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The End Justifies The Means

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:45 pm

A few months ago, Nerva had expressed his concerns regarding the rifts with the other members of the Order. A lot of literature had been written about the phenomenon by scholars, spanning over multiple centuries. Nerva requested an assessment to be made by researchers at the Church. A comparison had to be drawn between what was written and the current state of affairs in order to estimate the amount of resources and soldiers that were needed. The report that was delivered to Nerva's chambers shocked him to his core. Indeed, rifts were not an uncommon phenomenon. It was something that the Holy Knights dealt with. At most, a few rifts would open per year though. But, according to the report, the last time this many rifts opened across Earthland, many lives were lost. Many was perhaps not the best word to describe it, for it was close to a quarter of the population on Earthland that lost their lives.

When Nerva shared this information, his colleagues in the Order told him that it would be fine, and to have faith. Faith? Life as everyone knew it would change forever. Even if the resources were pooled between the Holy Knights across different nations, it would still not be enough. Changes had to be made to their policies. Drastic changes. Nerva believed that if the Holy Knights would adhere to their current policies nothing would get done, and in time the problem would become too severe to deal with. Once again, his colleagues in the Order told him to have faith. Faith in what? Faith in Illumin? When did Illumin ever show himself to save his believers? To save the ones that were dying of starvation, yet still chanting the hymns of the Church praising him? To save the ones that laid their lives on the battlefield, not to battle brethren, but to battle the monsters that would have them stop praising him? Enough was enough.

Nerva was born within the walls of the Church, his parents were highly esteemed Holy Knights constantly battling Demons, and he was therefore raised within the walls of the Church during his childhood. Over the years he had developed a deep frustration towards faith and the teachings of the Church. And this frustration stemmed from his childhood. After his parents retired, they lived in a small farm near the outskirts of Magnolia. Nerva was about seven years old at that time, but it was one of the most vivid memories that he had of his childhood. A young boy, about seventeen years old, laid unconsciously and wounded next to a tree near their house. Blood was still dripping from the cuts across his body.

Without hesitation, Nerva's parents took the young boy in and helped him recover. He turned out to be well-mannered, kind, and compassionate. And even better, he was familiar with the teachings of the Church. Sometimes it seemed as if he knew even more than Nerva's parents when they talked about the hymns with him. They adored the boy and Nerva was incredibly fond of him as well. Since Nerva didn't have any siblings, he began to see the boy, Aurelio, as his older brother. In time, when he recovered, Nerva's parents told Aurelio that he could stay and live with them. He only had to help with taking care of the land and the farm in return. Nerva insisted as well, thus Aurelio stayed.

As the years passed, everyone grew older, everyone except Aurelio. No one questioned it though. About twenty years later Nerva's parents passed away peacefully in their sleep. Rain was pouring down as the two of them stood at the graves. Nerva had only returned recently and wasn't present when his parents passed away. He had been sent to Crocus to train there for a few years in order to become a splendid Holy Knight like his parents. Luckily, Aurelio was there to take care of them in their final days. Nerva knew that his brother must've taken care of them well. Sometimes it seemed as if his Aurelio cared for Nerva's parents even more than him. He was at peace knowing that Aurelio took care of them.

But, he was not at peace with something else. Nerva, now twenty-seven years old, stood tall next to his brother. Nearly twenty years had passed since they first met each other. And at that time everyone guessed Aurelio to be around the age of seventeen. And now, twenty years later, Aurelio still appeared to be seventeen. When Nerva asked him, Aurelio came up with a few excuses, but Nerva insisted. It was clear that Nerva was not going to stop asking. The only answer that Nerva got was that the information would hurt him more than it would it would help him. Still, Nerva insisted. In that brief moment, when thunder struck near them, during that illumination, it felt as if Nerva could finally see Aurelio for the first time. His eyes were not hazel. They were golden. And behind him the most beautiful wings spanned widely. It was only a brief moment, but Nerva saw it.

All this time, all these years, and they never knew a Seraphim lived in their own home. His parents would have been ecstatic if they knew, Nerva thought. An actual Seraphim taking care of them as their child for nearly twenty years. "My parents?" Nerva asked. He could not finish his sentence. Aurelio told Nerva that they never found out. Nerva assured Aurelio that his secret was safe with him, and that this information did actually help him. For it assured him that his faith was right all along. Now that he saw a Seraphim with his own eyes, he believed that Illumin was still watching over them.

But in the end, the information had in fact hurt him more than it had helped him. Because he knew that there were still Seraphim among them, yet they did not help the believers. And if there were still Seraphim among them, Illumin must be real as well and he was certainly not helping them either. But Nerva did not realize that Aurelio was as lost as him regarding the matter of Illumin's presence. Now seventy years old, Nerva did the one thing that he believed in firmly again in a long time. He left the Church and the Order, and many followed him after hearing his words in the Grand Cathedral as he departed. Faith would not save them. They had to dirty their hands to save Earthland.

Nerva descended from his noble steed and looked around. Townsfolk were walking around the square minding their own business. The report said that there were three Demons in this small village near Orchidia, but no one was capable of pointing them out last time. Nerva decided to ask it himself. Should they not be able to point them out this time, he would obliterate the entire village.

"A few days ago, the Inquisition entered this village and asked you all to point out the Demons among you. Unfortunately, you were not capable of doing that. I hope that you were all capable of finding it out while we departed. No one can leave the village while I am here, I have ensured that. I will give you all a few minutes to point out the three Demons among you. Should you not be capable to do that, you will all cease to exist today. Worry not, I see a church in your square. I guess most of you are religious. In that case, see it as an opportunity to find out whether your beliefs are true faster than expected."

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:22 pm

Fujaku Nijiiro
The small village was barely large enough to be called such, Fujaku mused to himself as he walked the streets. He still had not found a suitable blade for his own needs and hoped that he might find one here. But the rumors he had heard of a legendary blacksmith were starting to look less and less likely the more he explored this small village. He sucked his teeth in disappointment at the wasted time he had spent searching. The sun was blocked by the large wicker hat that he wore on his head, giving him a shaded view to look around the square. His eyes rested on the small church. Perhaps they would have a area for generalized prayers so he could make his to the gods he prayed to.

But as he began to move toward the church a distinct noise touched his ear. Metal on horseback. This village was too poor to have fully armored guards. So the noise he heard must be coming from someone traveling there. Fujaku remained where he stood without turning to face the noise as the jangling metal sound stopped and thena loud crash of metal hitting the ground could be heard. Fujaku surmised the rider had dismounted as someone began to speak. The speech wasn’t something that would bring joy to anyones ears. But To Fujaku the words that mans voice said dug at old wounds that hadn’t nearly begun to heal.

Fujaku turned on the ball of his foot and found himself 20 feet from the rider, the wind blowing his kimono and cloak slightly. The wooden shealth he carried was held tightly in his left hand as if it still did have the blade in it however, as he spoke to the man in the growing silence of his words. “If you are looking for Demons I doubt you will find any here.” He looked at the old man, and knew right away the difference in their power. It was obvious just by sight alone. But this man exuded the same life force his father did. Just being near him seemed to compress Fujakus body in painful and uncomfortable ways. But this feeling was one he had grown up with his entire life in the meetings of his fathers court, where often it was a battle of sheer willpower as well as blades.

“Beyond the matter of there being demons here…To think anyone would answer a question like that when threatened with complete and utter destruction is foolish and impatient.” Fujaku knew he was stepping on egg shells here. But he hoped this figure would see sense and leave without carrying through his action…. Fujaku didn’t want to get involved with this man physically as it would almost certainly be a death sentence. But otherwise… If this man is as powerful as he says he may be then he may not have a choice in the matter at all.

“So for yourself and the people of this town, return to your horse and leave without another word. Theres no need for any violence here.” He pushed out with all his might, just as his father had taught him. He tried to spread his will for the man to understand he wouldn’t be backing down if he needed to.

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:04 pm

Kazimir Seiryu
Things weighed heavily on the knights mind as strange events unraveled around him recently. With all the changes happening he decided to step away from the busy main city and head out to a quiet village. Searching for a moment of balance among the the chaotic storm in his mind.

The sun was still high when he arrived and sent his griffon off to the edge of the village to rest without bringing the attention of the locals. The local pub was only a few steps away compared to the distances in the city. Its wooden doors swung loosely, indicating a well traveled spot. Probably the only one in the village.

There was only a slight breeze but it bit with the chill of winter. Nonetheless he found a small table and chair on the small patio outside, looking at the daily events unfold. The chair creaked when he eased into it. He sat with hot tea in hand, finally calming his mind when the mundane happenings of the town shifted.

A regal man rode into town with the authority of a king, proclaiming himself with the inquisition. A statement that stopped Kaz mid-sip, almost spitting it back into the cup. "Demons? Here,' he thought to himself. "This is not good," the words slipped from his lips by accident but silently as he placed the tea cup down.

Things took another turn as a young man emerged in a kimono to confront the Inquisitor. He spoke sternly to the overwhelming presence before him. An admirable trait. His clothes seemed to be from Joya, a familiar sight to Kaz despite being born in a different region.

The wind mage stood, ready to move but waited a moment to see how their conversation would unfold. His eyes scanned around the town, trying to see what measures ensured their capture. "Stay inside, all of you," he warned the patrons and servers around him. Stepping out into the street he gestured for more locals to stand back, just in case.

Once they were safe he approached the Samurai, giving a nod of support. "Surely with all the knowledge of the inquisition, they could have detected if there were demons here," he spoke plainly, not wanting to take any of the punch from the samurai's words.

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:01 am

It seems something seemed to be happening, something Judina felt off about then again it must have the what was going on when she just arrived into the small part of town. Judina was more then a few minutes into being in this town checking places as she normally did.

She wondered what this person was going on about, Three demons here? better question how did he truly know in her mind but some one else spoke Judina would seem to be searching around to get people to stay safe in their houses, following a long with what some one mentioned, So far she had to see the other in that were not a part of his group but for the moment.

She would be trying to wait and listen what was going on around this small town just in case as well."I do not know what this man is going on about, It is a bit insane and unneeded."She seemed to mention to herself. What was going on seemed to be a bit more stressful and dangerous here.

It seemed illogical for sealing off an entire small town for such a thing. Two people where already talking too, questioning and in some way dealing with what was going on. Judina would continue to check upon the town and hearing the order of one of them being the voice of a rune knight she heard speak before she continue making sure everyone else was staying inside and safe.

