Dimensions

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Dimensions

Post  Lore on Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:11 pm

Eons ago, the gods waged war for little more than amusement, and the universe paid for their transgressions. When a celestial body fell, the element they ruled went with them. The sun stopped rising, the wind ceased blowing, the water flowed no more, and silence echoed throughout the darkness of the galaxy as more divine blood was shed in the name of nought. Many ancient beings would dub this event as the First Coming or the Apocalypse. Whatever it is to be called, this time period began the end of peace for all life.

Centuries passed and the gods grew quiet, or perhaps killing each other no longer proved exciting. And then the deus ex machina came. These entities restored the elements, gave life to new species, birthed worlds, and rose dimensions with but a wave of their arm. The ancient beings rejoiced for they could watch their creation once more, and the deus ex machina proved more reliable keepers than the gods who fled their duties.

Peace has been attained and kept through the efforts of the deus ex machina, but is it eternal? Trouble seems to be brewing once more as darkness lurks between dimensions. Will the gods return to destroy the deus ex machina and reclaim what is rightfully theirs? Or will the new keepers realize just what it means to be the rulers of contemptible humanity? Time will tell, or maybe it already has.
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Re: Dimensions

Post  Lore on Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:57 pm

He was falling, falling out of his physical body and down into the unknown. He was willfully piercing the barrier between reality and fantasy, in deep meditation to reach the fabled Calm, the ultimate peace of mind that every warrior worth his salt tried in vain to reach. As he fell, the darkness around him turned to light and then it was so blinding that he closed his eyes. He let the current take him and while he heard voices, he didn't answer them. In this form, he was a silent observer or an intruder. And he never liked the idea of the latter. And so he fell deeper and deeper, silently penetrating the veil and reaching for enlightenment...

"Uhm..."

He slowly opened his eyes as the small female voice snapped him out of his reverie. He took in the flickering candle in front of him and the picture of his parents before turning to the source of the voice - an equally small female. She was wearing a black kimono with dark blue accents, and her long black hair was swept to one side to cover her left shoulder in a loose ponytail. He glanced at the light blue band that bound her hair and smiled sadly. She followed his gaze with her soft violet eyes and looked down at her feet. "I-I'm very sorry, big brother, but Uncle Kleiak is here to see you..." She slowly looked up at him but when her eyes fell on the missing piece of him, she turned away. He followed her gaze and closed his eyes before chuckling.

"Dwell not on the past for it bears the fangs of anger," he stood while imitating an old man's voice... though poorly done. "Wise words from our late father," he nodded to himself while walking over to the girl and reaching out with his right arm to brush his fingers through her hair, patting her head gently. "Do you remember, Lily?" She looked up at him sheepishly while wiping her eyes and nodded hesitantly. "Good girl. Now, I will go deal with Uncle Kleiak. You stay here, alright?"

He brushed past her and strode down the empty hall of the old dojo before stepping into the training hall, a large bare room essential for honing one's skills. He stood in the center of the room with a large man sitting in front of him, his back facing him. On either side of the room sat people shrouded in robes. The young man's golden eyes fell on the robed figures before focusing on the muscular figure in front of him. His long black hair billowed in a sudden unnatural breeze that, in their village, was an omen. The same light blue band that bound his sister's hair bound his. He wore the same style of kimono as his sister as well, but most of the left side of his chest was bare and a winding tattoo that looked very much like a scar was carved into his flesh there.

"It has been three years since you inherited the Urameshi dojo," Kleiak's voice was gravelly and upon hearing it, the robed figures bowed their heads. "For centuries, the Urameshi have embodied our anger and guided our blades toward absolute freedom. We kill for the pleasure of ripping apart those ideals in which the outside world lives," Kleiak grabbed a scabbard that was lying in front of him and stood slowly, his dark eyes slanting sideways.

The young man sighed deeply, "My father wished to bring an end to that separation, Kleiak. Are you saying his ambitions went against the will of the Dene Tha?"

"Of course they did! He forced a life of peace onto a warrior people!" Kleiak shouted while drawing a huge curved blade from the sheath. He then discarded the sheath, letting it bounce slightly on the wooden floor. "This is what we live by, Shin. How are we the Dene Tha if we refuse to draw our weapons? Now draw your own! If you lose here, I will take the reigns of the Dene Tha out of your puny grasp."

Shin shook his head, "Times are changing, Kleiak, and we can no longer afford to cling to old traditions that promote needless violence. I will not draw my sword to defend your flawed beliefs." He bowed slightly and turned to leave, but he heard rapid footsteps behind him and the sound of a sword in motion. He rolled to the side just in time to avoid Kleiak's scimitar which tore through the floor. "If you will not bare your soul," he muttered while turning his head to look at Shin. "Then you can die here!"

Shin looked away while clutching a fist against the floor. He knew it would come to this ever since his father reported Kleiak's secret meetings with the Elders, but he never thought the man he knew as an uncle would raise his sword against family for such petty reasons. And he had the Elders' support. He thought it was strange that the Elders were here, but now he knew what the true purpose of this meeting was: to decide the new leader of the Dene Tha in a fight to the death. One of his golden eyes slanted to the left and caught sight of his beloved sister. Lily was standing behind one of the pillars in the main hall, her knees shaking as she held both hands against her chest.

He couldn't leave her alone.

Kleiak rose and so did Shin, the golden-eyed samurai's right hand wrapping around the hilt of one of his sheathed swords. He took the scabbard off his belt and dropped into a combat stance that was instantly recognizable. "Hmph... Iaido, the sword technique your father was famous for. You draw your sword faster than the eye can see and kill your opponent in one precise strike. Do you intend to kill me now, Shin? What happened to your beliefs?"

A bead of sweat rolled down the side of Shin's face as he again caught sight of Lily. He couldn't hesitate. If he died here, Kleiak would do unspeakable things to her, and he would never forgive himself if she turned into a plaything for the Dene Tha. He focused his sight on the opponent ahead and at the offensive stance Kleiak was adopting. One strike would decide the match. He clutched the hilt of his father's sword and felt power building in his body from the force he would unleash.

Suddenly, Lily appeared in front of him with her arms outstretched on either side. And he could see Kleiak charging with his sword poised to strike her through the back. He opened his mouth to scream, but before he could make any noise, a black hole opened behind his sister. She glanced behind her in shock and as he watched, ropes of electricity wrapped around her arms and legs and pulled her into the darkness. He let go of his sword and reached out for her hand, but the force of the mysterious black hole was too strong. She was sucked in and he fell forward, pausing only briefly before leaping in after her.

The hole swirled to a close as abruptly as it came, and it left the Elders stunned. And Kleiak himself couldn't believe what he had just witnessed, but... he grinned. The Dene Tha was in his hands now.
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Seb

Post  Hea on Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:48 pm

Today was the day.  Seb was shaking with excitement.  She had been waiting for this day for weeks.  If she hadn’t been kicked out of the smithy last week, she’d be down in Peter’s hair again, demanding an update until he started yelling at her to leave.  As it was, she lay on her mattress starting at the note in her hand.
 
“Sundown. Bring wine. And my money. Don’t think your pretty words will get you out of this again.”
 
She smiled to herself, Peter was always finding excuses for her to bring the wine and demand that she still pay him for the last few visits to the smithy.
 
Twenty minutes to sundown, she sprang to her feet and pulled on her boots, tucked her sister’s heartstone that hung on a sting around her neck back into its place in the front of her shirt, and threw her bag over her shoulder.  A quick stop by Tammy’s to buy some wine and she was barging through the smithy door ten minutes early shouting for Peter.  Seb was never good with subtlety.
 
Peter was the only one she had left anymore.  After her sister had died and then her parents shortly thereafter, Peter was the only thing left in the village she felt attached to.  Well mostly.  He was leaning over the railing of the back patio where they would watch the sun set behind the Ruined Keep on lazy summer evenings.  His form was relaxed for once, not trying to seem imposing to prevent customers from taking advantage of him, nor hard at work sweating in the workshop over the open fire.  Brown curls stuck in every direction hinting at the nap he hadn’t completely woken up from yet.
 
“What a lazy boy,” Seb played up her snottiest attitude to rudely pull Peter out of his daze.  “Taking a break are we?  And where, might I ask, is the sword I commissioned two weeks ago?  It turn out to be too difficult a task for you?”
 
Peter glared over his shoulder angry to be pulled out of him mind.  Seb felt a pang of guilt.  Maybe she should play nice.
 
“Oh, no you don’t,” he threw back at her, “you disappeared for a month without saying a word.  You come back with a jar of Dragon’s Fire and demanding a new heavy blade.  I dropped everything for two weeks to make you this blade and you’re not getting your mitts on it until you pay me for the last three armor repair jobs I’ve done for you.”
 
Nice was for people who didn’t piss you off.
 
“Peter,” she flashed her best charming smile, “you know I would never cheat you out of your money.  You’re such a klutz you’d just loose whatever I gave you.”
 
“Hand it over Sabrina.”  His voice was demanding and he held out his hand for his pay.  He was done playing.
 
Seb groaned in frustration.  “You’re no fun anymore.”  She threw the small bag of gold at her best friend.  “Fifteen gold pieces for the armor repairs that are so magnificent it would be too good for kings.  And fifty for the heavy blade, born of flames stolen from the throat of a dragon.”
 
He grinned at her theatrics.  “I accept your tarty payment without interest graciously, knowing that’s all I’m going to get out of you.  And now, my dear Sabrina a sword fit for the greatest Guardians of history and Guardian of your namesake.”  He waved his hand lazily toward the far end of the patio where a table held a fresh born sword hidden beneath a heavy black cloth.  “Now how ‘bout that wine?”
 
An hour later the best friends had worked their way through the better part of the wine.  Each was feeling warm and cozy from the drink and they were tucked up against the shop wall and each other as they watched where the sun had set over the Ruined Keep.  Their laughter had melted into silence as they enjoyed the other’s company.  Peter broke the silence first.
 
“You’re leaving me again aren’t you?”  His voice sounded empty as he kept his gaze on the dark horizon.  Not that Seb would have had the guts to check.  She knew she would find the pain in his face.  He hated being left behind, but he didn’t have the heart for adventure that Seb did.
 
She readjusted her head on his shoulder and brushed away the dark hair that fell into her eyes for it.  She let the question hang a moment longer.  The truth was almost too difficult to say.
 
