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What Lies Beneath 2 [Quest]

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#1Tomoe Tanaka 

What Lies Beneath 2 [Quest] Empty on Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:47 am

Tomoe Tanaka
Disguised as Argo:
What Lies Beneath 2 [Quest] BGopPpt




For reasons he didn't quite know, Argo had shown up to the church early. The job was to start when the moon hovered high in the sky, but he had shown up while the sun began to set. He felt the need to show up early, as if it would be important to do so. It could be said that he was a man of instinct, even though he didn't appear to be, and as a result knew that there had to be a reason why he'd shown early. Seeing nobody in sight anywhere within the perimeter of Oakland Church, he shuffled over to sit at the steps leading up to the chapel itself. He'd rest there a while, witnessing the golden orb in the sky slowly sink over the horizon. The embers of the burning star reflected in his own crimson eyes, as if attempting to compete with each other.

At that moment, Argo felt a presence behind him. He turned slightly and saw Chloe, the priest girl who had assisted him last time he was here. She seemed gloomier than usual, and approached him cautiously. Taking note of this, Argo piped up first. "Sit down. If you wish to talk, we can. I heard there were more spirits gathering in Oakland Church, so I was called in again."

By breaking the silence, Chloe felt noticeably lighter, as if a burden were removed from her. She approached with more confidence and sat next to Argo on the steps. From a particular angle, it looked as if light was fading from her as the sun started to disappear, but it was probably nothing more than a visual trick. Argo observed her cautiously for a moment, his tired eyes scanning her to see if he really was seeing things. He stopped doing so, however, once she looked away, nervous about the silence and weird stares.

"It's rude to stare at someone, you know.", Chloe muttered, then sighed. "But, thank you for returning. Last time, it turns out, you didn't finish the job entirely. Or rather, you got the spirit so angry that its curse couldn't fully fade. As a result, it's come back stronger than ever and raged much harder.", she explained, clutching tight to a cross around her neck and biting her lip as if holding back stress.

"...I see."

Argo would sit there in silence for a while, watching until the sun would disappear fully and allowing the silence that came with night to carry the atmosphere.




WC: 418/2,500

#2Tomoe Tanaka 

What Lies Beneath 2 [Quest] Empty on Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:39 am

Tomoe Tanaka
Night was upon the two. For a long time, they sat there wordlessly, observing the night sky and the stars that began to fill it. Argo felt nostalgic upon seeing the bright dots for some reason, having some subconscious connection for stars and the world outside that he couldn't quite explain. Rather than ever decide to question it, the suited scowler simply accepted it as part of who he was and who he was willing to be for the sake of his ideals. Ideals, hm?, he would think to himself, a grim expression coming across his features upon once more.

Thinking about these sorts of things was something that Argo detested, as he had no ideals to strive for. He was someone who acted efficiently and ruthlessly to continue on the most optimal path, with no thoughts towards what he wanted for himself. At times it was almost as if he was merely a puppet being pulled along at the whims of another, but he didn't dare think that could be the case. No, no, it simply couldn't be. He was the ultimate power here, and Tomoe was merely a tool to be used until he was strong enough to reverse roles and tell that madman what to do instead. That sort of thing was the pride that Argo held within himself. Without so much as a family name or much of a history to remember, he wandered as a man searching for power; that was his strength, and his pride.

"It's time we got moving.", Argo would speak aloud after much more silence, noting that the moon was now overhead. Chloe seemed lost in her own world with a vacant stare for a while, but snapped out of it once those words were spoken and she saw the silvery mage wander off towards Oakland Church.

Spirits had returned in greater force than last time, and that meant more "exorcisms" needed to be made. There was nothing else for it, truly. Argo was a man of his word, and so he would fulfill the job he was given to the best of his abilities. Bestowed with Tomoe's gear and taught spells by the crazed cultist, Argo would make simple and short work of the phantasmal squatters inhabiting this church and get paid a handsome sum for his troubles.

All that aside, there was also a part of him that was curious about Chloe's condition. She'd dressed in formal priest robes from head to toe for tonight, presumably woven with magical threads for extra defense and perhaps even a few spells here or there. While certainly useful, it didn't do him any favors in trying to determine if she was healed of her corruption from last time or if it had only spread. And if she hadn't sought out a healer yet, why not? She, at the very least, seemed gloomier than usual.

Argo pushed open the door to the church, and left it open for Chloe to enter in before him. "Ladies first.", he would say while gesturing for her to pass. While the gesture of a proper gentleman, it was also his way of gauging her reaction to such things and if it deviated from his own expectations of her. Moreover, if she entered first, she would be able to act as the first target for spirits while he dealt with them from a safer vantage point. It was a bunch of wins all at the same time, in his eyes.