She would join them if needed but until then Judina would be working as she normally did, away at what was most likely needed to be done. Walking over to houses and see if anyone else would be starting to go to the square. "I feel it is better you stay in your house, Myself and some of the other rune knights are going to figure out what is going on here clearly, Please stay in your houses."Judina mention continuing on her way.

So far it seemed quiet still. Most of them seemed to be okay with Judina order's she seemed to be a bit more of a calming figure while the other two were still going on.

Few almost normal and slightly easily guessed conversations aside Judina was still talking to a few more people about the situation."It is still on going. But please stay here."Judina also mentioned to another family, she was still jogging around the houses to make sure the sigh she was around was the movement of her armor but so far there was not much else in terms of noise from Judina but one things she was so far was vastly determined to just make sure that was happening she did not know how many more she had to do, But she seemed to be moving the most so far.

She would pause every once and a while to listen just in case something changed where she needed to join them for whatever reasons, Judina would most likely and willing be one of the first people to do something if she needed, given her temper which was in check currently for the moment, Which is wonder for the high stress situation, Unsure how long she had been doing this she took a moment to breath.

Last edited by Judina on Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:53 am; edited 1 time in total

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:36 am

Konstantin Sokolov
With a heavy sigh, The Holy Knight open another report from the stack that piled on his table discussing matters relevant to the order. This particular report had piqued his interest with a noteworthy individual being mentioned albeit it being vague information on their whereabouts. While it was nothing groundbreaking it did lead him to suggest that he would likely be in Orchidia within the week. He had first heard about this man only a few days ago stemming from reports of dissent and rumours of entire squads of members leaving the Holy Knights lead by one individual, a longstanding individual whom Konstantin had never met only heard about Nerva.

From what he had learnt in the short time that he could since hearing the news, the man was powerful and well renowned. His conflict drew from his own waning loyalty towards the Holy Knights with him coming to realize that he was still nothing but a pawn to them. The gesture of healing him and restoring his memories was merely a ruse designed to retain him as a tool for them to use. But he was at a loss as he still sought to do the same goals as before hunting down and killing anything that he saw as unclean. What would be the defining factor that would be hard to tell for now however, he was resigned to live within the confines as a Holy Knight at least until he spoke with Nerva.

Hoping to seek an audience with Nerva should he meet him, Konstantin would first prepare himself. Most importantly his hand still bloodstained between his fingers and until his nails. Bringing his hands into a sink full of hot water he began to scrub them clean from the filth that had accumulated on them since the Demonic rift incident resulting in so many deaths and other unusual events. Rubbing together with a bar of soap his hands swiftly changed from a distinct crimson to a far more natural skin tone albeit significantly paler denoting his angelic properties. Hands now clean and the bowl now containing more blood than water, he withdrew them, drained the sink and dried them off before leaving his room into the church itself.

As soon as he entered the main section of the church, a priest not much older than himself hurried over to him greeted him before promptly escorting him to the entry of the church with Kon needing to organise some matters in town. There wasn’t much to do, but he wanted to get out of the church and be with the people. And that he would, with a group of people already forming at the square while a man stood front and centre clad in armour with a steed in toe spoke to them, his words oozed with authority and power. He would have been able to focus more on what he was saying if it weren’t for the sheer power that he radiated, he resembled a blazing sun which overtook a normal human being and was close to blinding.

Still, in spite of his split attention, he was able to gather what the man spoke and overall it wasn’t great, with three full-blown demons, not daemons being within the community and everyone within the said community having their lives be forfeit if they failed to find them. The rationale of doing so seemed a bit radical and even unnecessary, to be honest. Removing an entire town because they couldn’t find someone?, Just who was this man? Seeing no-one being his equal nor even Konstantin’s, Kon moved towards him to open a discussion and try a more diplomacy approach. This would be impossible however with a foreigner of all people coming in and pressing the man to retreat. His nationality was obvious from the moment he opened his mouth, words came out different, bent, his clothes unsuited and unusual for this region.  

Rather than shouting over the newcomer, Kon merely shook his head and rolled his eyes until he finished, which he retorted. “Fool, do you want to get yourself killed?, This man just threatened to annihilate this town at the mere gesture of the community not being able to find three demons and you approached him as if he were a rabbit you could spook.” Shaking his head once more. “Think about what’s happening and who you’re dealing with before doing something so stupid as this.” Wasting no time he looked at the armor-clad individual giving a brief nod, raised a finger and commented. “One moment.” Such raised finger was then promptly used to bring Kon meters closer to the man in an instant with a white glow appearing around his eye indicative of his Nephilim abilities being unleashed.

This gesture was done first and foremost to have the man recognise him with significance and to open up a dialogue. “So I’m paraphrasing what you’ve said but basically there are three demons and you want them found otherwise you’re going to destroy this town and with any luck them as well?” Scratching his chin he looked at the man with a slightly puzzled expression. “I mean I’m happy to help but threats like that don’t encourage people be them real or idle, if anything it will make them hysterical, just take a look at the man I spoke to just now.”

Mana: 5170/5,800

Name: Chained Nephilim
Mana Cost: 5% of Total Base Mana
Requirements: 0 RP Posts as Nephilim
Type: Transformation
Range: Self
Cooldown: 3 Posts
Duration: Sustain
Effect: The user's eyes burn a bright white light. All the Attributes of the user are increased by 10% of their base amount. This is a transformation and not a spell. Therefore, it cannot be cancelled by artefacts or magics that can cancel spells.

Name: Short Teleportation
Rank: B
Mana Cost: 100
Requirements: Heavenly Body Magic
Type: Supplementary
Element: Light
Range: 20 Meters
Cooldown: 3 Posts
Duration: Instant
Effect: The user places their index and middle fingers on their forehead. They then teleport up to the maximum range of the spell. The user will be unable to attack immediately after teleportation in the same post. This move is purely designed to get out of harms way as quickly as possible.

The End Justifies The Means Tumblr_mu9zotpesD1rnvb0co1_r1_500
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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:55 pm

Akira Shimada

Will you hold the line?
When every one of them
is giving up or giving in,
Tell me, in this house of mine?

Today, was the day of her first test. She'd played her part, slowly and publicly detaching herself from the Rune Knights to form an alleged and short-term alliance with the Holy Knights after the first demonic incursion. That was just so she could have access to the so-called radicals amidst them, the ones that now toiled under the label of the Inquisition. The attempt to slip into the ranks of the latter, in her venture to gather more intel, had been tougher than she had imagined, especially as a Nephilim.

She did her best to convince those who had the courtesy to offer their ears, that the forced blessing that changed her so, was the precise reason she wanted to do whatever it took to enable the humans. To aid them in fighting more efficiently against the otherworldly creatures that threatened to steal their freedom. There was some truth to her words, forcing one to give up their freedom or lives for a cause that in the long run will allow others that freedom was certainly not the right way to do it.

Given the way her allegiance changed so swiftly, wariness was expected, needless to say she didn't learn anything sensitive straight away, but she did try helping those tasked with making the comparative reports. The condensation of all that information, was jarring even for her, almost enough for her to truly consider switching her alliance. Almost.

The reports were made for their leader - Nerva, the one she would finally have a chance to meet today. From whispers and rumors she'd come to realize that Nerva was on the search for three demons in town. By now, instead of avoiding those dark beings, she embraced the possibility of facing them, since her luck leaned that way. His cronies having failed at the task, had probably forced his personal involvements, that only attested to the importance of the task.

The lightness of her step wasn't enough to prevent the gentle crunch under her feet as she tread the gravel-laden road towards the piazza. Her gaze was transfixed, scouting ahead, but her focus was pretentious. While her eyes stared forward, her mind lingered in the past, obsessively reminding her of everything she had chosen to leave behind. After all, she was still just a young girl, plagued with regrets that were borne out of juvenile emotions. While her wisdom allowed her to see the bigger picture, her feelings didn't allow her to let go of the pieces with ease. But, they each had their duty to perform, she sought solace in that.  

When the leader of the Inquisition addressed the town, she paused to gauge his words and taking a moment to deliberate, to pick an appropriate tone to respond, if at all. She crossed a fellow Knight, one she'd noticed in the bonfire. The threat had spurred her to warn the poor villagers. If he was to act on his words, safety was but an illusion. She found herself scoffing at the mention of the church. At least there was a small sense of relief in not having to pretend to be a believer anymore. The blessings offered by that institution were merely for convenience, she counted herself as a living testament to that.

Nerva's presence and the blatantly impolite demand had already attracted a few people. A stranger, dressed in an attire that hailed from her home challenged him.  Possibly another fellow foolhardy Joyan? she mused, poignantly.  

The two others that she recognized by gait and glimpses of features - Konstantin and Kazimir. She had not laid eyes on Kazimir ever since the two were blessed with the powers of the angels, and had not seen Kon since his wedding. Both of them forced her to lengthen the pause she took ever so slightly. The Sokolov had opted to make a more flamboyant entrance, by teleporting closer to the assembling crowd, she had never learned of his abilities in any detail. Her gaze rested on the man briefly, based on what Adelaide had shared, she needed to remain prudent and vigilant. She checked for any signs of recognition, if there were none, she didn't see the need to attempt reminding him of her. She couldn't confirm if he still worked for the Order or had ventured out with the Inquisition from the brief interaction the Sokolov had with Nerva.

The golden orb that floated atop her head didn't really allow for any sneaky advances. She simply sauntered closer, attempting to walk with as much  élan  as she could muster. She approached Nerva from behind the Sinese and the Joyan. The Shimada stepped beyond the two men and turned so they were on her right and Nerva on her left. The girl then preemptively angled herself in a manner that she was aligned with the leader of the Inquisition, just as a symbolization of her new pretentious alliance.

Her eyes now flitted between them, she wondered if she had any minor hold of authority on Kazimir anymore, most likely not, she could merely hope for some shred of respect after the tribulation they'd gone through together. Her words were even and devoid of any emotion, she remained as composed as she could. 'Surely, if the consequence for not locating these demons is so extreme, the threat they pose must be greater. Not to mention the urgency attached. Instead of arguing over how the demand should've been made, or who does and doesn't possess the ability shouldn't we focus on the common enemy?' her eyebrows rose slightly, to accompany the inflection of her rhetorical question.