“Yes,” was her answer.  “I’m going to find him.  That man I saw cutting out my sister’s heartstone still has a piece.  I want it back.”  The silence stretched on again, uncomfortable this time with nothing to mask the sound of heart break coming from the warm body next to her.  
 
“I was late to river,” she needed to fill the silence.”  Sister was going to help me with a cleansing.  It was going to be my first cleansing at the hands of a Mage.  Even if it was my sister, I was going to be her Guardian.  Mom was always telling everyone how we’d bring about the Old Ways again.  The throne would be held by a Mage and kept by a Guardian.”  Her voice trailed off at the memory of her mother’s pride.
 
“Those are my girls,” Peter recited her mom’s favorite words. “They’re going to be queens someday, and we won’t be afraid of a dragon’s roost because they will once again be in service to the crown.”
 
The heartstone on the string tucked into the neck of her shirt warmed at the memory of Mom. 
 
“It’s my fault, you know.”  She yammered on.  They both knew the memory, and the fallout, but now that she had started talking she was afraid of the silence again.  “I was so nervous. I didn’t want to go meet my sister.  By the time Mom shoved me out the door I was late.  If” --her voice caught in her throat-- “If I had been on time, if I had been less afraid, I would have been there with her.  I could have saved her.  Or at the very least, she wouldn’t have had to die alone.”  The tears on her face were hot with rage and grief. 
 
“It wasn’t your fault Seb.  A man killed your sister for her heartstone.  Not you.  You were a child.  And even then, he didn’t make it away with all of it.”  Peter’s arm slid around her.
 
“It was two years ago!”  It was an old argument by now.  She was not a child then and she most defiantly is not a child still.  There were many nights where they’d part screaming these lines back and forth at each other until they fell asleep crying.
 
“And you’re still a child now.”  He kept his voice calm only through great effort.  “You are under no obligation to recover that piece of her heartstone.  You have a jar of dragon fire, give her the Mage’s funeral you’ve wanted and stay here.  Don’t leave again.  I’m not the only one who’s worried every time you leave.”
 
Seb breathed deep.  The headache and heartache of the wine was fading, leaving an empty feeling in her stomach. 
 
“She’ll get a Mage’s funeral.  I’m going to collect the rest of her heartstone from the man who cut a hole and slipped through the darkness into nothing.  I will tame a dragon to light the fire of the Mage’s Pyre.  Her heartstone will be burned to ash as it should be.  And then I will be satisfied.”  Seb wiggled out from Peter’s arm and scrambled to her feet.
 
At the table she picked up her sword, the nameless heavy blade.  By morning her soul would be cleansed, her sword would be bound and named, and she would be out of this town.  There were rumors of a man who could help her slip though rips in the darkness like her sister’s killer.  She would find him.
 
“I’ll miss you,” Peter says to her back.  “You should say bye to Tammy before you leave.  She worries about you just as much as I do.”
 
He watched her for a while as she collected her things and threw them haphazardly into her bag.
 
“Do you have a name yet?”
 
Seb’s hand stroked over the cloth covered blade of the heavy sword.  “Nymeria,” she answered after a time.
 
The heartstone on a string tucked inside her shirt glowed with warmth at its name.
 
“The name of the First Queen.”  She could hear the smile and approval in Peter’s voice.
 

The name of a sister.
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Re: Dimensions

Post  Herms on Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:38 am

Orun sighed with nostalgia as he sat behind the podium as a guest of honor during his former school’s uprising ceremony. The ceremony was for students who could no longer learn anything at the school and needed to move on into the world to find their place among society. Orun had been no different just a few years prior, a budding young mind that had the mentality of being able to conquer anything with his new powers and the relationship he had built with his summons. He cracked a smile as names were called one by one.

“ORPHEUS……….ALASTAR………ELANDREA……..” They proceeded on with the ceremony as Orun started to daze. He had only agreed to be a guest for one reason and one reason alone. The Destiny Circle. It was a grand tradition at the school where once a student had gone through the uprising ceremony they were each presented with the Destiny Circle. The Destiny Circle would choose for each summoner their affinities for their specific summons and would grant them a specific ability to aid them in their quests.
Orun stood up once the names were finished. “Let us congratulate once again these few who have made it through the school’s teachings and whom we know will become great summoners one day! Now summoners please follow me, and from beyond this point friends and family I ask that you stay only in the permitted zone. The circle does not like interference.” A shuffling in the audience occurred as everyone began to gather in the area outside of the Circle’s tower. Orun led the students in and sealed the door with a few hand movements. As they walked up the spiraling stairs that ultimately led to the casting chambers Orun reflected on his own Destiny Circle. It was the very reason why outsiders were not allowed in to spectate anymore. It was a day that everyone would remember…

A day black as night fell upon his town during his circle. He fidgeted at the bandages on his left hand as the memories began to surface. He had been an eager young student much like those he was leading now. The Circle’s magic had begun to take place, but a small chanting foreign to the land was heard and a powerful aura began to interrupt the magic. A dense fog slowly crept from the circle and wrapped Orun’s body causing pain that was so excruciating he blacked out within the first few seconds. When he had a woken the stench of blood filled his nose so strongly he gagged and held back bile that wanted to force its way out. He opened his eyes and saw the horror that had occurred as he passed out. Dozens of bodies on the floor ripped open with intestines spilling. The only place that was not touched with blood was the circle that Orun stood in the center of.

An evil laughter and a black cloaked man came from the depths of the darkness that took hold in the room.

“Enjoy my gift young Orun and use it to remember me, for a man who travels dimensions is not so easily seen again!” With black smoke the man was gone leaving Orun the only one left in the room. A searing pain went through his hand as a reminder that the events had truly happened.
Finally in the Circle’s room Orun reverted his attention back to present day and smiled at the young students before him.

“Each of you will step onto the Circle’s platform and be blessed with immense power that is completely in tune with who you truly are.” One by one the students went up and grand symbols appeared before them. Symbols of wings and waves and many more appearing symbolizing the different affinities that each student will possess. The spectacle was amazing and something that Orun had wished occurred during his Destiny Circle, but that was all in the past and he still had managed to come through with an affinity. As the last student finished a sudden earthquake occurred and panic filled the room.
“Please calm down! Everyone proceed to the exit!!” Orun had to question what was occurring, Earthquakes were not natural in this area it had to have been fabricated. He rushed to the exit for the unsealing to get the students to safety. He waved his hands in front of him and muttered under his breathe, but something caught his attention before he could finish. The shifting of stone and the earthquake was causing the ceiling to fall in. He had to act quickly before everyone was crushed under the rubble.

He turned from the door to the group in a swift movement. “Undine lend me your powers!” He shouted and raised his hand. A barrier of water appeared over the students just as rocks began to fall collapsing on the barrier. He quickly turned back to the door and busted it open. That was when he heard it, that foul laughter from so long ago. The same one that caused the deaths of so many around him. He ran towards it forgetting his duties as a Guardian to the students, it called for him in the depths of his mind. The laughter faded and Orun got a grip of his surroundings again. Horror struck him as he saw what was happening. A monstrosity was attacking the town. It towered over everything, its wings were black as night and emitted a dense dark fog over the town.

Orun gripped his bandaged right hand and pulled off its bindings. A symbol of an angelic wing shined brightly against the darkest night he had ever faced. He pulled a dagger from his belt and stabbed it through his right hand. “In the name of the divine I offer up my blood in order to see those who have yet to live!” The blood from his hand began to shine brightly and fly off in different directions seeking victims of this monstrosity. Orun stood panting, he was a better summoner than he was a healer, but healing in his world was a tough occupation for anyone. He had hoped that the spell was enough to save at least one person.

He glanced back at the monster and that was when he noticed it, a top his demonic head, directly in the center a man stood black as night blending in with the monster’s flesh. It was that same cloaked man from his Destiny Circle. The same one that wreaked havoc upon his town so long ago. Orun clenched his jaw and vowed for revenge against him.

“Zephyr lend me your wings!” Orun cried pulling a white gem from his belt. The gem radiated and sunk into Orun’s left hand. Ethereal wings formed on his back giving him the gift of flight. He flew as fast as he could towards the cloaked man.

The cloaked man looked at him when he appeared with a devilish grin. “So you remember me do you?” He began to laugh that same maniacal laugh that had haunted Orun for so many years. “Well then come Orun show me how much you’ve grown.” He launched a ball of lightning towards Orun so effortlessly it was impossible to believe. Orun could barely dodge the bolt as it exploded in the air, the recoil caused him to fly back a few paces.

“Not bad, but not good enough just yet. Please, come at me another time.” The laughter continued as a black gate appeared behind the man. He stepped into it threatening to vanish yet again.
“No! Not again!” Orun shouted as he flew towards the gate. The village was already doomed, Orun did not care anymore. His only focus was this man and his revenge. Orun followed the man and vanished through the gate just the same.
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[Yuu Xia] Betrayal

Post  Mica on Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:23 pm

Xia Yuu gazed upon the floating Earth. The delicate looking structure on the perilous perches of the mountains made it impossible to comprehend how it was created. Yet there it had stood; for the many centuries it would overcome the test of time. The fragmented pieces of large boulders and land floated in their world, just beneath the clouds and sky. The ageless architecture in the center of the suspended Isles was called Tianzora, the mysterious Capital of the Huosai.

In perfect poise and stillness, Xia stood by the edge of the airship. It was a vast aircraft, the prime and only source of transportation to the infamous capital. This one was a little bigger than the common one as it was adorned with special crests and design, along with defenses lining the base. It was heavily guarded by men and weaponry alike. As they neared their destination the ship became livelier as there were more things to do. They prepared for the landing as they would soon reach the port.

"My Lady, please let us ready you for your arrival. I'm sure Official Yuu would like to see you well and sound."

With no resistance, the women led Xia away from her view. They ushered her down into her quarters and began their meticulous work. First would be the clothes, they gave her beautiful jade colored robes, the sashes and cloth working together to create a godless-like image. It was the traditional dress of the Huosai Palace and her arrival would have to be perfection. They fixed her black hair above her head, with a flowery headpiece to hold it in a large circle. The remaining strands of hair lay in front of her chest, the bangs adorned with small golden beads. Her lips were painted red to accentuate them and the finishing was black paint for her eyes to reflect her famous flame like eyes.

