... turning Mizuki's technique into a dual tech?! SO COOL! Miho supports it too... Okay, there is *definitely* some potential to be harnessed from the air/fire combination for more powerful attacks! Mizuki will try to remember to experiment more with that later... Mizuki nods in thanks to the departing Ais.
Eventually, there are no more targets in the immediate area and the flames die down. Hopefully magic flame doesn't mean there's now no oxygen to breathe... if so, they might need to move...
Either way, another WAVE OF BUNBUNS comes over the wall, chewing Mizuki's left arm off before she can finish recasting Aero to start the combo back up. She shrieks, leaping away from the detached, bun-covered arm as it explodes into light!
Ugh, Mizuki doesn't have enough MP left for another big magic attack, anyway... She drops into another Sword Arte stance. "Miho, can you catch the ones I miss?" Darkness surges up her sword, casting shadows across the alley without a light source, and she just starts swinging her blade through the swarm to try and catch as many buns as she can!
"I feel like I'm in Dynasty Warriors! I just hope we get them all before my Musou runs out...!"
But it looks like things are coming down to the wire, so she lays into the fight just as hard and fast as she can, concentrating on precisely placing each blow, each one, now slower, but more deliberate, taking out one of the remaining buns. It's unfortunate, they -are- cute, but she has no compunction against smashing them to pixels if they're a menace, and rabbit for supper sounds just fine to her. With any luck, there will be a lot of food dropping from tonight's work.
Hack. Slash. Hack. Slash.
"Hahahaha! Take that! And that! And-ohno. Nonono! Ack!"
Yuuki's assault into what remains of the buns in this part of Alne is quickly turned on its head as they aggro on her once more. Yuuki tries to bash the buns away with the flat of her blade but their numbers overwhelm her! The Imp is caught up in the rush of buns, carried along along like a wave before it crashes against the shore and pulls back to the main mass once more.
Again Yuuki is left lying there. Again she sits up, this time looking at the red glowing stub of her left leg, "Oh COME ON!"
Yuuki mutters quietly to herself in annoyance as she struggles to stand, using her sword as some measure of leverage, before hopping over to a wall and leaning against it.
Still, despite missing an arm, a leg and around two thirds of her HP bar, Yuuki is too damn stubborn to give up! She hops along for some distance before reaching the edge of the remaining bun mass. Yuuki gives the cutesy creatures a death stare as she calls out, "You fluffballs are going to regret messing with me!"
Yuuki sweeps her sword out to the side, the blade going completely black as darkness grows around it, increasing its size. Yuuki lets out a battle cry as she raises the weapon to swing...
... And loses balance on her one foot, falling forward to smack face first into the ground.
But it keeps him upright, and more importantly it keeps his senses sharp. Sharp enough to notice something Proteus does not--
A wave of bun-buns closing in from her blind spot...!
"No...!" The doctor hisses, an explosion underfoot launching him through the air. "Proteus, behind you!" He sweeps his staff in a wide gesture, a glacial wall ensconcing him in its frigid embrace as he falls out of the air and directly into the path of those hungry, hungry bun-buns. The shield breaks on impact into a wave of frost which rapidly expands into a makeshift fortress surrounding the two casters... But...
It... wasn't fast enough?
No! The doctor has made himself into a living wall, while his ice barriers shore up the flanks and keep the rabbits from making it past him! With a grunt of pain, he staggers back, his arm covered in predatory lagomorphs... For a mere second more, before they flash-freeze along with his now-missing limb. "Not a hop further, you monsters! You all give rabbits a bad name!" He strikes the earth one more time, but this time...
It's not plants that answer his call, nor fire. Ice. Terrible, all-consuming cold. It's as if the world around the two mages has been replaced by a blizzard the likes of which could only be duplicated in the gelid plains of Antarctica back home. Scores of bun-buns freeze in an instant as the frozen orb expands, swallowing them up in a wall of howling wind and driving snow...!
"Die foul beasts you are the distortion in this world that causes us to fight!"
The SERIOUS SPEECHES come out! 'Not a hop further'! 'You are the distortion in this world!' "Damn." comments Mizuki, who didn't think of a cool speech herself.