She assumed that with the recent split from the Holy Knights, the Inquisition probably didn't have access to the same resources they once did. This could've potentially forced them to rely on brute force and threats. 'If you've not had luck so far, the request must have not reached the right ears, looks like that has changed.' she added, angling her chin towards Kon, considering he was the first one to offer aid. While she believed that obliterating the village with the potentially powerful folks it now harbored would be a waste of resources, even for the Inquisition, she was not presumptuous enough to state it.

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:09 pm

Nothing ever comes without
A consequence or cost
Tell me, will the stars align?
Will heaven step in?
Will it save us from our sin?

The past week had been eventful for Haru, to say the least. It started off rather well. He was promoted to Captain-Commander after the fight against the demons and he had managed to mend his relationship with Akira after the two-year-long break. In fact, they did more than just mend it. Things were actually looking up for the two of them; so of course something came around to wreck it all. The poor Knight wouldn’t have believed it if someone told him his life would take such drastic turns in less than a week. Now, here he was in his Raven form, soaring the skies of the little-known small village in the outskirts of Orchidia, looking for Akira—again.

Haru only recently heard of the Inquisition’s intrusion in the village a few days ago regarding their search of supposed demons. He wasn’t really in a state to investigate that, but he figured his ex-partner might, given her inclination towards fighting the abyssal creatures. Considering the Inquisition’s lack of interest in the village post their initial scouting, Haru reckoned the information must be false. Surely, there would be platoons of Holy Knights sweeping the area otherwise, right? After all, hunting down the creatures of the dark was their expertise… Which now included Haru as well. He had to remind himself of that way too often in a day, lest he forgets his predicament. The tale of his turning was a brooding one that he hoped to wipe from his memory, but the consequences were not something he could avoid facing.

When he entered the village earlier that day, there was nothing out of the ordinary. Just folks going about their business. And for someone with a glowing orb floating above her head, Akira was particularly hard to find. He was almost about to conclude that she hadn’t come to the village at all and head back to Orchidia. That’s when he heard the commotion in front of the pub. Haru flew over the building, to the wind vane at the top of the roof. Still in his raven form, he perched atop the rod that protruded from the tip of the roof; the rooster-shaped thin rusted tin panel shifted its direction underneath according to the direction of the wind.

Haru craned his bird-neck downwards to witness the scene, his beady eyes pointed towards the man on the horse. He didn’t have to look at him twice to know he was not someone to be trifled with. Although, it did beg the question as to what someone like him was doing in a village like this one. The next thing Haru noticed was a sight for sore eyes; the golden orb. The figure underneath was buried amidst the crowd that formed around the majestic visitor; but he didn’t need to see her to know it was Akira.

The crowd’s murmur stopped abruptly and there was absolute silence as Nerva spoke. Obviously, when he ended with the threat, the murmurs began once again; this time louder than before, with their fear obvious in their voices. Something told Haru that the old man wasn’t kidding around about the town’s conditional demise. An armoured lady began reassuring the townsfolk and guiding them back into the building for their safety. It was Judina; the metal mage he met with on the day of the demon incursion. He was glad there was one more Knight in the vicinity.

The first to respond to Nerva was a young man with long black hair. Since Haru was on the building straight behind him, he couldn’t see the man’s face. But the moment he spoke, it was apparent that he was Joyan. He spoke sense; but Haru doubted those mere words were going to change the old man’s mind. Nothing was ever that easy. The Knight was ready to swoop down from above in case there was a need; but for now, he liked the view from where he was. Besides, he wasn’t ready to reveal his new self to Akira; not yet.

Thankfully, Fujaku wasn’t alone in his sentiment. He was backed up by another Knight; one Haru would recognize from any angle—Kazimir. Now Haru had even more reason to stay hidden. The wind mage had seen Haru transform into a raven before; but he doubted he would suspect every black bird he saw to be him. So, for now, he was safe in his disguise, or so he believed.

With two speaking against the threatening Inquisitor, there was bound to be some who thought it a foolish approach. The first to tell them they were way out of their league was another familiar face—Konstantin. Haru had no real interaction with the man and the last time he saw him was at his wedding. But from what he heard from Adelaide, the Church had changed him quite a bit. Haru wished he could just jump down and bring the man to his senses—if not for the world, at least for the sake of his family. However, this was not the time or the place to attempt such a thing. He simply watched as the man teleported towards Nerva and attempted to start a dialogue.

The Inquisition broke off from the Holy Knights; he figured if anyone had a chance to dissuade the old man from killing the innocents, it was Kon. But if he was to believe Adelaide’s words, he wasn’t sure if Kon himself had the senses to see what was right and wrong. Haru had not lost hope, however. That was… until Akira stepped forward and spoke. He thought if crap hit the fan, he could count on her and Kazimir to at least defend the town. But when Akira spoke almost in favour of Nerva, he was truly shaken.

Every time he thought he knew this young woman, she manages to prove him wrong. But her words were true. There was a common enemy here. If there really were demons in the village, finding them would be top priority. However, he would not simply let innocents die over the fear that there might be demons among them.

Haru took off from the wind vane and begun flying over the streets near the pub, with the group still in his vicinity. His curse came with a boon. If these demons were disguising as humans to hide their presence, he will be able to see through it. This was a small town. If there were newcomers, the villagers would have already reported them as suspicious the last time the Inquisition was here. If there were no such reports, then it was highly likely that the demons had killed the residents and taken over their body to avoid suspicion.

Unfortunately, this search would have been a lot easier had the Inquisition sent in spies to investigate instead of marching in and announcing their intention. Now, Haru wouldn’t be surprised if the demons hid in a secret bunker to avoid detection. Nevertheless, they had to try.

The Numbers:

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:42 pm

There was something quite ironic about the events that were about to unfold. While it was a known fact that Orchidia had been the victim of an invasion by demonic forces in the recent days, the combined efforts of various people had repelled this threat, and in the wake of those events, it was clear that people had been searching for more information. Information was essential at a time like this after all the invasion had been repelled at a great price, and with the nature of their enemy knowledge was power. Alisa had been searching into the matter, believing that there might have been aid from cultists that led to the demons to be able to enter through the rifts.

Esperia, however, believed there must have been something more complicated at work. Perhaps it was because of her situation that the lass believed there was something people were overlooking, and that a different approach had to be taken. After all, a wise combat strategist once said: To beat thy enemy, know thy enemy. Fortunately for her she could depend on the knowledge and expertise of someone who had quite an insight into the existence of demons. The Demon Lord of Lust, Asmodeus.

It was for that reason Esperia had lingered behind in Orchidia, and perhaps in hindsight, it was a decision she might have come to regret down the line.

It all began while she was seated on the edge of a nearby building, her legs swaying in the air while she was holding a book she had been reading. A knight mounted on a regal horse rode into the town and started to make a most peculiar announcement: There were demons inside Orchidia.

The words that were spoken caused the shimmering image of the Demon Lord to manifest beside her, the raven-haired demoness smiling in amusement while she hummed at the irony of the situation. "Well~ He isn't entirely wrong with that statement~ Although in your defense, let's say it's a bit early to call you a fully-fledged Demon Lord my dear Espy~"

However, it seemed that this man had soon earned quite some attention, for a man, judging from his attire, manner of speech and choice of a katana a Joyan samurai approached the knight and demanded for him to leave!

"Got to love the Joyan samurai~ So honorable and noble, and yet so foolhardy, I'd say this one might have a death wish."

However, the samurai's protective reaction was soon supported by the arrival of another 'hero', upon which Asmodeus couldn't help but smile. "Numbers won't help you here sweety~ Even with Ali around we'd be in troubles. That man is dangerous, so whatever you do, don't try to fight him directly. In my current state even I won't be able to save you, and with Sebastian away, we're in a bit of a pinch."

Still, interestingly enough the gathering would prove to grow even larger as more people decided to show up. as she saw an unfamiliar woman and Kon approach, and while Kon's lecture brought a smile to Esperia's lips, the news Alice had given her before still troubled her, to the point she didn't know for sure what to expect from this man.

Still, the arrival of the last visible person did confuse her a little. To think a Rune Knight like Akira would show up, yet something about her behavior toward the Inquisitor left her on guard.

Clapping the book close Esperia finally spoke up, her voice just loud enough for everyone to hear her as she made her presence known. "Slaughtering an entire village for the sake of a few demons~ Sounds almost as evil an idea as something a demon would think of~"

The purple-haired lass smiled calmly, and despite the overwhelming presence of Nerva she seemed quite... at ease, despite the warning Asmodeus gave her, but then again perhaps this was all just an act, for she was quite a talented trickster.

"Then again~ I'd genuinely doubt that was a 'all bark but no bite' statement you made earlier. And the last thing I'd want would be to see another bloodbath so quickly after the siege Orchidia had to suffer."

Pocketing her book she gazed at the others and mused softly "Kind of fascinating that you know the exact number of demons that are hiding here, well... sort of, not entirely exact but very close on the mark."

A few nods were made by Esperia whose cheerful attitude clearly seemed out of place in this tense situation. "Then again~ I'm not that fond of threats myself, they are so ungraceful and mean, of course, a proper business deal is an entirely different matter."

Leaning forwards the lass made a playful salute with one of her hands while she continued. "But that means proper introductions are in order~ My name is Esperia, Esperia von Eisenberg, a Blue Pegasus mage, well also more than that but let's not bore you with details, and who might you be Sir Inquisitor?"

It would be only after his response that she would clarrify her earlier words. "I think this deal will benefit us all quite well~ You see, I can point out for you the current location and identities of all the demons you seek here~ Unlike your informants, mine is a bit better 'informed'." A snicker followed at the trickster's joke as she finished her statement.

"But in return you'll have to swear upon Illumin's name that you'll spare the other villagers~"

With a light hop, the girl descended from the rooftop and landed next to Fujaku and Kazimir. "Quite a beneficial deal right, and as a sign of goodwill I'll even throw in a bonus: Your information is wrong, aside from three demons there is also a demon lord here, considering I hold the power of Asmodeus within me, but considering that I'm still sort of a human, let's make in three demons and a half?"