Mere minutes after they finished dressing her, a quartet of guardsmen came to escort her out of the aircraft. As they began walking out of the corridor, a serious looking gentleman stood in wait. He wore war-torn armor yet even the white streaks on his hair and gentle demeanor could not hide the sheer command he had around everyone else.

There was a crowd at the port. They all came to see the Princess of Yuu, the daughter of the prestigious Official who had the pleasure of leaving the mainland. Such permission was scarcely granted to anyone who wanted to return and yet such a famous family had allowed a mere daughter to do so. The sight of her perfection would be vital to the people, to show that she had not been harmed nor influenced by the alien culture that was of the downlands. They had seen her pristine appearance, her golden fire eyes and her impeccable manner.

The white streaked commander yelled a command and they led their Princess to a carriage. The public display was over. It had a dragon-like mount called the Shek. Native to the Capital lands, they were prized and fast. Loyal and reliable also, which gave them massive value. Their figure was a four legged flightless dragon, their teeth nothing to be mocked about, razor sharp and plentiful enough to create a large overbite.

The trip to her residence would be long. The port was always at the furthest part of the city and the Yuu main house resided in dense forestry. Known for their beautiful gardens and artistry, some people called them faeries. The road led upwards into the busy capital filled with hard working people.  The familiar smell of fruit, bread and the harsh crack of metals melting made her calm.  When the carriage stopped, Xia attempted to peek out of the window although General Xiao Zu gave her a warning look. Resisting from the urge, she pouted and turned from it. A boy knocked on the door and he exited it. At the very least her ears were working and she could hear their conversation.

“A message from the Imperial Palace, my lord!”

“From his Majesty? What is it?”

“Yuu Xia shall report to the Imperial Palace for a celebratory toast for her return. His Majesty is also eager to hear of her adventures of her trip.”

“I see. Very well, tell his Majesty she will be on her way immediately.”

“Very good, my lord!”

The carriage began to move once again and they engaged in conversation. Xia  gave him a curious glance and it was all he needed to explain. “You must understand, my Lady that while he had reservations for the permit he was still very curious. This is not so very unusual of him. It is in our favor that you are dressed accordingly although you will have time to prepare further when we arrive.”

“I had wished to see Father first.” Dismayed at the thought, Xia leaned back. The Imperial Palace was the most exhausting place one could visit and although it was mandatory she go there, it did not make things any easier.

“It could be very likely Official Yuu is at the Palace as well. I would keep your hopes up.” They exchanged smiles as the carriage changed its course to the Imperial Palace.

--

It was a magnificent structure. The Palace rested on the rockiest and highest part of the floating earth. The structure was built carefully around the natural terrain with great detail to the artistry. The entrance was a grand staircase leading up to a large door and an expansive wall guarding the Palace grounds. Imperial soldiers escorted Xia and General Xiao Zu inside, leading them into one of the outer buildings to prepare them for the presentation for the Emperor.

It was at that point that they had to separate and although the General resisted, he was eventually led to different quarters. The dress they gave her was a dark crimson red color with golden dragon linings much like a Shek. Her hair was redone to be more natural, most unusual of the Palace standards and yet it hung loosely down her back and chest. An equally exquisite headpiece was placed on her hair donning many beads and rare metals. The face paint they would normally put was now removed and left her face bare.

“If I might ask, what is the purpose of this?”

The ladies who were fixing her robe smiled. There was something eerie about it and yet they did not answer. Xia felt incredibly uneasy. As soon as they finished, Xia was led to a long corridor that would lead into the throne room. However that was not their destination. General Xiao Zu was nowhere in sight and instead she was brought to a smaller room with extravagant furnishings.

A single candle was lit on the round table, the dim light providing very little vision except the cloth it rested on. The ladies quickly dispersed from her presence and left her alone in the room. Forgetting courtesy, Xia walked towards the candle. She examined what she could see and there wasn't much to take note of. Smoke filled the room with a strange kind of incense, giving it a suffocating feeling.

“Yuu Xia.” A deep thundery voice called out from the darkness. The Emperor had his usual stern face as he neared her. He was a quiet man, rarely speaking unnecessary things. A serious individual, yet gained respect for his insightful knowledge and smart choices. Also a fair man and although he did not favor her permit he did grant it. A competent Emperor, one would definitely agree.

“Y-Your Majesty!”

Behind him another man stood silently, cloaked in black and the shape of his face masked in the shadows of his hood. There was something sinister about his presence and with the Emperor in front of him it made her uneasy. They all stood in silence until the sounds of struggle and resistance entered the room. Soldiers came bringing in a familiar individual bound in chain and bruises.

“Unhand me! I have done no wrong!”

Xia’s eyes widened as the dim light showed them his face. His white plain clothes were torn and the scars on his body were still bleeding. The pain from his wrists meant nothing to him as he tried to break them. Certainly if they had not put a sealing spell on him it would melt from the fires of his body. Unfortunately the apparent tattoo that was placed on his chest was glowing and burning each and every time he attempted to harness his talent.

It was the talent of the Yuu Clan. Fire; a dangerous element yet it provided warmth and life if held correctly. Such was the lore of Tianzora, crafted by fire and smoke from the depths of the earth. Yet it was always curious, the Emperor and his children had no such talent. Xia stared in silence as they began to kick him to silence. Yet he would not stop nor give up. As soon as he saw his daughter, Official Yuu felt more rage engulf him.

“You hurt my daughter and I swear!”

“Official Yuu, tell me why is it that you have gained influence in my Palace? Was it not from my favor and your intellect?”

Yuu Shunzoku did not respond. Instead he opted to glare at the Emperor with new found hate in his eyes but there was something else, disappointment and sadness that consumed his body more than the scars and bruises he acquired. He was a good man, or so Shunzoku thought, a fair and honest Ruler that they needed after the endless years of war the country brought upon them.

He shook his head. “I brought you two together because I consider you a good friend. You were also a step of the many I would take to win the hearts of the people, the council and the government. I only tell you this because you were at large, the largest step to my success. If not for you, I may have not reached my goal.”

The faded emerald eyes of Shunzoku widened, realizing slowly that he was about to hear something that should never be heard. “What are you saying?”

“First consider that this will be the last time you see your daughter.” He gave them both glances, “I offer my thanks to your family, Yuu. However this life of peace that our world has suffered must come to an end. Do not worry, Xia, my wonderful flower. Never; never shall I kill your Father.” He ran a finger down her cheek.

“But you…” he trailed on, gazing happily at Xia.

“Wei Xang! What are you planning?!” Shunzoku screamed.

Xia tried to act. She tore the heavy headpiece from her head, undid the ornaments and dropped the heavy robes from her body. A thin layer of cloth remained and she immediately prepared to attack the Emperor. Holding a thinly shaped steel star with an icon of fire engraved in the metal, Xia threw them at him following the action by a kick to his stomach, old but not feeble, the Emperor held her foot and twisted it hard enough for her to lose balance and fall. Had he been stronger, Xia would have sprained her ankle.

Fire began to sprout from her fingers as she tempered two additional steel stars in her hand, they began to glow a bright red and she threw them towards him. It was hot and sizzling, surely to burn anyone who would touch it. Thinking she had missed, it landed on the foot of his robes and the carpet which slowly set the fabric in flame.

The Emperor, Wei Xang laughed. “Enough of this. I like your daughter, Yuu. She is a lot like you; even if no one would ever see it.”

The cloaked figure began to move. He stepped forward in front of Xia and suddenly the surface she stood on began to shift. “I believe we have a deal, Emperor. She has proven her skill.”

The blackness that grew under her feet began to move in on her body, a thick liquid slowly seeping out of the ground to latch onto her skin. It was impossible to move as she tried to burn the black liquid that set her in place with the fire that escaped her fingers. Panic engulfing every pore of her body resisted with all her might, yet it became apparent that this was not something she was going to escape from.

Her father called out her name many times. The Emperor laughed and began to sing to his old friend. A song about the future where they would kill everybody and rule the Capital and the world, forever and ever. The once dark room began to flame up in heat, shining light to the ugliness that had transpired. The cloaked figure’s face now visible to her eyes, a faceless head with only a mask with the ying and yang symbol on it. The image had engraved itself in her mind as she glanced behind him. The last thing she saw was her Father’s face, filled with grief and desperation as he stretched his hand out to her in vain.
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Syrine & Ace

Post  Kipina on Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:28 pm

It’s time.

Why is my head throbbing...
It felt like a soft bed at the time but the smell was off. The faint smell of blueberry and freshly laid out dirt. Actually… now that I think about it there was a constant patter of footsteps coming from above me. Was I underground? This wasn’t right… unless….

RINE…huh…?SYRINEThis yelling stuff has to end…
I peel my eyes open to see eyes peering back at me. All brown… except the fiery red eyes of the queen.
I tried to get up but everything felt sore. “Was this really necessary Mother?” I made the mistake of saying that while looking in her eyes. I could see the sadness of the world in those eyes. I hated that. There was once a time where those eyes were able to light the world. Since the Shifts things haven’t been the same. Being royal became a curse.

Mother was already ready with hot water and a towel. As I tried to sit up I could feel dozen of brown eyes staring at me. It’s always like this… the spotlight. Mother did her routine with checking my forehead which was about a few degrees higher than it should have been. She was once a nurse for a village before a Shift destroyed it. “I’m okay Mother, really.” I said muttering under my breath. I looked to the side, still avoiding eye contact. People need to stop fussing over me.

