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File: Claymore_OP_2.jpg (170 KB, 1222x820)
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You are Noel Tiberius di Hazaran, orphaned daughter of King Tiberius of Hazaran and seventh-ranked warrior in the Organization, and the mastermind of your last fifty-two hours of frustration has finally decided to show her face in the person of Yulia. She proclaims herself to be the “Silver General”, a name which bears no meaning to you, but also claims the former rank of number Five which does mean something to you. It means she's stronger than “Earthbreaker” Saria, an awakened being which you only barely managed to outlast due to the fact that she wasn't fighting with the intention of killing you.

“You said you were ordered to avoid fighting with me?” you return to her own words from just a few moments ago. “Then I take it you would have no objections to allowing my trainees to withdraw?”

Yulia chuckles to herself. “And why would I agree to that?”

“Because a threat to their safety, in fact or implication, is one of the few things that could get me to attack you right now,” you explain. “Ensuring their safety will also ensure you don't violate your orders.”

“You'd attack me, knowing what I am, over a trio of weaklings?” Yulia frowns now. “Really?”

“Without hesitation,” you assure her. “If you think I'm lying, try something.”

Yulia narrows her eyes at you, glinting maliciously in the firelight. Then she shuts her eyes, and sighs.

“And I feel like I actually have to believe you,” she admits. “What a hero I've run across.”

You smile. “I try.”

“So run along now,” Yulia insists, waving dismissively to the trainees. “Mommy and daddy are talking now.”

Jenna trembles slightly in anger, though she turns as well when Alexandra places a hand on her shoulder. So you make sure to fire off your rebuttal before they're out of earshot.

“Why don't you sit down and make 'daddy' a cup of coffee,” you smirk.

“You're lucky I'm under orders,” Yulia grumbles.

“You're right,” you agree. “And I'm enjoying it immensely while it lasts.”
>1/2
>>
>>3342968
“So, why is it you were given such an inconvenient order?”

Yulia sighs, taking a seat by the fire. “Orders are orders. Not my place to speculate.”

“Do so anyway,” you prompt her.

“The one I serve probably knows things I don't,” Yulia guesses, “or at least suspects things. Whether those suspicions are founded or not is irrelevant.”

“Doesn't sound like you have much respect for your master beyond the most basic requirements,” you muse. “And Saria definitely showed no indication that she was 'loyal' to anyone, or was under any orders but her own. She never made mention of speaking with other awakened beings either.”

“She was always a loner,” Yulia admits, “and while most former single-digits are forced to take a knee to someone eventually most of them aren't exactly on what you would call a short chain.”

“Why are you here?” you press her. “If you're not on a 'short chain' and you're not supposed to fight me why come here at all?”

“I'm the 'Silver General',” she sighs. “I have my own orders to that end.”

“And what were your orders here?” you press. “Are you responsible for the way those yōma were organizing themselves?”

“I have no idea what you're talking about.”

“Using forward scouts and flanking maneuvers?” you roll your eyes. “Small-unit tactics? Probing attacks and pincer moves? Those aren't things yōma do on their own, even when clustered in a nest.”

Yulia frowns, but nods along. “I'll answer your question, but only if you answer one of mine first... in the first place, can you even prove to me that you defeated Saria?”

>Demonstrate the “Earthbreaker” technique. That should say everything that needs to be said.
>Let her take a close look at your sword fittings, explain their significance to her.
>Just beat her to the punch and explain that you partially awakened against Saria.
>Tell her that Saria was trying to get you to awaken, don't tell her that she sort of succeeded.
>Other?
>>
>>3342976
>Just beat her to the punch and explain that you partially awakened against Saria.
>>
>>3342976
>>Just beat her to the punch and explain that you partially awakened against Saria.
>>
>>3342976
>let her take a close look
>>
>>3342976
>Demonstrate the “Earthbreaker” technique. That should say everything that needs to be said.
>>
>>3342976
>>Demonstrate the “Earthbreaker” technique. That should say everything that needs to be said.
>>
>>3343080
Aye.
Better be very certain the noobs are out of earshot before we start talking hushhush things.
>>
>>3342976
>Demonstrate the “Earthbreaker” technique. That should say everything that needs to be said.
>>
>>3342976
>>Demonstrate the “Earthbreaker” technique. That should say everything that needs to be said.
>>
>>3342976
>Let her take a close look at your sword fittings, explain their significance to her.
As much as I dislike letting her get closer, I get the feeling someone else could be watching us......

Wouldn't want them to steal our cool 'Noel TiberiusTM" moves.
>>
>Demonstrate the “Earthbreaker” technique. That should say everything that needs to be said.

Excellent Quest. One of my favorites on this site.
>>
>>3342976
>Let her take a look at your sword fittings.

We need to play our cards close to our chest. Whoever/Whatever is behind this is probably trying to figure out what Noel knows/ can do.