A slight tilt to the side was made by her head, seemingly pondering about the question. "Well, of course, you can also approach it your own way, but by then the demons might have escaped already~ So I think this would prove to be beneficial for both sides~"

Asmodeus couldn't help but laugh in amusement at the situation. "Negotiating so confidently with that man~ You never cease to amuse me~"

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:06 pm

The townsfolk were startled and started to stare at each with shocked expressions. Some ran away to hide in their homes, while others whispered among each other to seriously discuss about possible suspects. Meanwhile, a few brave adventurers had gathered around Nerva. Most likely to persuade him to not do this. But they were still young. They were ignorant of what was about to come if the Demons were not exterminated as fast as possible. And surely, as they began to speak, it was the same old story all over again.

They were talking about lives. The innocent lives that would be lost instantly to exterminate these three Demons. It showed that their understanding of the rifts were minimal. The presence of these Demons here ensured that a rift could not be closed outside of Orchidia. A rift that kept expanding, out of which more Demons crawled out daily. And as they kept sustaining the rift, more powerful Demons would be capable of walking through it. A few hundred lives lost here was nothing in comparison to the thousands of lives that would be lost if a Demon Lord managed to walk through that rift.

First, the Joyan began to address Nerva. His attire and demeanor reminded him of the Samurai from that region. Perhaps the Joyan was one of these tools of war. He could barely speak the Fiorian language and his clothes were worn out. The Joyan was probably not that long in this country. Since his clothes were worn out, he probably did not have enough coin either. Next to him was a fellow with what appeared to be long purple hair. Sinese possibly. He was a lot calmer than the Joyan, and he spoke the language well. Most likely already settled in Fiore.

More appeared. It was a familiar face this time. Nerva, as a former member of the Order, had read about most of the prominent Holy Knights. The young man in front of him was none other than Konstantin Sokolov. He understood the situation well and addressed the Joyan to mind his tone. After that, he teleported near Nerva to address him as well. The youngster probably wanted to ensure that Nerva took him more seriously than the rest and showed his powers off. Still, he did it in a way without changing his stance. He did not want to fight. He wanted to be understood.

Truly, the Nephilim were magnificent in their own way. At some point a Seraphim bestowed this young man a fraction of their Grace. Often times the Seraphim would do this secretly without ever revealing themselves to the person. Nerva already knew about Kon and his powers though. He was not impressed. Despite that, Kon would be an excellent addition to his ranks within the Inquisition. Next, two ladies entered the field. He recognized them both as well. Akira Shimada, she had left the Rune Knights to become a member of the Holy Knights, and Esperia von Eisenberg, a member of the same Eisenberg family that was part of many experiments within the Holy Knights. Akira spoke with a certain level of understanding of what was going on right now.

"Konstantin Sokolov, you speak of encouragement. I have given them an incentive to act. Should I not do it now, they will all be dead within today either way after the Demons here have managed to open another rift here. Not only that, the rift the Demons here are keeping open outside of Orchidia will result into the deaths of thousands rather than the hundreds that would perish here today to exterminate the Demons."

Nerva paused briefly after which he turned his glance to Esperia and continued.  

"I think you all have me misunderstood. I do not wish to harm Man in any way possible. I wish for Man to prosper and be free. That can only happen when Man is free from the fear of Demons, and free from the fear of Seraphim. Man has been subservient to powers stronger than themselves for a long time. Cowered and turned to praising them to be in their good will. Religions and cults. There is only the subject and the object, the actor and the acted upon. Those with will to earn dominance over others gain title not by nature but by deed. I refuse those who would exert will upon me. Neither Demon, nor Seraphim. Let them build churches and lure the faithful with promises. Let them whisper grants of power and lure the wicked with promises. Their pride will consume them, and I will claim power of my own."

With a sigh that carried the world on its shoulders, Nerva halted for a moment. Perhaps it was useless to convince them. Or were they capable of understanding that sometimes the end justified the means? In order to protect Man, someone had to ignore the protocols of the Holy Knights and act fast before this disease spread all across Earthland. A few hundred ceasing to exist today to save tens of thousands was a decision that nobody wanted to make, but someone had to do it. He then turned his attention towards Akira and the two boys.

"But let me show you that I am also serious." He placed his right hand on the hilt on his left side and pulled out Damocles. It was a monstrously powerful sword that was formerly used by Icarus, the King's Sword, before he died. In Nerva's eyes, he was a respectable young man. Icarus had sacrificed his own life to take down countless Demons to protect the lives of the citizens of Crocus. When they swarmed him, he entered the Ark, a flying ship, and made them follow him up high into the skies. And there, when the Ark could no longer sustain its engines, he destroyed the entire ship along with himself to exterminate all the Demons.

With a swift gesture of his left hand the Joyan was pulled from his place and launched meters behind Nerva, but the moment he passed Nerva a quick swing with Damocles would cleanly cut off his left arm. "Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish," Nerva said in the native tongue of the Joyan. He had to make an example out someone here, and the Joyan was the only one to disrespect him by calling Nerva's actions foolish without taking the time to consider what was at stake here. The future of the world.

Between Konstantin and Nerva now laid an arm. Far behind Nerva the Joyan would be laying down on the ground. "Now go, don't waste time. Find the Demons. Because I will annihilate everything here once the time is up. I am not pushing this time onto them all to exert dominance. No, it is because after that time the rift in Orchidia will be large enough for a Demon Lord to enter through it, and rifts around this vicinity will start to open too."

Nerva looked at Esperia one more time after that. "I will never swear upon his name, little girl. He means nothing to me anymore. Leave, do what you have to do. Find the Demons, or fight me till the time is up. Whatever pleases you. But in the end, the Demons will be dead in a few minutes. Either with you all, or without you if you can deliver them to me."

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:37 pm

Fujaku Nijiiro
Everything had moved so quickly, from the other people joining his voice to try to talk sense into this man before he slaughtered hundreds of innocent people, to the people who seemed to be siding with him as well joining the argument and voicing to join and help them search. But Fujaku Didn’t care what those people had to say. His eyes and ears never left Nerva for a moment. He was the true threat here and anyone else was just a minor thread in the much larger tapestry Nerva was either weaving or attempting to unweave at current. He reached for his Wooden Sheath ready to use it as a weapon, as he suddenly felt a shift in the energies around him. A positive energy moved quickly as a man insulted him. But he didn’t matter to Fujaku and neither did his words. However, he did take note of the name that Nerva spoke, Konstantin Sokolov.

Fujaku couldn’t help but stop his hand as it moved for the weapon he carried. He considered his words carefully. He had never heard of such a thing before. He new his father had dealt with demon forces in the past, but to thing they were making active attempts to invade their world made Fujakus hand faulter for a moment. Would it really be alright to allow hundred to die to prevent the deaths of thousands at the hands of the demons? Or would sacrificing even one life to stop them without it being absolutely necessary be something far worse then doing nothing? Would they simply be trading their Morality for temporary safety against a threat that seemed to keep coming?

But at the words of fighting against higher powers Fujaku remembered his fathers last words and gritted his teeth. As he took a stepp forward however, he found himself no longer where he had been, infact he was closer to the horse then he had wanted to be, farther from Nerva then he thought he should be. He spun around to grab at the wood sheath at his hip, only to find that his entire left arm from the shoulder was missing. He turned his head to slowly look at the bleeding stump of where his arm once was as he screamed out in pain and shock. But it didn’t really hurt. The Blade had cut so fast and so cleanly that he hadn’t even felt it tug against his bone.

He fell to his knees and looked up toward Nerva as he panted softly. He had to stop the bleeding as he grabbed his scarf and repositioned it tightening it as much as he could before the shock wore off and he would but unable to move or even think thanks to the pain. ‘Talk sense to a fool….and he calls you foolish.’ Fujaku replayed the mans words in his head and stood up slowly, oddly, despite the limb being gone, his mind and body still felt it there, still acted as if it was fully connected to his body. But he could see it just past Nerva. Fujaku pulled the bloody wooden sheath from his hip and held it like a katana in his other hand, as he spoke to the man who just took his arm in Joyan.

“From the moment of my birth, I lived with pain at the center of my life. My only purpose in life was to find a way to coexist with the intense pain caused by the path laid out before me by my family’s name.” He looked at the man who severed his arm. “Once the will is resolved, one’s spirit is strengthened. Even a peasant's will is hard to deny, but a samurai of resolute will…. can sway ten thousand men! So don’t you dare blame the gods! Don’t your dare blame the demons! Your actions are your alone because you so choose to take them! If you truly want this world to be different, Then harden your resolve…. And be more then just a murderer who curses outside forces. Be the man who changes the world With the power of his words not just his blade or magic….” He struggled to stay standing. He was bleeding badly. “A man who cannot find the will to admit that his actions are his own….will never be able to surpass the gods, let alone worthless demons.” He fell forward falling face first into the dirt road.

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:40 pm

Kazimir Seiryu
This trip to a small village became layered with controversy. More people flooded the street to speak their mind to the enemy seemingly from no where. Another Nephilim and a holy knight at that, with the strange power to instantly teleport himself. Even a bold and self-proclaimed demon of a sort appeared with an offering that was probably the most expedient way to put an end to this. Ironic that it would be by the power of a demon to do so.

What was more striking was this sudden hint of fear in him. Something that felt foreign to him, a distant ripple in his emotions as Akira arrived. She proudly stood on the side of Nerva. A clear declaration of her intent. It had been some time sense their paths had crossed but she seemed to be holding following the same path. He exchange a look with her both of intrigue and respect. All the while keeping his own frustration and confusion about the events to himself. Nerva's way did make sense to him, but could he really rationalize the death of so many people.

Nerva suddenly made his intent clear. With a swift stroke of his sword he established his will and his dominance. Displaying his power to all those that spoke up to him. It was the lone samurai that fell victim to the blade. Through a severed arm the warrior still managed to utter his last testament before collapsing to the ground.

The wind mage knew all to well what would need to transpire now. Despite his rising anger about the situation and concern for the now unconscious samurai. He walked cautiously by Nerva to lift the fallen man up. If he was completely unconscious he would hoist him onto his shoulder.

"Akira is right. We have a common enemy," he turned his gaze toward Esperia, "And with your help a quick means to put an end to this," he stopped taking a small pause to gauge the situation.

It didn't seem that Nerva cared that nephilim stood here or one harboring a demon lord. Given all the recent events that plagued the wind mage, Nerva's words had an appealing ring to them but he pushed those thoughts aside. "Shall we begin then?"

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:11 am

So all seemed settled,So all was clam well Judina for once the fool here. All of the people seemed to just be settling into place well for the moment Judina felt the progress of a plan happening.