“Thank you everyone for your support, I think the princess needs some rest now” Mother was trying to get everyone out. It’s either that or she read my mind.  I’ll soon be asked about the dream, the vision? I’m still not sure what it is because although they don’t seem real… sometimes I still end up with wet hair or burn marks. I looked at my hands to find clumps of dirt under my nails. Not again… this will take forever to get off. “Rine, dear.” I looked up to my mother’s voice as she moved closer to me. Suddenly she put her arms around me in a tight hug. I could feel the warmth that always came from her. It reminds me of the Sun Shift where even though the heat felt unbearable, it was so relaxing. Mother pulled away to look into my eyes. I couldn’t keep eye contact. “Rine, did you want to tell me what happened this time?”
No….I shook my head slightly.
“Was it bad?” She looked worried now…
“Mother, it was normal. I couldn’t tell what was happening but I do want blueberries now” I said with a half-smile. I couldn’t help it, blueberries are delicious in her famous tarts.
“This can’t keep happening…” Mother looked so beaten down as she said that. It’s been a rough few years with the Shifts happening so often.
“Mother. You know I can stop them! Let me try!” I try to plead with her. We all know the Dark Witch has the answer. We just don’t know what the price is.
“I’m not letting you pay the price.” The determination in her eyes grew. But so did mine.
“One the Dark Shift comes, I will seek her out. Maybe I can get these dreams to stop as well!” I’m hopeful… someone has to be.
“Rine…”

I made up my mind. There was once a time when the Shifts did not exist and seasons reigned peacefully. Now these Shifts constantly ruin the land and lives as they happen almost instantly. I walk outside to be almost instantly blown away. Ugh… the Wind Shift. Each shift has its own unique quality to it, each all is named something differently. My favorite is the mountain shift, although it’s dangerous since mountains literally grow from the ground, it’s by far the most peaceful weather. Can’t forget about the awesome flying conditions.
“Acie!!” Where did this nub run off to this time…
“ACE” Now I’m just yelling at the top of my lungs. My throat getting sore from the wind intake. You don’t even want to see how badly my lips are chapped right now.
A voice looms over me “You can stop yelling, I’m here” I look up to see a butt coming down closer to my face
“TOO CLOSE!!” I let the wind move me out of the way while I see my trusty Pegasus land where I was standing.
“Honestly Ace, did you have to try to squish me?” I ask rolling my eyes at the 6 foot horse with wings.
“Honestly Rine, did you have to stand where I was trying to land?” He says telepathically with an audible grunt. We lock eyes to just bust out laughing letting the wind carry away the sound.
“Okay mister, let’s go, we need to get ready for the Dark Shift” I’m saying this while already getting up on his back.
“You got permission?” His low voice once again in my head
“Something like that…” I pat his neck as we take off South towards the Forest.

I point downward where I believe the middle of the forest is. “Here’s good Ace” As he slowly lands I jump off and start unloading. Rations, water, snack… what am I missing…. Bow! I pick up and slowly pull the string to see an arrow made out of dust start to appear. The bow pulls in surrounding elements and feelings to shoot out. The catch is, it’s pretty much up to the bow itself to choose what to take. It makes fighting a bit more difficult when your bow decides to pull water or love. I aim at the nearest tree and let the dust arrow fly. With a slight ping a dust cloud forms and fades away…
As I finish setting up camp darkness starts to appear. Shifts normally happen randomly but the Dark Shift always comes during a full moon at midnight. It lasts for a few days and then vanishes. When midnight falls we’ll be ready…

Gathering up our travel gear we set out on foot to look for the Dark Witch. It’s a hit and miss so we started right when the Dark Shift occurred. With a full moon above no light was reaching the ground. It’s the eeriest time of the Shifts as light seems to become nonexistent. The wildlife changes to creatures with aggressive qualities. We walk for hours until I hear a sweet sad melody coming from behind. Turning around I noticed we’re in an opening and something dark is coming towards us. Ace neighs softly and stands in front of me. I shake my head and stand next to him, we’re doing this together. Taking out my bow I start an arrow, wood, good. I can work with wood, at least it hurts. As the figure comes into the clearing I hear I soft voice, “Princess, I’m honored” I’m shocked, the voice sounds so familiar…
“I’ve come to pay your price” I state loudly still having my arrow in position
“What is the prize you want?” She still talks in the sweet voice.
“Stop the Shifts, end these dreams of mine”
“Hahaha! Right.” Her maniacal laughter fills the air. Her voice turned deep with purpose. “The prize you seek is not here”
“Then you are no use to me” My arrow now pointed directly to her forehead. A wood arrow will do lethal damage at such close range.
“Fear not child, I have a way for you” As she says this her hand moves in rhythm with the music. As a dark hole appears in front of me I look at her in fear.
“What is this…?” I let the arrow fade away and put my bow away to get hands on Ace. He’s scared of magic more than anyone.
“A dimensional door. It’ll take you to a land where the key to the Shifts is. Look for an orb that holds the seasons. You’ll then be able to control the shifts.” She says this while licking her sharp nails.
“The price?” I asked tentatively… Can she be trusted?
“Retrieve an artifact from another land. Once you encounter it, you will know what it is. Once you have retrieved both objects will I be able to bring you back.”
“And the dreams?” I tried to look under the hood to find her eyes.
“Figments of your imagination yet a past that cannot be yours. They are part of you as long as your eyes glow yellow. It’s part of being a royal, one day you can control it. Go now before I change my mind.”
“Deal.” Trust or not. I turn around to Ace and put my forehead against his. “Stay here Mister. Watch over the kingdom and my mother. She’ll need you more than me” He neighed in protest but as he did so I took a step back and let myself fall listening to the sad melody that followed me down.
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Now entering..SAO

Post  Herms on Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:26 am

Orun hit the floor hard panting as he came through the dimensional gate with major wounds. He lay on the ground for just a moment feeling the deep red blood flow out of his body. He caught his breathe and began to sit up wincing from the pain. He looked up just in time to see the gate vanish and feel the first drops of rain splatter on his face.

“Where the hell am I….” He recollected his memories inside of the dimensional gate. He had been able to catch up to the cloaked man thanks to Zephyr, but even with the help of his summons he lost sight of his target all the same. A battle had occurred inside of the gate between creatures that he had never seen before….small winged like creatures with a menacing howl and leathery bodies had assaulted him and he dove towards the nearest exit he could find.

He stood despite the pain and fumbled around his belt pulling out the knife he had used back at his Village. The bandage on his right hand already gone, he set to work healing his body. He took the knife and carved two lines on either side of the winged emblem feeling the fresh blood flow. He closed his eyes and concentrated. A glow began to emit from the free flowing blood and slowly his wounds began to seal. He opened his eyes again focusing on the ground in front of him and slowly brought himself down to sit with his back against the wall. There he slowly drifted off to sleep to recuperate his strength before exploring the strange new world.

Through Orun’s sleep he began to hear voices that were gradually becoming louder.

“Hey! Look at that guy over there…look at how he’s dressed. It looks like he’s supposed to be in Coplay or something.”

“Seriously….but look at his right hand. The boss would be happy if we brought this guy a long too.”

“We should grab him before he wakes up completely!”

Orun opened his eyes suddenly aware of the danger that was almost upon him. He saw two men almost directly in front of him filled with malicious intent. He reached for the back of his belt where he kept his summon’s relics but before he could grab one out electricity coursed through his body causing him to black out.

“Do you think he’s still alive….tazing him might have been too much.”

“He’s still breathing we’re good. Let’s get going before we’re seen!”

Orun began to regain consciousness and lifted his eyelids just a crack. A bright light shined in his face to the point where it was almost impossible to open his eyes any farther. He noticed a dark figure in front of him but the light prevented a good look at his face.

“W..what do you want from me.” He said weakly.

“You sir, do you realize you are of the most extraordinary human beings that I have ever encountered?! I mean look at your hand a tattoo that glows. Did you have a chemical embedded into your body? And your scars are healing at a miraculous rate! How on Earth did you manage to do this…” The dark figure talked to him as if he was comprehending everything and was just as excited. All Orun knew was that he had to get out of here fast.

“And look at this here, this is the most amazing thing about you!” The figure reached and tried to touch Orun’s still bandaged left hand.

Out of instinct Orun yelled “Release!”

The figure was thrust across the room into the wall. He began to laugh the most maniacal laugh one has ever heard. “My my….feisty. What is it about that hand you don’t want people to know?” The figure turned to two men that were waiting silently beside Orun. “Make the straps on him tighter and bring in the Nerve Gear. This one will be an excellent specimen for my full dive technology.” He turned towards Orun. “You will show us your mind and you will not have a choice unfortunately for you.” An evil grin spread across his face.

One of the men brought over what looked like a Helmet with rope coming out of it. Orun had not seen such a thing before and began to struggle when they tried to put it on. The straps however on Orun were too tight and the so called Nerve Gear was put into place.

“ Sugo sir, the gear is in place.” The man said backing away from Orun.

The figure now known as Sugo gave another evil grin to Orun and turned away to click at a table behind him. Orun could barely see something that was emitting light and running words across it like a book. However, he was more concentrated on his mind being peered into. “Whatever spell you use to look into my mind, it won’t work!” He shouted at Sugo. He gathered the rest of his energy and began putting closures in his mind. Closures that his summons had given him to hide their identities as well as his own. Fire closures, water closures, wind closures, Earth closures, and many more were placed amongst his thoughts.

“Drug him.” Sugo said to the second man. He nodded and picked up a needle from the table stabbing it into Orun’s arm rendering him barely conscious.

“Good, now you shall enjoy a peaceful game while I enjoy tinkering with your mind!” Sugo turned back to the table and tapped on it once more. In almost a second Orun blacked out and felt as if he was being dragged through a tornado.
Light began to fill the darkness that had surrounded Orun and the tornado sensation slowed to a stop. A cool breeze flowed around him and the smell of fresh air filled his nose. He looked around him to find that he was no longer strapped down to a table but in a field.

“What the heck is going on……Someone must have powerful magic to be doing this but why me? I have done no—“He stopped himself mid-sentence and glanced at his hands. Fingerless gloves covered them where his bandages used to be. Above them floated the words “Fighter’s gloves”. He looked down to see he was wearing a sleevless black shirt with white pants. His belt still in place, however now a brown color with brown shoes. It was very plain compared to what his homeland wore and very easy to move in. To the top left he could see two bars floating. One that read “HP” and one that read MP” his name was also at the top of these bars with the word “Fighter” next to it.

“Fighter huh…..is that what I am now? How could a world completely change my fight style though…” Before he could contemplate any further a humanoid figure jumped out towards him. Similar bars as the ones on his top left were floating next to it, however in place of his name, it read “werewolf”. Almost as if on instinct Orun took a fighting stance shocking himself slightly. He brought himself to the balls of his feet and with a swift movement lunged into a jumping roundhouse kick to the beast’s face. It howled in anger and swiped back at Orun.

Orun jumped back to dodge and instinctively grabbed for his dagger in his belt. He parried the slash and was able to get away. The werewolf lunged towards Orun again, this time at an increased speed. Orun had no choice but to stand his grand and point his knife towards the werewolf. Impact was made and the wolf made a whimper noise, however the momentum was too great for Orun to withstand and he was thrown to the ground.