We'll have more room to maneuver while they are still guessing.
>>
>>3342976
>>Let her take a close look at your sword fittings, explain their significance to her.

>>3343189
besides Vanessa?

>>3343316
I'm guessing its Abyssal One politics
>>
>>3343316
That crazy current number one, or maybe Sabela
>>
>>3343399
Worried about the org's number one psycho.
>>
>>3342976
Beat her to the punch.
>grab her and kiss.
>throw her to the ground.
>"im awoken bitch, i think we both know who is to blame for it".
>>
>>3342976
>>Demonstrate the “Earthbreaker” technique. That should say everything that needs to be said.
>>
>>3342976
>Demonstrate the “Earthbreaker” technique. That should say everything that needs to be said.
>>
>>3342976
>Let her take a close look at your sword fittings, explain their significance to her.
>>
File: 75435437564.gif (1.1 MB, 245x245)
1.1 MB
1.1 MB GIF
>>3343797
>>
>>3342976
>Let her take a close look at your sword fittings, explain their significance to her.
>>
>>3342976
>Let her take a close look at your sword fittings, explain their significance to her.
>>
>>3342976
>Demonstrate the Earthbreaker technique.
>>
>>3342968
>Demonstrate the “Earthbreaker” technique. That should say everything that needs to be said.
>>
>>3342976
>3d10, best of four
>>
Rolled 8, 8, 7 = 23 (3d10)

>>3345295
>>
Rolled 3, 6, 9 = 18 (3d10)

>>3345295
>>
Rolled 1, 6, 4 = 11 (3d10)

>>3345295
>>3345296
Well done
>>
Rolled 8, 7, 1 = 16 (3d10)

>>3345295
>>
Rolled 3, 1, 1, 6 = 11 (4d10)

>>3342976
You draw your sword, and with a brief burst of yōki you build up and release inhuman power in your arms that lashes your sword forward at the very limits of your ability to control it. The impact that follows is literally earth-shattering in its power... not as powerful as Saria's for sure, but still undeniably the Earthbreaker technique.

“She broke the guard of my sword,” you recount, staring Yulia in the eyes as you lift your sword and hold it higher for her to see. “The last memento of Emma, my first friend, who survived the procedure and training with me only to be killed by an awakened being in front of me. The broken end of Saria's sword helped to repair that memento.”

“And the rounded pommel?” Yulia asks, turning her head slightly. “Where did that come from?”

“Olivia.”

“So it is true,” Yulia muses quietly. “Olivia has died as well. I'd heard rumors of course.”

“So what, you just collect trophies from more powerful warriors than you after they die? That's a rather macabre hobby.”

“They are all people who taught me, who helped me grow... as friends, or as enemies,” you explain, returning your blade to its holster. “I want to take a little bit of them with me. In that sense, they're still helping me fight even after their own battles have ended.”

“It's a way to honor their memories that they would appreciate.”

Yulia laughs harshly in the flickering light. “That's a great joke! As if Saria would hold such sentiments!”

“Clearly you never met the woman Saria once was,” you counter, glaring at her angrily. “As was my pleasure to do. I have to wonder if I'd find the 'old you' to be as compelling.”

“There really is no 'old me' to speak of,” Yulia shrugs. “I awakened the first time I used my technique... it took the Organization nearly two years to figure it out.”

“What I still don't get though,” she muses, “is how a double-digit warrior could stand up to Saria for any amount of time... unless...”
>QM ROLL
>>
>>3345367
Even after being WOKE for 2 years, she still couldn't figure out Noel.
>>
>>3345367
“She was trying to force you to awaken?” Yulia guesses.

You almost breathe an immediate sigh of relief... good that you didn't, it might have given you away.

>That gave me enough of an edge to hold out until Olivia arrived.
>I 'awakened' her old personality first. She died with her sanity, with friends at hand.
>She didn't succeed. What does that tell you about my abilities?
>Other?
>>
>>3345367
Oh shit!
>>
>>3345373
>I 'awakened' her old personality first. She died with her sanity, with friends at hand.
>>
>>3345373
>I 'awakened' her old personality first. She died with her sanity, with friends at hand.
>>
>>3345373
>>I 'awakened' her old personality first. She died with her sanity, with friends at hand.
>>
>>3345373
>>I 'awakened' her old personality first. She died with her sanity, with friends at hand.
>>
>>3345373
>>I 'awakened' her old personality first. She died with her sanity, with friends at hand.
>>
>>3345373
>>I 'awakened' her old personality first. She died with her sanity, with friends at hand.
>>
>>3345373
>I 'awakened' her old personality first. She died with her sanity, with friends at hand.
>>
>>3345373
>I 'awakened' her old personality first. She died with her sanity, with friends at hand.
>>
>>3345373
>"She didn't succeed. What does that tell you about my abilities? "
>>
>>3345373
>>I 'awakened' her old personality first. She died with her sanity, with friends at hand.
>>
>>3345373
>I 'awakened' her old personality first. She died with her sanity, with friends at hand.
>>
>>3345373
“She was the one who ended up awakening first,” you shrug.