In truth maybe Judina could be marked the fool here for she did not take into account how quickly to what was falling into pieces here. For after all Judina was just finishing what she was just starting, Knowing there was little time to waste here even if she was feeling on edge about it, It left a new feeling to Judina one she would not mention anyone nor would it matter to anyone else here.

She would being at this point keeping a steady pace jog checking over places that she left herself too seeing if anyone else would be trying to peak out which so far in her view no one else has, This was good in her mind everything would at least stick to that.

And so Judina would be heading towards grounds where else had gathered so coming to the part were some one had already lost an arm. Which only sent Judina into work mode in a different manner.

If that was one thing to stare at man who power reach far beyond hers. It was more to for him to cut off an arm to prove a point, She did not hear the conversation, But right now Judina seemed to be focus on other things.

So seeing who was the missing the arm and the fact he was still not standing normally, Judina did one thing that felt a bit more logical for the moment came over to where he was she for the moment said nothing. But the sound of ripping clothing as well, Was not his to note but a part of Judina's it was a part of the lightish royal red cloth that covered her armor, This was also to what the scarf had covered so far, Even if he did not want it for the moment, Judina really did not care and had no problems of tell him off if she needed time. Pride and egos were a horrible thing to have here.

And even from his other arm slowly helping the him to his feet she seemed to at least be trying to do something else that almost might not seem overly pointless but Judina was also imposing herself by helping for the moment, But until she could figure out something else to do in this moment she did not have a lot of ideas. But finally Judina so say something to him."Let me help you up."Judina said some how still be kind of nice even if her temper was starting to kind of get on edge for the moment, She was waiting for him to respond so help him up easier if he did not, Judina would most like figure out something else to help him up.

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:01 pm

Konstantin Sokolov
In the interim while Kon awaited Nerva’s response, numerous others of great power equal to his own gathered around him. Initially a woman seemingly fragile from what he could sense physically and yet radiated the same potency of magic as himself. “Odd.” He thought to himself as his golden eye lingered over her. As she spoke and with how she had positioned herself that she in part supported the man doubling down on the urgency and significance behind stopping demons whom had already done so much to this town. This caused him to reflect upon his response to Nerva “Just how many people did die in the last rift incident?” Kon thought to himself trying to recall from reports. “Too many….if more demons or even demon lords were to come the deaths would only increase.” Even now the people around him seemed downtrodden scared and even wounded. It was only once the newcomer motioned at Kon that he drew back into the conversation at a large with him acknowledging her in kind. Before he could reply to the black-haired woman another voice entered the fray introducing herself as Esperia Von Eisenberg, a Blue Pegasus member who spoke at great length without truly saying anything.

Revealing her own identity and the presence of a Demon Lord within her that would otherwise highlight her as a threat and person of interest. To what end she hoped to achieve with doing so he failed to see why. He felt no needed to respond to this purple haired individual lacking any further information on them besides a name and that she was on roughly on par with him. Lacking any further distractions for now and ignoring the Joyan for now, Nerva instead speaking to Konstantin directly which left him feeling conflicted indicating that he not just knew about him but also what he could do indicated from the lack of response when he teleported rather close to him. What he did have to say resonated with him now coming to recognise that, yes, this was not just about this small, already devastated town nor did it simply impact them but instead everyone around them.

Recognising the error in his ways and finding himself further in support of the golden-clad knight, he nodded as Nerva spoke who rather then demeaning Kon clarified his goal and the reason for such a radical act. As Nerva continued it became apparent that he did not favour either alignments Demons nor Seraphim hoping to separate man from their influence. Konstantin knew all too well what it felt to be manipulated and controlled even the blessing that he had received had its costs which left him at the mercy of Illumin’s will. Even the pull away from the church itself appealed to Kon as while they had provide him with a home since the destruction of his manor their influence was readily felt with him being isolated from the community, only recently being able to leave order-controlled grounds without an escort.

Rather then continuing to what must have felt like a fruitless attempt in swaying the group that had formed around him Nerva reasserted himself and his position through a show of force. This was directed at none other than the joyan whom had first spoke to himself after he refused to back down instead hoping to attack Nerva in spite of Kon’s warning. In response to this attempted strike from the Joyan, a sudden slice from the golden armored knight’s blade left the man without an arm. Without even blinking an eye he continued to talk to the rest of the group as the Joyan screamed in pain. Little was to be said on Nerva’s part merely doubling down on finding the demons before it’s too late. Kon steeled himself for the task, finding and potentially fighting demons, it would be rough especially considering they were commonly just as strong as himself.

The now crippled Joyan somehow managed to temporarily hold himself together and stand strong weakening by the second as blood left the wound further chastising the former Holy Knight, to which Kon merely shook his head at. Another came to the Joyan’s aid as he fell to the ground only affirming that he too would be helping in finding the demons. Kon held his tongue and merely nodded at the various individuals whom were in the dialogue with Nerva before speaking to Nerva directly as he began to walk away into an alleyway towards the outskirts of town. “Three demons, hmm?” Nodding before continuing. “Alright.”

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:18 am

Akira Shimada

'Cause this house of mine stands strong
That's the price you pay
Leave behind your heartache, cast away
Just another product of today

Yet another person was drawn to the commotion like a moth to a flame. The Shimada's gaze rested upon the violet-haired lady rather impassively as she spoke. Fate had allowed their paths cross a few times before but they had not had the chance to interact at length. The Shimada was already aware of most of the information that the woman shared so boldly with Nerva. It was her intent that piqued her interest briefly. The Pegasus’ mage hoped to aid in capturing the demons provided the villagers could be spared and saved. Akira extended the same guarded stance towards Esperia as she had with Kon. While there was recognition, she didn't see the point in drawing attention to their trysts.  In the circumstance, a nod of acknowledgement, as a grim greeting, would have to do, should their eyes meet.

Nerva had the courtesy to hear them all out, rather patiently, especially given the time sensitive mission. It seemed that she had predicted his intentions fairly accurately and so far, her response had been on point too. He offered some more insight on the alleged objective of these demons - to open a rift. This caused her heart to flutter and drum harder under her ribs, the claw of fear clenching around it slowly. She'd expected to be braver now, but she'd barely escaped the last demonic assault and a part of her wanted to do whatever it took to prevent another.

It would seem the villagers' lives were at stake regardless, one way or another. In a twisted way, a warning of this sort was a courtesy, this made their choice even simpler. Luckily for her, the situation didn't require much pretence anymore. The words Nerva spoke, truly resonated with her, especially given the recent change in her form, that she'd been forced to accept. In that moment of weakness, as her sense of purpose dwindled, her eyes flitted to Kazimir. Somehow she was darkly grateful that she had not endured alone... Though she still held herself responsible for him becoming a victim too. Curiously, she wondered what he made of this, but she didn't have the luxury to do so for long.

Just as she was easing into the part she'd chosen to play, a warning was followed by the characteristic sound of a sword being pulled from its sheath. Naively, she hoped that this was just a gesture as a leader and nothing more. And then the Shimada was faced with a jarring reminder of how she and Nerva stood in stark contrast. It came in the form of a thin streak of crimson that splattered across the robes of those gathered around and then onto the floor. The source, was blood drawn from the body of the Joyan. His dismembered arm remained as he was flung behind Nerva.

Her eyes widened briefly, her instinctual fear intensifying. She kept her sight riveted onto the scene. Witnessing the cruelty was necessary, something told her this would not be the last time... She had to commend the samurai’s resilience as he managed to express himself. His words seemed designed to bolster his own spirit as he faced the intense pain, before he finally surrendered to it. She pursed her lips, held her breath and clenched her fists, but that was all she allowed herself to betray before she composed herself again.

It took a considerable amount of will power to keep the look of incredulity off her face. Who would've thought that inaction would be so much harder than action. The violence seemed entirely unnecessary and the target, too convenient. He hand inched towards her wand, not to attack, but to find a reason. Not now. She stopped herself, since plucking out a weapon could easily be misconstrued. However, she hoped an opportunity would present itself, for her to get a glimpse into the mind of this man, to glean some insight and to fulfil her mission.

At least standing her ground was made easier by the two Knights who were already on their way to provide aid - The lady that Aki vaguely recognised from the bonfire and Kazi. Despite finding Kon's reaction, or lack thereof, unnatural and worrisome, she reflected it. It felt like the safest thing to do, given the way Nerva interacted with the Sokolov. The leader of the Inquisition had not directly addressed her and after what just transpired, she was grateful, for it would run the risk of the interaction being tainted with her true sentiments.

When Kazi echoed her words - the demons were still at large and for the moment, she'd have to live by her own philosophy. As disturbing as the threats and dismembering were, they still attested to the urgency of the matter. So the Shimada trusted herself to do what came most naturally to her, offer a possible strategy, which would lead to minimal loss, at least of life.

She kept her tone as even as she could, ‘You said no one can leave the village. I’m assuming there is a barrier that ensures this.’ while the words were meant for Nerva, except for uttering them, she didn’t try seeking his attention in any other way. ‘If that is the case, we can offer a contained, orderly evacuation at a single checkpoint, with all of us present.’ She went on, assessing her own plan as she dictated it. ‘Those of us capable of detecting their presence of the demons should be able to sort them from the meagre population.’ Sceptically, her gaze darted between Kon and Esperia, who had boasted of such abilities. ‘If they are found, we can subdue or eliminate them together.’ While she sounded confident, she wasn’t sure if it’d be that easy. She went on to add the final piece. ‘If the evacuation is successful and no demons are detected, it is safe to assume they are still within the village. At that point, destroying it would be most prudent.’ She hoped it didn't come to that, but if it did, uprooting the villagers is still more humane than killing them.

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:21 am


Rather be the hunter than the prey
And you're standing on the edge
Face up 'cause you're a natural

As he circled the pub, flying over the crowds and looking for demons-in-hiding, he gave an occasional glance towards the ever-growing group around the Inquisitor. It would seem the young Joyan man—who had been brave enough to voice the indignation—refused to back down despite the warning from the Holy Knight.

Yet another woman joined the negotiations. Having seen her only once, he could not place her until after she introduced herself. The woman boldly revealed that she herself housed a demon lord within and claimed she could point out the locations of the sneaking demons in the village. Most convenient! Haru was no demonologist, but no text that he had read regarding the subject ever mentioned that the host was capable of sensing the presence of other demons in the area.