His HP bar dropped to over halfway. He didn’t know what this meant but he was certain it was not a good thing.
He got up to face the beast again. The beast’s HP bar was missing a chunk but it was not nearly as much as Orun’s and that was when he realized it was probably a damage meter of some sort. The werewolf continuously howled in agony, and that was when Orun realized his knife was still stabbed into its chest. However it was glowing now. Words appeared before Orun that read “Summon? Yes or No.” without thinking Orun instantly said Yes. The knife flew out of the chest and into the air taking form of a white dragon half the size of Orun. It had a gem fixed onto its head and it looked ready to battle.

“Please help me!” Orun shouted at the dragon not knowing whether it was friend or foe. The dragon simply nodded its head and lunged towards the werewolf.

More words appeared before Orun.

“To help your summon please choose an element.”

“Fire! I pick fire!” Orun shouted. At his words the dragon’s gem flamed and turned a ruby red. The dragon itself turned a deep blood red and gained armor additions. It breathed heavy flames at the werewolf crushing it with it’s strength.
The werewolf’s HP bar dropped so far that it looked almost nonexistent. However, before dropping completely the dragon vanished and the knife reappeared in Orun’s hand. Orun panicked looking around for the dragon but didn’t have much time as the werewolf stood to brace itself for another attack. Orun noticed his MP bar was gone and all that was left was his HP bar which mysteriously was a t full again. He had no choice, it was as if he had run out of magic.

He took a fighting stance again with his knife in hand. At the same time both Orun and the werewolf lunged at each other. Orun dodged past the wolf this time knowing that it was too large to change course easily, wrapped around behind it and jumped onto its back stabbing it in the back of the neck. He flipped off the beast and watched it fall. The werewolf’s body began to disintegrate and fade until it was gone.

Orun let his muscles relax as the threat was finally over. He examined his knife to see the words “Drake’s Blade” hovering over it.

“A Drake huh…I guess this is my new summon for now.” He placed the knife back into his belt and walked along the plains to encounter a dirt path.

A voice boomed in the sky with no embodiment. “Attention all players of Sword Art Online. Please report to the town’s center square for announcements and updates from the front line as well as from the makers of Sword Art Online.”
“Players…makers? What is this some sort of game? How do I get out of it then….” Orun said to himself. “Well I guess I have no choice, to the town square.” He began walking along the dirt path following the signs that pointed him in the right direction. Finally reaching the town he walked into the center square seeing hundreds of people that looked just as confused as he was.

“Well…at least I’m not alone in my questions.” He mumbled to himself.
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Portals and Beaches

Post  Hea on Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:42 pm

Seb had started to feel uncomfortable.  The quality of people she spoke to become more and more untrustworthy as she had gotten closer and closer to finding the man who was rumored to cut holes into space and disappear into thin air.

She knew it was too late though.  Her last chance to see something even close to home was fading as the rip healed behind her.  There closed the black market with goods being sold from the back of carriages.

The black was all that was ahead of her now and a small lamp with a cloaked figure.  She adjusted the strap for Nymeria across her chest, uncomfortable and being watched by more than the hooded figure.

Seb bows slightly as she approaches and gets a small shift that could have been a bow or a sneeze, she couldn't tell through the massive folds of fabric that hid the figure.

"My master wishes you welcome," the creature spoke.  Its voice unexpectedly filed the black empty.  "He sent me to see to you during your first journey through the void. It can be a bit startling to new people."

She could only nod in response.

"My master also wishes to state his price.  He has said that the precious heirloom of the Child King would be an acceptable price."

He must have notice her stiffen at the mention of it.  She felt the cold sweep into her bones at the price.  The dagger was the only enchantment of home she brought.  The Child King used to sleep with the dagger that his father had given to him.  It was said he dreamed of safety and home.  While he slept with the dagger he was never harmed, not for lack of trying.  She would be giving up her only protection from the outside while she slept.  If worst came to worst she was going to use it as a bartering chip for the supplies she had run out of.  She hesitated and just stared.

"Those things you feel at the edge of the darkness, those are the ones who did not pay the price demanded of them for travel."  She felt them flying just out of her vision.  She could tell now, they were twisted souls, tormented though the endless trap of void.

Seb grabbed into her pack. She found the small blade quick enough.  "You cannot intimidate me with stories of the creatures who live in the darkness," she said as she held the knife to the figure.  Her voice sounded small and flat in comparison to the figure's. She winced a little hoping she sounded confident.  "I am here because I have a goal that I am determined to achieve and I will not return home until it is complete."

"I doubt I can.  This is acceptable payment for your journey.  You may pass freely until your goal is reached.  My master looks forward to meeting you.  You and the others would do well to stick together."

Seb stiffened again.  "Others?  Oh no, I don't play well with others."

"It would appear you have no choice Lady Sabrina.  You must be going now."  The hooded figure raised a smoky arm and ripped a hole between them.  "If I may give you one last piece of advice, keep that well concealed.  Not all worlds are accustomed to such weaponry."

Seb takes a step towed the black hole in the black void before she pauses.  "How do I call up another portal?"

"You will know when the time comes.  Now go, Lady.  And find those whom you seek."

***

The other side was beautiful.  She stepped onto sand, soft and fluffy and white.  It made her want to rip her shoes off so she could bury her feet in it.  But that in no way compared to what she felt as she looked up.  

The horizon was met with a blue so mesmerizing it took her breath away.  Seb had never seen the ocean before.  It reminded her of home in the wheat fields that Mr Malcolm grew.  The wind picked up the waves and even at the distance she stood, she could feel the spray of the salt and water in the air.  The air was sticky with it.

People were all around her.  They didn’t seem to notice her too much, and those who did only threw her curious glances and moved on.  They were clothed in so little, obviously not fit for fighting.  But then again, she learned to fight wearing a thin cotton tunic.

Her mind felt a tug, small and light.  The Guidance had found her.  A thrill ran threw her at the realization.  All the great heroes in the stories had followed the Guidance.  Some of them did a better job at following than others, but those stories of heroes following the guidance often ended happier than those who lacked the small presence in their mind.  A warmth of pride swelled in the heartstone against her chest.

Seb took a step in the direction of the pull.  It did not lead her closer to the water’s edge.  She sent a last pleading look at the water, she would love to cleanse in it.  Or just play in the waves like the other people were doing.  They looked happy as they splashed in the waves.  Like they had washed these people of their worries.

The tug of the Guidance almost hurt as it tried to regain her attention.  Seb blushed and whispered a sorry to her feet as they began to follow the tug of the Guidance.  As she was pulled closer and closer, she noticed the situation she was being drawn towards.  A young man about Seb’s age was talking to a girl who would appear to be a few years younger than him.  No, talking was inaccurate.  Harassing was closer to the mark.  

“—please? They won’t even know she’s gone if you don’t mention it! She really has to come to this party!”  The young man said.  

The girl folded in on herself some more.  “I don’t think so Kyle.  She’s grounded!  She can’t even play that new game with me, much less leave the house!”

Seb cleared her throat and both people jumped.  “Hey,” she said a little awkwardly now that she had intervened.  The Guidance was gone now, what was she supposed to do even?  “I was wondering if there’s a place where I can catch some transport or something…” she trailed off lamely.

The man gawked at her for a second.  “Just tell her to come, Becky.”  The young man stalked off.  

The girl, Becky, turned to look at Seb.  “Thanks,” she said, small shy smile warming her confidence again.  “That’s my sister’s boyfriend.  He’s mean and wants me to lie to my parents so she can sneak off to a party.”  She looked at the ground, at Seb’s pack and Nymeria, which was wrapped and indistinguishable.  “You wanted a bus station?  It’s this way.”  She began walking.

Seb followed, more lost than anything else.  She caught Becky giving Nymeria a skeptical eye.  “I’m Seb,” she said in an attempted to deflect attention from her sword.

She failed.  “Becky,” the girl answered.  “What’s that?”  She nodded to the bundle.

Seb floundered and panicked.  She caught site of a boy holding a log flat looking thing with a blue strip down the middle.  He was clad in poor fitting, colorful, short breaches and looked like he just climbed out of the water.

“One of those,” Seb indicated to the man hoping she was good enough at lying that the Becky would just accept the words.  They came to a stop surrounded by other people, all who looked like they were waiting for something.

Becky gave her a skeptical look.  “You went surfing?  In that?”

Seb looked down at what she was wearing.  I guess breeches, dragon scales and corset are not normal beach cloths…  

The girl giggled again and seemed to dismiss the subject.  A big metal thing arrived in fro nt of them.  People climbed off and climbed on like it was the custom, so Seb followed Becky’s lead into the vehicle.  

“So where are you trying to get to?”  They had arranged themselves to take up three seats.  Seb’s pack and Becky’s bag taking up the third.  Seb kept hold to Nymeria resting on the floor against her knees.

“I--,” Seb floundered for words again.  Whenever they had traveled her sister or her parents would handle all the talking.  “You looked like you needed help.”

Becky’s laugh was clear and full.  Seb knew she blushed a little at being made fun of by a younger girl.  “Well why don’t you come home with me?  You must be hungry.  And then we can set out from there.  Don’t worry my parents aren't home yet.  They won’t mind anyway.”

The ride to Becky’s home was smoother than any horse or carriage Seb had ever ridden on.  They talked as Seb watched the scenery gone by.  She was able to make her life sound like they lived in a poor village in the mountains instead of a world where the carriages didn’t move themselves.  I didn’t take long for Seb to find herself sitting cross legged on Becky’s bed with a strange looking helmet in her hands. “NerveGear” as Becky had explained it.  To play a game.  Becky seemed very excited.  There had been an argument between Becky and her sister.  Apparently, Seb was holding onto her gear, but it didn’t matter anyway because she was grounded and wasn’t allowed to play.  Tentatively mirroring Becky’s smile, the slipped on the helmets and….  Fell asleep?

When Seb opened her eyes, she was standing in an open field.  The soft breeze and pale grass reminded her of the plains on the foot of the mountains to the West of the Ruined Keep.  Sadness rippled through her at the thought.  Everything felt like home, but it was not.  The blade in her hand was not the length, width or weight to be Nymeria.  The air was not cold enough to be home, and the sun rested too high in the sky.

Becky appeared beside her, shattering the shaky illusion of home.  Becky did not look quite like she did, but it was still close enough.  She held a guan dao in her hands a flimsy leather armor covered her chest.