With a cry, she spins her flail and threshes through the bunnies, fury lending strength where cunning does not, and she beats the bunnies back. "STUPID! STUPID, STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!" She grates. "What do you think you're going to accomplish doing that!?" She yells, giving the doctor a whack on the back of the head with her hand as she turns away. "I've had /enough/ out of these fluffy things. I have chosen the proper way to solve this. PARADOX! FIRST ALIGNMENT! INITIATE!"
The puzzle-weapon emits a loud CLACK as the latches undo themselves, the shaft reconfiguring into a twisted steampunk-looking recurve bow with the sphere latched on the opposite side of the nock. A wire snakes out of the gears and latchworks, locking into place as she brings the weapon around to face the swarming horde. "I have had /enough/ of you for a year!" She hisses, eyes narrowing as a series of runes begin curving around the sphere of the weapon.
+ ) ! .
There is a snap from the bow as the sphere opens, revealing an Elemental Machine lens focusing array that extends outwards. With a flourish, she produces a gleaming white gem that she slots into the weapon. She draws back the string, not nocking an arrow. "Now cast open the gate of light!" As she calls out, a massive burst of Light surges, using her energy as well as the gem's to pour into the focusing array. It glows bright... And she releases the string. "Kaleidoscope... BANISH!"
There is a dull SHRUUUUUUUUUUUUNG as the beam explodes outwards for a short distance before it shatters before their eyes, breaking into a rain of multicolored beams that each seeks out a Bun and pierces through it in a wave of burning, chaotic brilliance harnessed into a prismatic display.
Down below, Rizadoman serves to protect the team. Stomping out Bun Bun lives and keeping the back lines protected from encroaching waves of them! Proteus' water sears across their tiny bodies from above, as if playing some kind of powerwashing simulator, clearing off a Bun Bun infestation. Except the walls don't gleam when she finishes cleaning them off!
Syx keeps up the rapid machine-gun style fisting, gauntlets setting the Bun Buns on fire just from even nicking them at this point, as the momentum finally goes well into their favor! Each punch almost synchronized with the blows and blobs of darkness coming from Kauchemar's blows, arcing over Syx's shoulders and thinning out the approaching hoardes, and starting to rid the numbers from the top of the walls! It isn't long before Yeowang joins side by side with Syx, the two fist-using combatants able to support eachother, and move into one-another's rhythm to finely tune their elimination of the waves of Buns moving upon their backlines.
Soon able to move forward, Mizuki begins to Musou her way through the forces of Bun Buns, cleaning them further away from the walls as if she were hoping to be able to project some kind of anti-creeper. She has to dodge and only manages to get away at the last moment as the ABSOLUTE SWORD slashes right by her, carving a massive gash across the landscape and ripping apart some of the Bun Buns, splitting the wave in twain, only for it to recollect. Ais Wallenstein then pulls Yuuki right back up, and helps move Yuuki with one arm, as she uses her rapier with the other, looking for Yuuki's aid in cleaning up more of the creatures - retrieving the blade with the same dancing sweeping motion.
The backlines' magic finally comes online, with an enormous swath of cold magic bursting forward, searing over the Bun Buns and freezing them to the wall itself. Until finally, the wave stops coming entirely. Then, Gabi lets out a warcry, as Proteus demands for the BANISH technique. Within moments, another flashing Sword Arte waves out diagonally whilst Proteus' sweeping laser cuts the opposite direction. Carving a fierce X against the wall, not seconds before a detonation rips the demaining Bun Bun lives apart...
And finally, the intense hungry 'kon kon kon' sound seems to start quieting down.
The one armed Rizadoman slings his shield back on his back as he looks at the damages by he bun buns and sighs at the mess. "I shall start helping with the clean up effort." Stating to the group as he begins to gather the rubble up and work to at least clear paths. At the same time there is an interesting conversation on the chimlink that has peeked his interest.
...And hits him with a series of bakas, for good measure. Oh no!!
"Sorry, I just-- saw that they were coming for you, is all." The doctor mutters sheepishly, rubbing at the spot where he'd been thwacked. It's KIND OF HARD because he has to wedge his staff under the crook of his neck, having only one arm and all. At least he can shove a few more syringes into his body while he's at it. "I'm just glad it worked. That was... way too close. Are you okay...?"
"...We'll need to set up some kind of bun-bun hunting quota, huh...? I don't think we should risk another one of those."