Perhaps, this one is so special that it transcends any and all limitations, he thought to himself.

Maybe it was the leisurely negotiation that prompted the Inquisitor to assume that those around him were not taking him seriously. And to prove his seriousness, he went on to do something that terrified the whole village. In a fraction of a second, the Joyan Samurai was flung forward and his entire arm was cut off. It was so fast that it looked nothing but a blur of crimson. The horrific violence was over before even Haru could think of doing anything to stop it.

His protective instincts kicked in and he started diving down towards the poor dismembered man. Unfortunately, he also had another—rather new and much stronger—instinct within him, now that he was a Vampire. It was his hunger for blood. Ever since his turning, he had been surviving on the animals of the wild and refrained from harming any humans. However, now that there was human blood right in his vicinity, the pull was too strong. The closer he went towards the scene, the stronger the desire. He started flying towards the man wishing to help, but was now nothing but a danger to him. That realization made him fly back up and away—a difficult decision he had to make before he was too close to the point of no return.

For a short while, it would seem the Samurai felt no pain. Adrenaline, Haru reckoned. In the state of shock and anger, he gave a short but moving reply before his body finally gave in and he fell to the ground. Most of the crowd had now begun to scream and scramble after witnessing that. Haru wondered if this was what the Inquisitor hoped to achieve by attacking an unarmed young man. Given how he spoke of his wish to protect humans from otherworldly powers, his choice of target was most peculiar. Among the group were three Nephilims and the host of a Demon Lord, and he chose to attack the human to make an example. Either his philosophy was warped or he was a hypocrite. Haru didn’t care which it was. Either way, this man had to be stopped.

Unfortunately, as difficult as it was to accept, he knew he was not in a position to just dive down and bring justice. Because—one, he didn’t want to get close to the blood; and two, if the demon threat was indeed real, that demanded all the attention. It would seem most of them came to the same conclusion. Judina and Kazimir went on to help the injured man before moving on to start the hunt for the demons.

The villagers were in distress. Some packed. Most didn’t. But everyone began to run towards the edge of the village, trying to escape. A futile attempt. The man did say he had measures to keep them all in. If this continued, half the population would die of stampede before the rest are obliterated by this twisted man. They had to come up with something quick.

As always, leave it to the young strategist to keep her cool and offer a solution. When he heard Akira’s suggestion, he knew it was time for him to reveal himself. This was no time to think of his emotions and perils. He flew towards her and transformed back into his human self, standing a couple of feet away from his partner. He kept the hood of his cloak on in an attempt to hide his pale skin and bloodshot eyes. He deliberately avoided eye contact with Akira as he spoke. She was a smart one and would definitely figure out what he had become. He didn’t want to see her reaction upon that realization. “If they are using magic to conceal themselves, I can see through it,” he said simply. Turning towards Kazimir and Judina, Haru nodded towards the main exit of the town where he figured most of the villagers will be. “Assemble the villagers. Quickly, before they pile on themselves,” he said, as he walked towards the direction himself.

He took a long detour around Nerva to reach the crowd, not because he wanted to avoid him but the blood around him. There was a short moment when their eyes met and he held the gaze, unfazed. He had to keep his eyes on this one. In the past, men were killed in the name of Gods and Demons. Now, this one was killing them in the name of Man. Reasons and causes change. The result did not. In the end, weak and innocent died in the hands of powerful and twisted.

The Numbers:

Spell Used:

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:47 pm

"With the power of words? As the innocents did when they took refuge in the churches and turned to prayer when they were invaded by the hordes crawling out the rifts? The same ones that were left gutted on the streets along with their children? There is a limitation to what words can accomplish, young Samurai. In time, you will realize this as well. But now, you are too young, too noble, and too naive to understand. It is not possible to remain a dreamer forever, at some point you will have to face reality. My actions are my own, and I will stain it with blood to avoid further casualties. But are you willing to do the same? Or will you remain naive and have your resolve waver each time you are faced with such decisions? My resolve is strong. I am willing to do what others are too afraid to do. And with that resolve, I will surpass both Demon and Seraphim to reclaim what once used to belong to the realm of Man. Children should no longer be afraid of angering the Seraphim with their actions, nor should they be afraid of Demons snatching them from their beds to feast upon their bodies. I will restore our dignity."

Nerva replied to the Joyan. His response was not in Joyan this time, but in Fiorian so that everyone could hear what he had to say. He understood that the Joyan was capable enough to understand what he said, despite not being able to express himself fully yet in the Fiorian language. The Sinese moved past Nerva to assist the fallen Joyan Samurai. The purple-haired youth didn't seem to bother himself with involvement in the conversation. Perhaps he did not want to draw attention to himself. A female came to the square as well to assist the Sinese. Nerva knew that the Joyan would be fine. It was never his intention to fatally wound the Samurai. As the two were worrying over the Joyan, Konstantin started to talk to Nerva again. He seemed to be interested in Nerva's words and inquired him about the casualties.

"Slightly more than 8000 people lost their lives,"
Nerva replied. Once Konstantin left, Akira began to speak to Nerva. Not at first, but Nerva heard what she had said.

"Correct, Akira, a barrier has been placed around this town. It is not strong enough to restrain the Demons once they reveal themselves, but as long as they are concealed they are not capable of leaving this area."

Nerva turned his attention towards Akira now. She could be a possible ally to the cause. Some preceded her and departed from the Holy Knights to enter the Inquisition. It was not an uncommon transition. Her suggestion to solve this matter without any casualties was great, but Nerva had already considered every other possible suggestion that was possible.

"Unfortunately, the barrier cannot be opened at a certain location specifically to allow that to happen. The barrier can only be opened or closed in its entirety. I admire your train of thought, but I have already considered these options. I also want the least amount of casualties possible. Since some of you have mentioned to have the skill of detection, I recommend you all to use it to find them as fast as possible. Demons are cunning though, they can't be found that easily. Do your best, for saving the rest of the citizens here is a shared interest."

A man flocked to Akira's side. Nerva recognized him as well. Hatsuharu Akimoto, a member of the Rune Knights. He wanted to go along with Akira's suggestion, but it could not be done. However, he did seem to have a way along with some of the others to spot the Demons among the crowd.

"As I said before, saving the rest of the citizens here is a shared interest. Serve the people, Hatsuharu, and save them if you believe that you can do so."

Nerva, still holding onto his sword, looked up to the sky for a brief moment. He then turned his gaze to remainder of the adventurers stationed around him. It was clear what he meant. Should they be interested in saving the citizens, or saving themselves, they had to hurry and start searching. The rift in Orchidia would expand in a few minutes and a Demon Lord would most likely walk through it. Should that happen, the estimated amount of casualties would be over 50,000 this time. Nerva was not going to let something like that happen on his watch.

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:06 pm

Fujaku Nijiiro
Fujakus physical body was still, hurting but the pain was dull. The bleeding having finally been slowed by those who helped him. But his mind turned inward in the moments he was asleep. He couldn’t help but think of the words he had told Nerva, the same words his father had told him as he held him in his arms as he watched him die. That it was the path of the true Samurai to seek peace beyond the clashing blades. That while fighting was their life’s purpose it was to bring about a peaceful world. He had made him into a weapon for peace, a blade for a Just and Prosperous Future for Joya.

But as he lay there his mind slowly coming back to consciousness, he couldn’t help but think back to the smell of the acrid ash as he buried his father and what little remained of his family. Nerva had spoken about defying heaven and hell… Brining humanity back to its rightful place. If Fujaku had been strong enough… If he had the power that Nerva had then perhaps he could have saved his family. He groaned softly before forcing himself to sit up and push away anyone who tried to stop him. He stood up as tall and proud as he could and moved toward Nerva slowly. He approached him and knelt behind the armored man.

“Without strength, you can't protect anything.... I know that.” He spoke in the mans native language as best he could. It was hard, But anything less would be disrespectful to the man who had bested him unlike any other before him. In his home country he was a prodigy, trained by the finest sword masters his father could find. But this man who stood before him like a Giant gilded in shining armor showed him just how far he truly had to go. If he ever wished to avenge his clan then he would need to become more powerful. “My father…Taught me words were preferred to bloodshed…But I cannot help but see fault in those words now that he is dead.”

Fujaku bowed his head low, lower then he had ever bowed his head before even to his father or grandfather before him. He thought back to the title his father had given him, as ‘Keeper of the Blood-Law’. But in truth he didn’t know what that meant. His father had never had cause to call upon that name, nor had his grandfather. It had been nearly 200 years since his family had needed an Avenger. As he placed his forehead to the ground and cowtowed to Nerva he spoke in Joyan, to insure his message came across fully with all its meaning.

“I, Fujaku Nijiiro, Last of my Clan and Keeper of the Blood-Law, Pledge myself to you in service as your Loyal Vassel. While I do not have a blade to give to you to draw my blood to sign my pact, I swear upon the arm you have taken and the Blood you have spilled from my body that I am yours’ to command. Forgive me for my previous insults, and allow me to serve at your side.”

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:20 pm

Kazimir Seiryu
Soon after he hoisted the Joyan up, a familiar Knight appeared to give aid. Judina arrived, whom he had only met once at the rune knight bonfire. Seeing that the Samurai was in capable hands he passed him on to her as she rushed in to support. "Thank you," he said politely to her. He was relieved to see another knight enter the situation.

Kaz brought his attention back to the conversation as new mix of emotions stirred inside him. Some his own and some that felt oddly foreign. What was definite was the feelings of frustration and reluctant acceptance to a fate seemingly out of his control. In this moment of rising tension he saw the aggression that Akira displayed although minute. Their shared bond set them on different paths and he wondered exactly where hers led.

She gave a strong plan of attack. Kaz nodded in support of battling them together. They would always be stronger as a unit. Soon more support arrived in the form of a raven descending. Haru suddenly appeared but spoke through concealment and secrecy with his hood pulled up, but Kaz recognized his voice and the raven magic he possessed. It was an appearance not characteristic of the man he knew but what struck him more was his ability to see through magic.

"You always have something up your sleeve," he replied to Haru. "I can start rounding them up," he added as Haru made his way around.

Nerva responded to the Samurai with a lecture of sorts and some details stuck out to Kazimir. Things that peaked his interests in the man's agenda, but he would wait to ask. Instead, Nerva informed them of the grim news that the barrier could not be opened and that Akira's plan wouldn't work.