Seb looked down at her own novice attire.  Leather vest over blue tunic and leather breaches.  The sword in her hand had a feeling of energy that swords in real life lacked.  In her periphery she saw the bars marked “HP” and “MP.”  Becky told her that those represented health and something called “mana.”  

They spent a few hours running through the field killing the cute little monsters they found there.  Seb picked up the necessary changes in fighting styles pretty quickly.  There needed to be deliberate forethought in each special attack she made.  There was a process of dragging her mana out of her body and into her sword which then did all the work.  It was slow going at first, and Becky’s kill count was way above Seb’s, but Seb picked up quickly and overtook it at an alarming rate.  

“We should probably go now.”  Becky said as she pulled up the player menu.  “My parents will be home soon.  I should probably introduce you at the very least.”  Her laugh was warm as Seb mirrored in a chuckle.  

Becky’s mouth twisted in confusion.  “Hey, there’s not an exit button.”

Seb frowned.  As she went to pull her player menu up a voice spoke from the heavens.

“Attention all players of Sword Art Online, please report to the town’s center square for announcements and updates from the front line as well as from the makers of Sword Art Online.”

Seb and Becky frowned as they pulled Town stones from their inventory bags.

The heartstone against her chest burned in caution.  It seemed like no one liked where this was heading.
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Re: Dimensions

Post  Mica on Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:33 pm

Xia twisted and panicked for a long time. When she was free of restraints, all she could see were things that made no sense. The swirling blackness left her afloat but there was a surge of wind that kept her moving. The garments and trinkets were washed away with the howling air before something caused her vision to fade. Soon after was her consciousness slipping fast away.

--

7:03 am

"Heey, gotta meet Justin laterr..." A blonde haired girl giggled on her cell phone, leaning against a worn brick wall while talking to her best friend. A screech soon disturbed her conversation when a crowd started to form by a nearby tree. A man cut through the crowd and began to examine the victim closely, stating very clearly that he was a doctor.

A black haired woman laid still on the ground with a severe wound, no one had seen her fall until she collided against the tree and its branches, falling head first onto the concrete pavement. A lot of blood spilled and caused a bit of panic among the locals. Satoshi Koto just happened to pass by on his way to work when he heard the fuss.

"D-doctor, i-is she gonna be okay..? I-I called the ambulance but..." The blonde haired girl asked from behind, the only one brave enough to speak.

His short neat black hair began to ruffle, the sweat beading down his forehead while he closely looked at the wound of her head after checking the vitals. "I don't know but they will be here in five minutes, it is close by at least. Please, everyone back away while we give her space. I will need to attend to this if I can.

--

7:09 am

It took the longest five minutes of his life to keep by her side. He couldn't apply any pressure to stop the bleeding because of the possible skull fracture but thankfully it wasn't flowing out as strongly as it could have been. When the ambulance arrived, he came in the car when they recognized him as Satoshi Koto of the Saitama prefecture, a semi-famous Neurosurgeon who worked for a less famous hospital.

"Ready the patient for treatment, we have to operate and clean the wound for infection and close the wound. Also I need an X-ray stat for a better look inside." His words were gentle but incredibly firm, no one thought twice about following his orders.

"Dr. Soto, Dr. Kagemi will be here in three minutes to assist."

"Tell him to hurry, where is the X-ray?!" Immediately he rushed to the disinfection room and readied himself for operation while the nurses gave him results and other important information. "Mr. Soto, what do we have here?" A disheveled man came by and stood in front of the door. They spoke by speaker.

"It seems she fell head first, so a severe head trauma. I applied for an x-ray so I can be certain, did you get the results...."

--

10:56 am

Xia slept soundly in the recovery room. Her head was fully bandaged and the cut on her head was stitched while the doctors stood by her bed discussing what happened. The surgery went by well considering the circumstances. She lost a lot of blood and they had to order some after taking more tests. No one could find her identity and they filed a report to the police.

"I can't believe there's no skull fracture." Dr. Kagemi mumbled, staring at the x-ray bewildered.
"She's in a coma though, but we'll have to take some tests on her brain." Dr. Soto stared intently at her, wondering how it even happened.

"Hey, Soto, I know you're concerned for her but you have to consider the cost. If we can't find any family, there's no way this poor hospital is going to keep her on their own yen."
"I will pay for it."

"Soto? I commend your good heart, but are you sure? What if she never wakes up?"
"I know something that might help. Game developers have been working on this technology..."

--

3:01 pm


"Soto what the hell ? How the heck did you get your hands on one of these?" He gasped when Dr. Soto came holding a NerveGear and applications in hand.

"I was a beta tester. I was one of those guys who lined up for days for it." He smiled sheepishly, holding it up.

"We last checked her brain wave activity; it was ... less than impressive. If this can help, I'm willing to try. The headset won't injure her if we put it on carefully and as it stands, she's not moving an inch." Dr Kagemi opened up to the idea and agreed.

"Alright, let's do it."

--

3:55 pm

"Her vitals are good, in fact everything is good. I double checked her stitches and changed them. The game is up and running."

"I hope you're sure about this, this isn't exactly hospital procedure."

"I'm fairly sure." Dr. Soto smiled while his friend walked out. He stood by Fuu Xia, with a wide grin on his face while something flashed over his eyes; a yin and yang symbol swirling around it. "I will see to it she gets better."

--
?:?? pm/am/??


Please enter your gender and the name of your character.

Xia opened her eyes and the first thing she saw was a black room, filled with floating lights and glowing squares in front of her. She stood still to recollect her thoughts. There was not a lot of memories and for the most part it seemed hazy. She regained her composure and stared at the characters on the glowing squares. They were the Huosai characters in such a strange format.

Please enter your gender and the name of your character.

The sound came from absolutely no where. She tried to step out of the platform but there was an invisible wall. There was only one option in front of her. She pressed on the character and it glowed. It was such an odd sensation to be poking at thin air.

Please customize your appearance.

A mirror flashed before her and a screen with a selection of styles and color. None of this mattered, Xia hissed but she thought about it for a moment. She picked a practical style, one without any bangs and fixed up in a bun. The body type was standard and the eyes she picked was brown, so as to appear 'normal'.

Welcome to Sword Art Online.

The rest of the initiation seemed to go by smoothly, there wasn't anything she understood but the first thing she could do was figure out what was going on as well as where on god’s name she was. The black room lit up brilliantly while it broke into glass shards, while her body was soon disappearing. She panicked for a moment but there wasn't enough time to show more emotion.

The very next thing she saw was a plain field with a forest in the near distance. Her eyes took in the full effect; the lush blowing winds touched her face and the fresh air coursed through her body. It was the most beautiful and refreshing thing, like the ending to a fairy tale. Of course this was no story and she had to keep her guard up. Xia’s shoulders were tense and she didn’t allow the peaceful atmosphere to relax her. There was a slight throb in her head that ticked at her, holding it she wondered what it was about.

A boar came roaring from the forest, charging towards her. It had distinct golden fur and sparkling silver tusks, red eyes and the evil intent from it made Xia react quickly, rolling away to jump as it turned around to repeat its aggressive behavior. She leaped high enough to ride on the animal and sensing it would not react to any sense she stabbed her dagger on its back and pushing it downwards in hopes to end it quickly. Falling from the force, Xia landed on the ground as the boar didn't fall and turned once again. A strange bar appeared before her and the boar, it was green but hers quickly dropped almost halfway. Above the boars bars were numbers and letters, and it read Lv.5.

A sword came flying towards the animal while she tried to stand, only to fall back. A black haired boy rushed to help her while he fought the beast after throwing her a red bottle.

“Drink it!”

With no qualms and time to think, Xia drank it and the green bar appeared again to restore it to full. This allowed her to recover and assist but as soon as she stood, the boar dropped to the ground and broke into red glass like particles that disappeared. He laughed and cheered while sifting through the loot on the ground, taking them while they seemed to have disappeared in his hands.

“Thank you.” She murmured, gently walking towards him while he grinned.

“You found the golden boar! But what’s a newbie like you doing up here? He took like one hit at you and half your HP dropped!” He was scolding her and Xia had no idea why. But the genuine worry and concern in his voice was comforting and reminded her of home. He explained further, “did you get lost or somethin’? I’m Scade by the way, I specialize in sword wielding and stuff.”

“I did get lost- I have no idea where I am…” She looked at his eyes, red colored almost like her own.

“A-are you from Tianzora as well?” Hope filled her face and he gave her a strange expression.

“Tianwutza? Haha, you getting too caught up in the game! I can see you’re new though, let’s party up so I can teach you some stuff. Do you have any friends?”

“Friends?” She asked, dismayed at his reaction. “I don’t. What do you mean by game?”

“You know? The game you’re in? Sword Art Online? The greatest thing to online multiplayer since… forever?”

“Oh.. right.”

“You’re kinda weird. Is it okay if I check your level?”

“I.. I don’t know how..”

“Didja read the manual or anything? Oh well, no prob! I can help you. I didn't join with any friends either and we could play together!”

“Thank you… My name is Xia Fuu.”

“Xia? That’s a cute name! C’mon, you click this…”

He continued for hours, talking non-stop about the game they were in. He taught her how to access her menu and she had to accept the trust she had to give him, allowing him to peer in front of her menu and bare statistics. At first he was shocked she was a mere level one, which was where everyone seemed to start. With nothing better to do, he soon rushed to level six and went roaming.  He was friendly and open, taking her to town to get geared up and taught her how to fight although she knew how.

Scade further explained about the lore and story while he also spoke a little about himself. His likes, dislikes and how he had a brother on here but he didn’t want to play with him because he was a bully. It was all just a game to him but Xia was still processing how this could be a game, that felt so real and how the wind and sweat felt like reality.

Something had surprised him though, even at such a low level she was able to produce fire from her fingers. Obviously she was a melee fighter class, but to be mixed in with some elemental properties impressed him. Apart from the low level, Xia had fought rather well and quickly made some progress towards his own level while he relaxed and watched from the background giving advice. When Xia felt adamant about killing the animals, he encouraged her by saying they were just projections of the game. Eventually she got used to it, moving as she would normally while he praised her fighting style. The two daggers she came equipped with were starting to wear and they were about to head to the weapon store.

“I wonder where you got those, they’re kinda cool. Are you gettin’ used to it a bit more now?”

“Yes, thank you. I am very fortunate to have met you.”