WC: 1,000/2,500

#3Tomoe Tanaka 

What Lies Beneath 2 [Quest] Empty on Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:59 am

Tomoe Tanaka
Upon his gesture, Chloe nodded with a sheepish expression. "Right. Thanks, I guess.", she stated coldly, moving past him quickly and dismissively. The gratitude wasn't genuine, but rather delivered in a tone that said that she was baffled. Shocked, maybe. Bamboozled, the more cultured folk might even say. Stupid., Argo thought with a quick facepalm, wondering why he'd even had that last thought or where it had even come from in the first place. Perhaps lack of sleep really was getting to him after all.

Regardless, he noted that her reactions were muted compared to last time. She seemed down, and Argo was not a master of raising people up. Thus, he found himself in a predicament if no deadly spirits would arrive to attempt to kill them immediately. As the two took a few steps into the chapel, Argo darting his eyes around for sight of enemies while Chloe simply advanced further into the room, the tension faded somewhat upon the realization that there was nothing that needed addressing right that second.

What was instead noted by Argo's quick yet meticulous scan of the chapel room, however, was how different it was from last time. Rather than being ravaged, ransacked and rotted to the foundation, it was in proper order. Rather than being filled with dust and old air, there was a rather cooling breeze that crept through without being enough of a nuisance to want to bundle up. The moonlight shone through the windows of the church too, as if casting its divine radiance upon its grounds. It was enough to arouse even greater suspicion in the silver mage than last time he had stepped foot in this place, because it all felt too normal. Too... resolved.

"Hey, what is this? There's nothing to this. Is it true that there are still spirits here? While not experienced in detecting such things, even I can tell that there is nothing out of the ordinary.", Argo would say, stepping forward while looking at the priest girl who still had her back to him as she continued further towards the middle of the chapel without reacting to him.

Argo would follow her further in, attempting to get Chloe's attention and press her for more information. At that moment, however, when he advanced within five steps of her, she turned around. Her eyes seemed glazed over and devoid of passion, as if she had accepted whatever fate she had been forced to witness in the time since their last meeting. "Sorry, I was all alone. All this time, I was... completely alone...", Chloe would finally blurt out, with a voice pitch that heightened and lowered as if she were speaking in a voice on the verge of tears, and yet couldn't cry.

All of a sudden as Argo took another step forward, a gigantic dark hand reached out through the darkness. It emerged from the staircase in a corner of the chapel that lead to the catacombs and grasped tightly around Chloe's body and then pulling her back all in one split-second motion. Without struggle, she was ripped from view and the chapel itself, not a single scream bursting out from her or a single spell cast to defend herself.

"Shit. I guess I spoke too soon. I've still got a long way to go.", Argo muttered under his breath as a bead of sweat dripped down. He wouldn't beat himself up too much for now though, as it would be troublesome if that priest died now. He hadn't gotten the chance to learn more about her, although he couldn't grasp why he wanted to in the first place. Rather than question it, he moved towards the catacombs, his pocket dimension ring equipping Tomoe's red armor.




WC: 1,624/2,500

#4Tomoe Tanaka 

What Lies Beneath 2 [Quest] Empty on Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:24 am

Tomoe Tanaka
I'm not a hero.

This was the thought that Argo would allow himself to hear every day. From birth, he was the kind of person that desired superiority over all others. There was never an outside influence that made him this way, he was simply always somebody that wanted the best for himself. Or rather, he was born with the thought in his head that he already was the best. How could anyone compare? He was naturally gifted at anything he tried his hand at, and could pick up on a skill with ease. What else could one call that except a superior being? Argo was still human, but he always felt as if he wasn't destined to live as a regular person. There was always some higher calling that he chased after, uninterested in competing against others that he already saw as so much lower than him as to not even be worth looking in the eye.

That was when Argo met Tomoe. From the very beginning, Tomoe was somebody that demanded a look in the eye. For once, Argo felt threatened. From there, walking the same path as Tomoe and encountering the same threats and rivals, Argo realized that he hadn't even come close to being superior to everyone in the world. More than that, not even superior to everyone in Fiore. Yet, Tomoe didn't fault him for that, but spurred on that desire, that flame. Argo respected the cultist's wishes to revive HER and create the perfect world, living in peace for eternity. Knowing this, and making his plays over time in an attempt to overthrow Tomoe as one of HER enduring disciples, he still felt conflict now.