Given that new information Kaz rethought his previous statement. "Perhaps its not a good idea to gather the villagers then, if we can detect them in other ways. I wouldn't want them to all be together and for a demon's hand to be forced and have a whole village worth of victims in front of him," he paused to look down in thought before bringing his gaze back up, "Might I suggest we break into teams, each led by someone with the ability to sense them. Not ideal to split up but for the sake of time, it may be the best option." He glanced at Haru and then the woman who housed a demon as they were the ones to state the ability to detect their enemy.
As he waited for their replies he finally compiled his thoughts and looked at Nerva, "When this is done. I am very interested in hearing how a person can...surpass both Demons and Seraphim,"his tone was resolute but respectful.

With Kazimir's question finished, Fujaku once again showed his tenacity by standing forward and pledging himself to Nerva. To have lost an arm and still act in such a way, was commendable. He could understand it though. Nerva did possess strength and a message that called to the hearts of people. But the wind mage had his questions.

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:58 am

Did losing an arm cause this much of an effect on a person she wondered while heard him speak but maybe there was a lot more going on here then she first assumed with such things, Judina would not be so sure about most things here, She was a focus on the work kind of lady.

So far Judina still was a bit unsure about all of this situation feeling cutting an arm off was a bit too much, Judina was a different kind of person compared to how this man seemed to lead. But much like more inspired people. Everyone did things differently and this was just him doing what he felt was needed. Maybe everyone was different in their work. Judina even if she would not be trying right away if ever mentioned would mention it was a bit extreme. But it seemed progress was made.

This strange man seemed okay, which she would leave him to what he would be doing next. However Judina seemed to consider that there was more to do, It seemed for the most part this entire situation was a bit more contained varying other people seemed to be gathering and starting to keep things in a control state that they needed.

They wanted to fine demons, Which even if good for the safety of other things. How would the teams work, What all the details would be of trying to fine them was interesting, one suggestion was teams, Which could work but how would each team know what to look for if they could not pick up they where hiding their looks.

So Judina would take a few step back now since she realize she had not from the stranger she had helped up when she did. She picked up that people were trying to flee already, All that work she tried to achieve now was just most likely gone, Panic does a lot to people. So far Judina managed to stay herself but she had to piece together would be her next move, She was clueless what to do here, which was starting to annoy her, So many factors that she was unable to control, Attempting to get people back would seem more harmful not only to the people to this part of town, But at risk of herself as well for panic causes may things to happen.

Hiding the fact Judina felt rather uncomfortable with these conversations with seeking and killing. But since Judina did not know many other options and what would be a bit better for the moment she seemed to almost not only feel depressed about it but internally her mind was slightly over whelmed as well, only because she was letting her mind think too deep into it.

For now Judina did seemed too worried about power or anything else. But getting this situation down so for the moment Judina seemed to only walk not too far away, she would still be in hearing distance, but checking the general area. Mostly out of wonder if anyone, anything was watching that was not scared or looked like they were acting different, She was trying to learn the signs herself and not asking. This was normal behavior.

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:53 pm

Konstantin Sokolov
Further talk with the Renegade Holy Knight continued as Konstantin moved away from the gathering, seeking out the demons that were plaguing the town and Nerva hoping to gain favor with the man. Finding the three demons without a single clue only mentioning that they were keeping the rifts up would prove difficult to most however it did give him something to lean towards. The rifts themselves seemed to radiate magic freely and such a thing was hard to ignore, he had only done so out of ignorance assuming that the rifts would have quelled over time. The closest rift to his knowledge both from memory and a quick glance around him through the aid of his eye was in the heart of a former pub with a purple miasma bellowing out from the broken rooftop as a crystalline structure pierced through the slate. The unusual appearance was likely ignored both due to its position in town and the illusion spell that had engulfed it merely appearing as the pub crushed by a boulder. This was unlike anything he had seen before, perhaps it was something from the demonic realm finally pushing its way through onto the human plane? “No matter.” He thought to himself as he drew up closer weaving into a gap between two houses a block down.

From there he was able to see through the illusion and in the front of the building through it’s cracked window front, what he witnessed caused his blood to boil. Men, women and even children were bound around this crystalline structure seemingly for countless days, their bodies were emaciated, clothes bearing holding onto their skinny frames, cuts, and bruises scattered across their skin, their eyes were sunken in, lacking life of any kind. And yet despite all this Kon could see the flickering heartbeats of every one of them as they strained for breath. Their fragility was in stark contrast to the being seemingly responsible for these crimes against humanity. This figure came into Kon’s vision from the left previously behind a corner of the pub which lacked a window. He was large in stature lacking typical humanoid features, eyes on either side of his face similar to a fish, his facial structure was stretched out lengthwise, teeth were also greatly exaggerated with powerful interlocking spiral spikes piercing up from his lower back. His face was not the only otherworldly appearance with him lacking a ribcage from what Kon could detect instead a cluster of tentacles ran down his entire spine being potentially hundred in total. Dozens were readily used for mobility meanwhile the being seemed to prefer the use of two to four for manipulation as he handled his prisoners or the crystalline structure.

The concern of the safety of the town was paramount at the same time however with the dozen or so humans Kon felt conflicted about rushing into fighting a demon especially if the loss of life was quite likely. Considering the outcome of what would happen if he didn’t fight and destroy what he was forming, their lives were essentially forfeit regardless. What did the demon want with them he did not know? Perhaps it was to drain their life force or to have human shields to prevent others from stopping them. The reason did not matter what did was killing the demon and finding the rest of his peers before the rift was extended and the town was destroyed because of it. And so drawing his blade from its sheath, he brought himself closer to the pub bringing up his hood concealing his face hiding all but his golden eye in shadow and hair. It was a curious thing, the start of a fight, the sudden burst of energy which brought tingles to his limbs and caused his heart to flutter violently. He was determined to take out this demon no matter the cost as illustrated with the charge through the pub’s front which sent glass flying across the building severely injuring those closest to the impact the demon was equally taken aback as a large piece of glass tore at his robes while smaller shards pierced into his right eye causing blood to trail from his body and face.

Surprise was on Kon’s side as it seemed with the demon being caught off guard now grasping at his eye as tentacles flew violently from the cluster attacking anything around him. Evidently, the demon wasn’t strongly suited for violence nor combat with him still going after even the crystalline structure damaging both in the process. The injuries that the demon had initially sustained were greater than originally assumed with his copper-colored blood spraying across the room blending with the human blood that spattered on the ground. Ignoring the moans both human and demonic in nature, Kon continued his push to destroy the demon or at least cripple the being enough to return to Nerva with his corpse. Though distracted and visually impaired Kon would not underestimate the demon who without hesitation began to form a bubble of sorts around his form having composed himself and his countless tentacles.

Piercing this barrier would be difficult but with sheer will and the use of a bit of magic Kon would be able to pressure the Demon back. And so with the flick of his wrist directed at the Demon, energy left his body in the form of a ball and tore into the makeshift shield shooting the Tentacle being at the Crystalline structure. Hoping to press further into the demon, Kon thrust his way further towards him dagger leading the charge, however, his hopes were for naught as the Demon in a moment of clarity in spite of all the damage that he had received was able to push Kon back into a corner through some form of Telekinesis. It was in this corner he lay for the time being with his own head now spinning and blood dripping from the side of his face. It was foolish for him to try and take on a demon by himself but what was he to do? he was starved for time and he had never the individuals he saw in the square so lacked an understanding of what they could do. “Fool…” He thought to himself. Fortunately for the Nephilim, he had not been impacted from the blowback severely and would be able to respond to any further counterattacks with an immediate blink away.

Statistics and Mana:

Mana: 4717/5,800
Stength: 247 (106 + 11 (Neph Buff) + 70 (dagger + demon perk) + 60 (Coat + demon perk))
Speed: 312 (106 +11 (Neph Buff) + 70 (dagger + demon perk) + 60 (Coat + demon perk) + 5 (Helm) + 60 (Earrings))
Endurance: 111 (101 + 10 (Neph Buff))
Constitution: 111 (101 + 10 (Neph Buff))
Intelligence: 122 (111 + 11 (Neph Buff))

Spells Used:
Name: Chained Nephilim
Mana Cost: 5% of Total Base Mana
Requirements: 0 RP Posts as Nephilim
Type: Transformation
Range: Self
Cooldown: 3 Posts
Duration: Sustain
Effect: The user's eyes burn a bright white light. All the Attributes of the user are increased by 10% of their base amount. This is a transformation and not a spell. Therefore, it cannot be cancelled by artefacts or magics that can cancel spells.

Name: Blitz
Rank: D-rank
Mana Cost: 25
Requirements: Heavenly Body Magic
Type: Supplementary
Element: Light
Range: 5 meters
Cooldown: 1 Post
Duration: Instant
Effect: The user stomps one of their feet creating a light circle underneath his feet and at their range location, which allows him to dash within the range of 5 meters. the dash is according to the lunging speed.

Name: White Hole
Rank: A
Mana Cost: 200
Requirements: Heavenly Body Magic
Type: Offensive
Element: Light
Range: 20 Meters
Cooldown: 4 Posts
Duration: Instant
Effect: The user places their hand in front of them and creates a White Hole with a diameter of 5 meters. This White Hole shoots out the spells which had been absorbed by the Black Hole at the target. While it is a Light-type A-rank spell, the damage sent out by this spell can be varied based on what had been absorbed by the Black Hole; i.e., even multiple types of elements is possible. Also, since the Black Hole is a Defensive-type spell, it could absorb more than just A-rank, increasing the White Hole's damage potential to beyond A-rank.

Name: Short Teleportation
Rank: B
Mana Cost: 100
Requirements: Heavenly Body Magic
Type: Supplementary
Element: Light
Range: 20 Meters
Cooldown: 3 Posts
Duration: Instant
Effect: The user places their index and middle fingers on their forehead. They then teleport up to the maximum range of the spell. The user will be unable to attack immediately after teleportation in the same post. This move is purely designed to get out of harms way as quickly as possible.

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:55 pm

Akira Shimada

A beating heart of stone
You gotta be so cold
To make it in this world
Yeah, you're a natural

The answer to the question Kon asked was in itself an answer to why sacrificing the village was a plausible option. The numbers spoke for themselves. She pursed her lips, as the fainting man's words compelled Nerva to offer a speech of his own. She listened intently, not merely out of intrigue and interest, but to fulfil her duty. Any information, even thinly veiled could perhaps aid in containing him if the rogue inquisitor threatened the safety of Fiorians acutely. The words he used to describe the Samurai, rang true for her and Tsuru too. Ironically, idealism battled with resolve more often than not. Sometimes, it did keep them from doing what was necessary. But if such principles died, would humanity even be worth saving?