He blushed and it was so obvious that she gave out a little chuckle that sent them both laughing. It was so strange how she spoke, so polite and formal but gentle and warm.  Normally newbies were needy and annoying but this is the best time he’s had with a stranger so far. Though she didn’t pick a particularly pretty avatar, plain and simple though he guess the point of the game was to fight and have fun.

Attention all players of Sword Art Online, please report to the town’s center square for announcements and updates from the front line as well as from the makers of Sword Art Online.

She had heard this voice before. Scade was curious but they decided to head towards the weapon store anyway. However it seemed they had no choice as they were instantly teleported to where thousands of people were gathered. Many were in groups but many were alone and everyone had the same type of expression, something Xia was sure she had seen before. The feelings of panic, worry and fear were written all over their faces.

Xia and Scade made their way more towards the center and she glanced at him but even he had no answers this time.
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Re: Dimensions

Post  Lore on Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:15 pm

"Oh my, your brother is a persistent one." The robed figure chuckled while carrying Luka through the Void, a black space filled with random things that would manifest one moment and be gone the next.

The girl looked up at him with an angry expression, "Onii-chan is not scared of you! And neither am I!"

The figure glanced down at her, "Oh? Then it would seem I must try harder!" He swirled one of his arms before pointing it behind him and unleashing the destructive magic that was building in the shadows of his sleeve. A dark wave of hungry spirits blasted out in a cone launched at the samurai, but Shin was no fool. He propelled off one of the floating objects in the Void while bracing Hitomi in front of him. The magical sword that once belonged to his mother glowed as he plunged into the spirits, cutting through the center of the wave. The spirits cried out as most were cleaved asunder and those who survived were flung to the side of him, repelled by the barrier of the blade and lost to the Void.

Shin flipped through the air and landed on another object before kicking off of it, navigating the darkness easily despite the suffocating nature of the Void. He thanked years of meditation for that, and the focus he felt at the task of saving his only sister from this mysterious black mage. No matter how tenacious he was mentally, however, his physical reserves were wearing thin considering how far he had chased this figure through especially harsh conditions. The Void was cruel to those who didn't dwell there and even the most hardened samurai would be forced out before long.

"Finally feeling the burn, eh Kokoro?" The figure's voice was clear and malicious even though they were far apart. His taunt called Shin by what he was known to the Dene Tha - their Kokoro, their leader. Luka tried in vain to loosen the figure's hold on her, but he acted as if he didn't feel a thing and he probably didn't. She was just a gnat unworthy of his direct attention. "Allow me to put you out of your misery then, because now is not the time for you to expend your energy on little ol' me." The figure stopped suddenly and rose an arm, the sleeve falling to reveal a large demonic claw that held a small black orb. The orb crackled with indigo electricity before expanding rapidly and sucking in the darkness around it. The Void turned white and the objects in the area disintegrated as the figure grinned an impossible grin - his lips set so wide that an ordinary person's cheekbones would shatter. The orb grew and grew until levitating away from the claw, and the figure reared its arm back.

"N-no! Stooop!" Luka grabbed his arm and clawed the flesh with her nails, channeling all her spiritual energy into a Superu that could seal his power, but it only managed to stop a bit of the orb's energy. "Foolish girl," the figure mocked before thrusting his claw towards Shin and launching the ball, watching in glee as it sped towards the samurai. With no object to propel off or cower behind, Shin braced the Hitomi in front of him and clenched his teeth. He could feel the power in the orb and knew that he was done for if he didn't prepare a defense. The orb collided with the energy in his sword and started pushing him back before overtaking him completely in a massive release of destructive force. Luka screamed as a black nova tore through the Void and blinded her view. "Oooniii-chaaannnn...!"

A small slit in the sky above Tokyo appeared suddenly and spat out a falling figure in a tattered kimono. Shin was unconscious and very quickly plummeting towards the ground, but his mother's sword was pulsing to restore his consciousness. He opened his eyes slowly and felt the rushing wind before spinning around to gaze down. A bead of sweat rolled down his brow as he thought fast and came to a conclusion. He sheathed Hitomi and quickly drew a rune in the air, "Superu number 34, lash out and bind in cruel webs!" Four small strands of light flashed between his fingers and as he neared a rooftop, he threw them down. They fell shortly before each strand spiralled outwards rapidly to create a web of light. He braced himself as he plunged into the web and luckily it caught him. Superu 34 was created to trap the spiritual body so it wasn't entirely physical. It also had the bonus of preventing the opponent from using their own spiritual energy.

Shin made a cutting motion with his fingers and the web disintegrated instantly, particles of light disappearing in the sky. He exhaled and sagged in relief before an unfamiliar female voice caught his attention. "What... the heck are you? W-what was that just now?" He turned towards the voice and saw a young girl with short red hair and emerald eyes. She was wearing a school uniform consisting of a simple blouse, short skirt, stockings, and flats. She pushed up her glasses and stared at him through the lenses, mouth slightly ajar in shock.

He tilted his head curiously, "That was a Superu. Number 34 to be exact. If you mean my falling from the sky, then I can only say that I was pursuing a kidnapper through subspace-" "Whoa whoa whoa, stop right there!" She waved her hands frantically and walked forward quickly until she was right in his face. She stared hard at him before grabbing his cheek and pinching it. He yelped and took a step back in surprise, "What was that for...?" He rubbed his cheek while looking at her strangely.

"Y-you're real... but this can't be happening!" She turned away from him and curled up into a ball, "They warned me that too much anime would skewer my sense of reality, but I didn't listen! Oh Amber, you're such a fool..." She burst into tears and Shin rushed forward to pull her up. He looked her in the eye with concern. "Please... don't cry," he reached up and wiped one of her tears gently with his thumb, and gave her a smile. "Women should never be forced to shed tears. I apologize if I upset you in any way, but I must hurry for my sister's life is at stake."

She didn't really hear any of that as she was caught staring at his handsome face. So good looking, she thought before shaking her head and nodding slowly. "J-just uhm... try and explain everything? Maybe I can help?" He hesitated before nodding and they sat down on the rooftop. He told her about everything; his world, the Dene Tha, that he led them, that he had a sister named Luka and that she was taken. He spared no detail and by the end of his dialogue, she was speechless.

"You're definitely not in your world anymore," she said quietly after a moment of silence, pushing her glasses up. She had to believe his story for the time being if what he said was true. "You're on Earth now and this is Tokyo, Japan. I've played a lot of games and watched a lot of anime... so I can say with confidence that the black hole that sucked you and your sister in was probably a dimensional gate of some sort. That means the guy who took your sister probably intended to drop you in another dimension. That would be this world..." She poked a thumb in her mouth and nibbled on her nail in nervous concentration. "If he really is a master of dimensional magic, then there's no telling where you'll find him or your sister. But I think I know a good place to start!" She stood abruptly and surprised Shin who fell back. Everything she was saying was beyond his immediate understanding, but he tried to absorb it all because she seemed like an incredibly knowledgeable girl.

"I'll help you find your sister... if I'm not the Thunderball High Guru of Everything Fantasy!" She put her hands on her hips and laughed into the sky, certain that she was delirious from pulling an all-nighter. She may have been crazy, but she was ready to live it up with her imagination. Shin just watched from behind her, unsure of whether she was really smart by this world's standards or unusually insane. He appreciated whatever help he could get though. "By the way," she turned and introduced herself quickly, "You can call me Amber. You're Shin, right?" He nodded and smiled, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Amber."

As they walked through the streets of Tokyo, Amber explained many things about Earth and Japan in particular. When Shin would look at something in amazement, she'd break down the components.
"What's that?" He pointed at an object behind a window.
"That would be a television. Think of it as a magical box that projects images from far away." She pushed up her glasses.
"And that?" He pointed at a vehicle.
"That would be a car. We use it to get from point A to point B quickly as it's much faster than using your legs." She pushed up her glasses.
"Amber, should we help him? That man's eyes are being sucked from his skull!" He put a hand on the pommel of his sword.
She waved her hands frantically, "That's just a guy playing a handheld! Uh, think of it as... a smaller television that you can interact with." Her glasses slid down her nose.

After a few minutes of intense explanation, Amber was exhausted and dragging her feet. What did I do to get stuck with this weirdo, she thought exasperated. I still don't even know if his story is true or not! But if his sister really is in danger, then I have to do this. She sweatdropped and mentally groaned at the pain of it all. "Here we are," she suddenly said aloud as a ton of people walked around them. "Everyone here is shrouded in strange garb," Shin muttered while watching the people pass by. "They're cosplaying," she crossed her arms and explained. "The people of this world love stories like yours, Shin. They also like to dress up as characters in those stories. They might even think you're cosplaying because that is not typical dress in this world, but it is common in anime. Understand?"

"I believe so," he nodded and smiled. "You are a very good teacher, Amber." He reached out and patted her on the head as a crowd gathered around them and stared. "That was the legendary head pat!" Cried one otaku and there was a roar of approval. Amber wished the ground would swallow her up. "A-anyway, this is a convention for anime and games called the TF or Total Fantasy. Someone here might know about your sister or the guy who took her." A few minutes later, they were inside after Amber paid for the both of them. "But since this mysterious dude can use dimensional magic... I have another hunch!" She turned and looked at him while folding her hands behind her back. "Do you trust me, Shin?"

"Of course," he replied instantly.

"W-wow... you didn't think too hard about that," she giggled slightly before turning back around. "Well," he began. "My sister and I needed to learn how to read people after our parents passed. It was especially crucial considering that I was to lead the Dene Tha. I see that you are a trustworthy person... and a good one at that." She blushed furiously and took his hand before running off suddenly. "A-Amber?" She led him to a small display off the beaten path. There were two thin beds set in machines with a sign up above them. It read Sword Art Online.

"This is the newest game in our world and one that makes it seem as if you're the character. My friend works here and gave me special permission to use these before they open the area next week..." She picked up a helmet that said NerveGear at the top and handed it to Shin who just looked at it funny. "Put it on, lay in the bed, and then follow the instructions you see. It may seem confusing at first, but I know you'll get the hang of it," she smiled at him and put on the second NerveGear. "But Amber, what does this have to do with Luka?" He slowly put on the helmet and then laid down in the bed. Amber did the same and then answered him, "I don't know if this is really relevant, Shin... but the guy you're after is not limited to any world. Maybe... and this is a big maybe... he's waiting for you in here. The technology of this game is the greatest accomplishment of this world and one of the only reasons he'd drop you here."