Argo's feet clashed against the hardwood floor of the chapel and towards the catacombs. His heart was pounding for some reason, and he knew that something was wrong. It wasn't pounding from a few seconds of sprinting, he knew that. Seeing Chloe ripped from sight within a moment, he knew it had to be something more. Practically gliding down the stairs towards the catacombs, there was another conflict within him. Thinking back on his old self, he knew that there was more to it than a desire to quickly complete the mission.

What is it? What's the matter?, he would think as he reached the bottom and found himself once more within Oakland Church's catacombs.

With perfect darkvision, sight within this void was easy. Argo dashed forward, looking for any sign of Chloe. After moving through the darkness for a while, calling out her name a few times with a desperation he never had before nor realized he was expressing, he saw her after turning a corner in the catacombs, facing away from him. "Chloe!", he shouted once again, but she wouldn't turn around.

After the suited scowler took a few more steps towards her, the gigantic hand from before once again grasped her and pulled her further in. Being too slow, Argo's only choice was to advance further ahead. If he kept running, if he just kept running, he'd catch her and kill the spirits plaguing Oakland Church.




WC: 2,144/2,500

#5Tomoe Tanaka 

What Lies Beneath 2 [Quest] Empty on Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:45 am

Tomoe Tanaka
"I understand now. You're all scared, right? Each and every last one of you is the sort of reprehensible creature that I so loathed growing up. Each one of you is a cancer that needs to be purged, and I will take up the task gladly. You are all equally vile little worms that couldn't pass on to the next world because your accomplishments all amounted to shit and dirt."

Argo would state such things while running forward, allowing his words to echo clearly through the halls of the catacombs. With his Rama's Bow drawn, he would take potshots at wayward spirits. They were lesser beings that anybody could kill, but to Argo in particular they were still necessary to be taken out. How could it be said that he did a good job if he left a few stragglers behind? Even if the janitor could casually whoop the ass of some of these ghosts, it was still something that the silver mage was paid to do. He didn't want negative reviews in the long term, so he did his best to eradicate all of them. "Fine work, everyone. Is this what all your rage amounts to? Spirits that can be erased from the world so easily? It's not worth my spit."

After saying so, Argo would get hit from an oncoming hand smack. The phantom hand had reached from out of the darkness and attacked him, pinning him to a wall. Keeping him there and intending to crush him, a smirk crossed Argo's face. "Apologies, but I've been trained for moments like this."

At that, after the suited scowler had boasted such, he disappeared from sight with a quick flash. After another flash, the man was further down the corridor that the hand had rushed at him from. Before long he had reached the source of the hand, and saw some dark, tar-like spirit wrapping itself around Chloe. The arm was coiling back, having taken longer to return to its master due to Argo's teleportation beating it there. The silver mage noted this and saw his chance. "I'll take you out now. Say hello to the demons in hell for me.", Argo said without regret, not realizing how lame such a line was, and fired another arrow from Rama's Bow into what looked to be the tar ghost's head with pinpoint precision.

It unraveled itself from Chloe almost immediately, recoiling in pain on the ground as it burned. Its gigantic arms thrashed around blindly, destroying chunks out of the walls and foundation of the catacombs and smacking Chloe aside amidst the chaos. After allowing it to writhe around some more, letting it suffer for its arrogance at challenging a disciple of HER, Argo stepped forward and weaved through the blind swings. He'd let it destroy the church's structural integrity a little bit too, out of spite for them letting things get this bad in the first place. Maybe if they cleaned up a bit more frequently, this wouldn't be such an issue.

Smack.

One last, clean kick at lunging speed to the spirit was enough to end its misery. Argo looked at it with disdain as it faded, and spat on its corpse. The last thing he saw that gave him pause for a brief second, was the image of a crying child that faded after the tar had dispersed. "Hmph. Was that its attempt at getting me to show sympathy? Remorse? How pointless.", Argo blurted out, recovering from a moment of hesitation and returning to his regular self.

The silver mage then took a look at the unconscious, injured, and heavily cursed Chloe who had almost been overtaken by a malicious spirit. He had no way of helping her and didn't wish to talk to anybody from the church in case they confronted him about the destruction of the building. Thus, he would carry her outside and leave her on the steps of Oakland Church, unconscious. "Someone will arrive when the church re-opens in the morning. I'm sure of it. You were useless this time, so please allow yourself to be better if this happens again. You may thank me next time by showing your attempts at improvement, priest."

With that, having said his words to a girl he was certain had not heard him anyway, Argo made his way out to collect his payment for the job.




WC: 2,500/2,500

- EXIT -

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