She winced as he spoke of the helplessness, despite all her resolve, she too recalled the aftermath of the incursion. When he finished with the bold claim to surpass both Seraphim and Demons, a greed glinted in Akira's eyes, layered with her usual scepticism. The moment she reconsidered her loyalty, yet again, a sharp searing pain ripped across her back, through both the slashes. A sharp intake of breath hissed through her teeth. If mention of that tall order was enough to anger both the marring parties, could there be some truth to it. She gulped and bit her lip, hoping for the soudn to be lost in the chaos. Luckily the pain was gone as soon as it had come and she was left quite the same again.

When the man who had lost his arm spoke again, she was glad that she had not intervened on his behalf. The three-limbed Joyan embraced Nerva's ideals too quickly. He learned the lesson through Nerva's chastisement and accepted the harsh punishment as discipline for the insolence of the weak. Had Akira been the victim, her reaction would definitely have been very different. But she was not, the very young Knight had long since learned to choose silence when her abilities prevented her from appropriately following through. Over time, she'd garnered enough power to be formidable, so when she did speak, her words would matter.

She had noticed Kon veer away from the rest by himself, probably eager to prove his worth. The Shimada had intended to keep an eye on him and Nerva alike, but circumstances had made that difficult. Dialogue with Nerva was necessary to gain more insight on what they were dealing with, their limitations and their advantages. That was how she preferred to tackle problems anyways. Given the tools at his disposal, perhaps his way worked better... Or not, only time would tell.

Once she had laid out her plan, another person made their presence realised. She tensed as the bird suddenly swooped towards them, almost unnaturally. She attributed it to the discarded arm. But then, the emergence of a cloaked figure followed. But when she heard his voice, her heart stirred. How long had he been here? How much had he heard? She maintained her impassive expression, but she longed to meet his eyes, he kept them firmly averted. Had she damaged their relationship permanently again? Despite the invisible wall between them, he was in support of her plan. As was Kazimir... Until, Nerva tore it down.

Nerva referred to her by name, despite the lack of an introduction. This was both a victory and something to be wary of. He went on to make the effort to explain the shortcomings in her plan given the constraints of the barrier. She clicked her tongue once, disappointed in herself for suggesting something a man like Nerva would have thought of, no doubt. It did sound too easy to execute, which made it too good to be true even as she uttered it. With a sigh, she nodded curtly. Her lips forming a thin line yet again. This was quite a pickle, her magic was too destructive for her to open with an attack, if a demon was spotted, as was the wind mage's. Maybe Tsuru could open with something more precise... 'I concur, we should probably refrain from gathering the villagers. But we should stick toge-'

That's when she heard the distinct sounds of wreckage. It seemed to be from the vague direction that Kon had decided to venture in. She was fairly certain that the noise would capture the attention of all the people who intended to keep their word and attempt saving the village. If he'd found even one demon, taking him down was imperative. Capturing the creature however, may aid in locating his companions. 'Guess we found one... or more.' she muttered as she started towards the commotion. Her protective instincts implored her to beseech Kazi and Tsuru to stay put, especially given what she knew about the Sokolov.

Doubling back on her own interrupted words, she couched her request carefully, hoping they'd pay heed. Pausing in her advance, she turned and spoke pointedly to the recently changed Nephilim and Vampire, over her shoulder. 'Since Esperia's approach may end up being different than ours, I suppose that makes you two a team. Be on the lookout for others.' They'll keep each other safe, she hoped. Considering that she didn't really hold a rank amidst the Knights, it would fall upon Tsuru to offer any further commands, at least to the Knights who had aided the samurai. She didn't wait to hear Tsuru's take on her words, and broke into a swift jog, building to a faster pace. Before she'd picked up enough pace, she heard a cry for help. Aki narrowed her eyes to get better look, but apart from the strands of hair that hung loosely from the scalp of the figure in the distance, she could garner nothing more. It continued crying for help in a feeble desperate voice, as it scurried towards the Shimada. Aki was forced to pause yet again and reassess her options.

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:00 pm


Living your life cutthroat
You gotta be so cold
Yeah, you're a natural

Haru shook his head in disbelief as he watched Fujaku pledge himself to the man who had chopped his hand off. He couldn’t understand why he did it. Their philosophical exchange made little sense to him. Perhaps, he had very little in common with the man to empathize. After all, while he may be from the same land, he has no memory of it. For now, he just wanted the bleeding to stop; both for Fujaku’s and his sake. “Someone take him to a doctor,” he said, letting his annoyance seep into his voice. For the first time since, he was glad that he had lost his healing abilities.

He shifted his attention towards Kazimir as he walked towards the crowd. His appreciation for having a trick for everything made Haru chuckle dryly. “Ha. This one, I didn’t wish for,” he said, as he turned to look at the wind mage, giving him a glance of his state for just a moment. Before they could enact their plan, however, Nerva spoke, telling them it was impossible to null the barrier only at a certain location. And with that information, he had to agree with Kazimir. It was indeed a danger to assemble all the villagers at a single point. It would become a convenient card for the demons to hold against them.

Nevertheless, Haru couldn’t let the stampede continue. This was getting trickier. They simply did not have enough manpower to break up the commotion and also continue the search for the demons. Kon had taken off to start the search by himself. At least one of them was quick to make a decision. While they planned on breaking up into smaller teams and join the search, he heard something akin to a crash. Distinct from the enraged and scared screams that came from the crowd, this one was from deeper in the village.

Meanwhile, the villagers had made their way to the edge of the town and encountered the barrier. This was both good and bad news. The bad news was obviously that the innocents were stuck inside. The good news was that this forced the crowd to disperse and scatter automatically, as they attempted to skirt around the barrier. There was no choke point for them to fight over. Soon enough, the villagers formed a human ring around the entire village, marking the presence of the invisible barrier and confirming that there was no hole anywhere.

Akira decided to go deeper into the village to investigate the crashing noise. Haru wasn’t comfortable with her going alone. Sure, she was powerful. But she didn’t have any means of detecting these demons. She could very well be falling into a trap. “You are going alone?” he asked. The question was rhetorical because he didn't care what she had to say. Not that she was going to respond; she had already begun to jog away. “No, you are not. I’m coming with you,” he added as he followed her. “Let’s go Kazi. We don’t know what’s going on in there. We might need you,” he said, turning towards Kazimir. If the wind mage wished to stay back as a backup, however, he wouldn’t push it.

Haru followed Akira, making their way towards where the noise had come from. When they turned a corner, he noticed something strange. A hazy blob that loosely seemed to form a humanoid figure approached them in haste. He heard the figure speak, crying for help. That’s when he knew what was going on. It was still a good dozen meters away from them when he shouted his warning. “Akira! That thing isn’t human,” he said urgently as he gently held her back from going any further. He then pulled his hood back—finally revealing the change in him—and reached for his lightsabre. Seeing him reach for his weapon, the hazy figure stopped in its track, realizing that its cover is blown.

The Numbers:

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:00 pm

"Nijiro, Fujaku. I can be harsh, but to learn the future, and to learn to understand the future, one has to set aside their idealistic beliefs which hold no weight in comparison to the harshness of reality. In the end, whatever you wish to achieve still relies on the fact whether we, as Earthland, can exist."

Nerva threw a healing potion to Fujaku. While he lost his arm, he would still be able to move around without passing out. It would stop the bleeding and seal the wound. The Sinese showed interest as well. "Go, help the others, I'll be waiting here to answer your questions when we all survive this." Nerva then turned his attention back towards Fujaku.

"Fujaku, are you going to wait here or prove yourself?" Nerva asked. He extended his left hand to his left side as a magic seal appeared. His hand went inside the seal and pulled out a weapon after which the magic seal disappeared. It was a katana, a weapon mainly used by the Samurai. "Does one arm stop you? Or will you show that you can fight in the face of adversity?" Nerva walked towards Fujaku, who was still kneeling, and held out the katana in front of him to be taken and used. "Follow the purple-haired female knight and assist her in her search."

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:07 pm

Fujaku Nijiro has acquired a Great Katana.

Konstantin Sokolov continues in The Demon With The Ragged Banner

Akira Shimada, Kazimir Seiryu, and Hatsuharu continue in The Demon Without Shape

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The End Justifies The Means Empty on Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:25 pm

Fujaku Nijiiro
Fujaku nodded as Nerva began to speak. He was correct that ideology had no place when there was no life left to use it. But even still… He pushed the doubt down and nodded once more giving a simple affirmation to Nerva as he finished speaking. Though he had not been expecting what came next. The sound of something sloshing and being thrown caught his attention as he looked up, barely catching the potion in time. He…looked at it confused. He had never used one before, as his family had healers night and day on their estate. But he understood the concept and bit off the cork, chugging down the health potion with a soft swallowing noise.

He felt a burning sensation as the wound sealed shut, he didn’t bother removing the scarf though simply checking under it to confirm was good enough for him. He would need to wash it again…. Thought he doubted that it would remove the smell of iron that lingered in the material anyway. He spoke to others Fujaku drank and inspected his wound, But soon enough Nerva returned his attention to Fujaku. When he heard his name called he turned his head and paid full attention. The call to arms that Nerva gave him was a test, his answer would decide his future with this man. A Verna produced the blade and offered it to him, Fujaku looked at it with great reverence.  Once nerva stopped approaching, Fujaku took the katana with his one hand, feeling the weight as he turned in one motion to stand up with the momentum of the spin as he felt the weight of the blade shift while he moved.

He examined the blade as he inspected the excellent craftsmanship oh the blade. He could tell it was a rare breed, often known as Great Katanas. To think he was being granted the use of one made Fujaku say a silent prayer to the gods. He turned toward the town and looked passed his severed arm, looking past it as best he could. He placed the katana on his shoulder, not having a proper sheath for it as he made his way toward the purple haired girl Nerva had spoken of. She had been one of the ones he had pushed away when he had woken up. When he arrived near her, he spoke up, his joyan accent thick but understandable enough. “We must…work together.” he pointed at Nerva with his index finger still holding the sword. “Orders from Him.”


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