The two closed their eyes and entered a white space which reminded Shin of the Void. The instructions were clear and guided Shin through the opening segments and eventually character creation. He understood that what he made would essentially be an extension of himself. He then felt as if he was losing consciousness as Amber's voice faded away.

The next time Shin opened his eyes, he was in a lush world where the blue skies and green plains were bright with life. His appearance was different but not by much. His long black hair was still there but tied in a tight ponytail. He was also more lean and athletic, and his clothes tighter fitting than the kimono he wore. On-top of his dark blue garb was low level leather armor that would offer meager protection. He looked down at his hands... and nearly freaked out because he had two. It was difficult to shock Shin into silence, but giving him a second arm when he lost it ages ago would do that. He was so taken aback that he didn't notice a red named boar stalking behind him. His senses tingled though and he spun on his heel just in time to raise the basic blade he was equipped with to block the boar's wild charge. He noticed a green bar going down in his left peripheral as his feet slid back, his sword locked with the boar's tusks. He looked above the boar and noticed that it also had a green bar, and decided to do a little test.

He suddenly dived to the side so that the boar slammed into a rock and got stuck. As he was knelt on the ground, he felt power welling up inside of his sword arm and looked down at his sword to see the blade pulsing with energy. He looked back at the boar and allowed the sensations coursing through his body to move his arm as if automatically. He took a running step towards the boar and then dashed impossibly fast to pierce its side with the blade. It yelped in pain and its green bar started to deplete quickly. Shin then tore the blade out through the right side of its body and cleaved through another section to the left. He then disappeared in a flash of speed and reappeared on the other side of the boar, his feet lightly connecting with the ground as he sheathed the blade. Red lines cut into the boar one after another until its green bar vanished completely and it imploded into fleeting particles.

"So the green bar represents life in this strange world," he deduced while looking at his own. He also noticed the blue bar underneath it and since it was empty but refilling slowly, he linked that to the special attack he just used. A notification popped up in front of him saying: 'Learned Finishing Move: Vanishing Strike.' With the boar taken care of, he looked down at his left hand. It brought back so many memories of before he lost his arm. He tossed his blade to the left and caught it with his new hand, swinging it a few times to get a feel for the movement. He had only practiced left-handed swordplay as a child and it felt strange to wield a blade on that side of his body now.

“Hmm, I wonder if Amber is around here as well...” He looked around and thought back to her last words to him. 'Do you trust me?' He wondered what that was about, but he shook his head to clear his mind and took a good look at the world around him. It was surreal to know that his real body was elsewhere, and a little scary to realize that it was more or less defenseless. But this world truly was beautiful even if it wasn't as real as his dormant body. Even if the hand he enjoyed now was only temporary, he could see why Earth flourished if it could produce things like this.

A voice suddenly boomed over the area: "Attention all players of Sword Art Online. Please report to the town center square for announcements and updates from the front line as well as from the makers of Sword Art Online."

Shin shouldered his blade while looking up at the sky, taking in the scene before him until he was ready to leave. He cycled through the commands in front of him until eventually stumbling upon an item that could be used to teleport to towns. "This experience is much like learning to be a Kokoro," he mused while initiating the teleportation process. Rings of light circled him from the ground up before a pillar of light in the center enveloped him completely in a brilliant flash.
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Re: Dimensions

Post  Kipina on Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:23 pm

Muscles sore… head hurts… Yea. Gotta love this world traveling stuff

Slowly opening my eyes and looking around I found myself in a dark alleyway littered with trash and puddles of water. Surely not the welcoming party I was expecting. I got up and found I was still intact. None of my clothing or leather armor ripped in the process of falling and my bow was still sitting snugly on my back. Although I did end up leaving the food back home so the only thing really on me is bare necessities that fit in my messenger pouch. Okay… time to get up.

Standing up proved to be difficult, it seems as though the gravity in this world is heavier than mine.

“—of course not! He was such a gen…”
Eh? I whipped my head around just in time to see a pair of colorful girls walk past the alleyway.
What the… how did they get such vibrant colors? Without realizing it I started to walk out of the alleyway and towards the girls. Stepping out into the sunlight I was temporarily blinded by not just the sun but all the glass and people around. This world’s buildings are tall with such colors I did not have words for. I’m swept away with the flow of the crowd that seems to be going towards a big stage. People with hair as blue as the sky with onions in their hands? She must have landed me in the wrong world. Looking around I saw a man in front of me that looked the most normal. He wore leather clothing as well with a bow on his back but from the looks of it was also magical as it had no strings.

“Excuse me? Where is the witch of the Dark Shift?” I asked the man tapping on his shoulder. He whipped around surprising me as I was then staring at the face of a wolf. Not a man.
“That’s… some m-magic there…” I said stuttering as we stared me down... and that’s it. He just kept... staring.
He suddenly smiled widely showing not wolf teeth but human pearly whites. Quite cute I might add.
“Hellloooo to you too sweetie!” He said with the same smile right at me. He’s probably the weirdest of them all here…

“Witch. Dark Shift. Tell me where Wolf boy” His smile was starting to irritate me as I feel his eyes peering all over me. Suddenly I feel self-conscious… Can he see down my chest?! I pinch the clothing around my bust anyways.
“Sweetie, look around!! Pick a witch any witch! Honestly they’re all the same, lacking and made amateur-like” He gestured around which led me to really look at the people around me. None of them really matched each other like… they were in costume?

“IS EVERYONE READY TO GET THIS STARTED?!?” A loud (VERY LOUD) voice boomed over the sky resulted everyone to cheer wildly around me. “LET THE COSPLAY CONTEST COMMENCE!!”

The what….?

Seeing my confused face wolf boy decided to go all wild and start pointing at me. And he was freakishly tall so everyone noticed this. Next thing I know I was being pushed up onto stage by the crowd.
Will they make me fight? Vulgar much. Once getting onto stage I don’t hesitate to take out my bow in ready position. They won’t catch me off guard again.
“WOOO!!!” My eyes opened widely as I was able to see the vast crowd before me. Cheering for me? I smile shyly as I let my posture relax a bit.
“Look at this girl! She really knows how to be in character!” The announcer which I can now see stands next to me wearing some ugly black and white striped suit. He’s talking in a black stick which is magically making his voice 10x louder. The magic in this world is amazing…

I stood up there as I watched the proceedings continued. It seemed like a ceremony of some sort as different people were gathered onto stage. Five including me were standing on stage as number suddenly appeared above our heads. 98? What does that mean… The blue haired girl had 54, macho man with the abs and sparkles had 88, the furry creature had 29 and the last person was… wolf boy?! With a 91 above him.

“THOSE ARE YOUR WINNERS FOLKS! LETS SEE THEM INTO THEIR PRIZES!” The striped announcer started to move us into lounging beds which a mechanical thing placed into our hands.
“Congrats Sweetie, I’ll see you in game” Wolf boy said with a wink and a light punch to my shoulder.
“th—thanks..?” I don’t understand why I’m acting so shy around him…

“WINNERS. I WISH YOU GOOD LUCK AS YOU ENTER THE WORLD OF SWORD ART ONLINE!!”
The crowd starts to cheer again as I see wolf boy lay down and put the mechanical thing over his head. Suddenly on a screen behind him... he showed up. But his body was laying there yet he was on a screen?!  As I looked around the other winners showed up on the screens behind them one by one until everyone was looking at me. I guess I have no choice…. I proceeded to lay down as the announcer helped put the mechanical device over my head. Before it shielded my view I saw a slight smirk form in the corners of his mouth.

As I opened my eyes again I saw a brilliant white screen all around me, like I was floating.
A voice boomed all around me, “SELECT YOUR NAME
“Umm… Rine?” slightly unsure why my name needed to be known…
RINE. CONFRIM YES OR NO
“Yes… I do be---“
SELECT YOUR CHARACTER” Hmph… what is this…

I made a ‘character’ that I was most familiar with, me! Suddenly my clothes right off my back vanished to be replaced with regular cloth and a side bag. The background slowly faded away from white turning into the image of a field. I feel something heavy start to form in my hands as a wooden sword appears. What… is this powerful magic?! The background stabilizes around me with a field in front of me that stretches to the horizon. Whipping my head around I see buildings behind me and people crowding all around. I wonder if I can ask people… I start to walk towards the town and people until….

“SWEETIE! Overe here!!” Someone is yelling from across the field waving a piece of meat in the air.
Ah…. Wolf boy. In his true form… Running towards me I could see his face more clearly away from the wolf mask he had on earlier. As he finally got to me panting, the piece of meat starting to make me hungry just looking at it.
“Hi wolf boy” I shot him a smile. Maybe he’ll share if I’m nice?
“Hey sweetie, just got in?” He said while catching his breath still
“I guess so, it looks like something is going on over in town… was about to check it out” I said pointing behind me
“Great! I can show you my awesome cooking skills and we can eat the loot I go!” He his arm high in the air dangling the meat.
“Perfect” I was already grinning, I couldn’t keep my excitement hidden at all.
“Oh but first, let’s party!” He moved his fingers around and I saw a translucent screen form. As his pressed some spots the meat disappeared and a screen formed in front of me to accept a party. He looks up and saw my confused face. “The faster you click accept, the faster we can eat!” He exclaimed.
Well that wins me over… I hit the accept button quickly and see his name pop up on my screen under… mine? Didn’t see that before… HP… MP…. Interesting. Before I could ask another question he takes me hand in his and we start running towards town.

“Rine huh? Is that your real name?” He asked me in-between bites of meat.
“Sort of. Part of my real name. How about you… Ganester?” I wipe my mouth while asking, man that meat was good.
“It’s the name I always use for games, My real name is Gane” He says with a wink in my direction.
“Okay Gane… well what now?” I look around slightly to see what others are doing. It seems like normal life even though it’s not ..real?
“We can do anything!!” He says suddenly getting up and leans over the table towards me whispering “anything.”
“Is this not real?” I finally asked what was on my mind. Him calling it a ‘game’ could mean anything.
“Of course not! It’s just a game!” He pulled back laughing. But suddenly stops and looks at me right in the eye “but don’t be fooled, it can hurt and work like real life” he said in a serious tone.
Before I could say anything a loud voice boomed overhead
“PLAYERS OF SWORD ART ONLINE, PLEASE GATHER IN THE TOWN SQUARE FOR AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT”
We locked eyes as he took my hand and lead me out to the center of town…
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Kipina

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