Yulia narrows her eyes at you. “You do realize she was already awakened, right? Double-awakening isn't a real thing.”

“That's not what I meant,” you counter. “What I mean is that I awakened the warrior she once was. It took six days, but once she regained her sanity she lost the will to force my awakening.”

“So you weakened her,” Yulia snorts. “How pathetic.”

“In her final hours she learned that her closest friend did not abandon her,” you press, glaring sternly at the awakened being. “Olivia was with me when Saria finally passed, peacefully, with her human mind still for that moment intact, with friends at her side. And I'm proud of my small role in that.”

“So either way, we've established how Saria died,” Yulia presses onward, leaving any further arguments about Saria's state of mind at the moment of her death behind. “To finally answer your own question yes, I am the one responsible for the way those yōma were organized and deployed. So thank you for that.”

“No need to be sarcastic,” you roll your eyes.

“Truly, I'm grateful,” she insists in response. “I hate to admit it, but my training was clearly ineffective in achieving the results my 'boss' was hoping for. So I now have something to report.”

“You were training yōma?” you ask, completely nonplussed at the mental imagery. “Why would that even be a sensible plan?”

“Because there's a war going on right under your nose, little Claymore,” Yulia sneers, “and none of you have the wits to see it! Sooner or later you'll all be forced to either pick a side like I was, or die. And every smartass comment out of you makes me hope that you pick a different side so I'll get to kill you with my own two hands.”

A war... does she mean a conflict between the three Abyssal Ones? You already knew that your mother and the others don't get along by her own admission, so it wouldn't surprise you in the slightest to hear that they'd fought in the past and intended to do so again. But would there really be a cause to scrape together such pathetic yōma and deploy them as foot soldiers in a war between such titans?

Maybe she means a conflict with the Organization? Or is it something else entirely?

>What were you planning to use these yōma for, assuming the idea had actually worked?
>Which Abyssal One were you and Saria forced to pledge loyalty to? She never said.
>Why did the Abyssal One you follow order you not to fight against me?
>Other?
>>
>>3348720
>>Which Abyssal One were you and Saria forced to pledge loyalty to? She never said.
>>
>>3348720
>Which Abyssal One were you and Saria forced to pledge loyalty to? She never said.
>>
>>3348720
>>Why did the Abyssal One you follow order you not to fight against me?
>>
>>3348720
>>Which Abyssal One were you and Saria forced to pledge loyalty to? She never said.
>>
>>3348720
>Which Abyssal One were you and Saria forced to pledge loyalty to? She never said.
>>
>>3348720
>Which Abyssal One were you and Saria forced to pledge loyalty to? She never said.
>>
>>3348720
>>Which Abyssal One were you and Saria forced to pledge loyalty to? She never said.
>>
>>3348720
>>Which Abyssal One were you and Saria forced to pledge loyalty to? She never said.
>>
>>3348720
>Which Abyssal One were you and Saria forced to pledge loyalty to? She never said.
>>
>>3348720
>Why did the Abyssal One you follow order you not to fight against me?
This would be more postive because I doubt she would tell us directly.

It could be Sabela, or it could be someone who has a forced truce with Sabela, this indirectly putting us under her protection.
>>
>>3348720
>Why did the Abyssal One you follow order you not to fight against me?
>>
>>3348720
>Which Abyssal One were you and Saria forced to pledge loyalty to? She never said.
>>
>>3348720
>Which Abyssal One were you and Saria forced to pledge loyalty to? She never said.
>Why did the Abyssal One you follow order you not to fight against me?
>>
>>3348720

>Which Abyssal One were you and Saria forced to pledge loyalty to? She never said.
>>
>>3348720
>3d10, best of three
>>
Rolled 8, 7, 4 = 19 (3d10)

>>3350398
>>
Rolled 6, 1, 6 = 13 (3d10)

>>3350398
>>
Rolled 3, 2, 7 = 12 (3d10)

>>3350398
>>
>>3350398
“And which Abyssal One were you and Saria obliged to bow to?” you ask, narrowing your gaze. “Saria never mentioned that detail, and you have seemed incredibly cagey about it, but the fact is that if she specifically told you to avoid fighting me she must be at least aware enough of me to have formed an opinion.”

“That makes her identity relevant information.”

Yulia frowns at you, making a little noise of playful disapproval. “Hmmm... tell you what, number seven. If you can correctly guess which of the three Abyssal Ones commands my loyalty, I'll tell you that you got it right. If you can't, then I get to ask a question of my own. You answer that question, you get another chance to guess.”

“And if I refuse to answer?” you ask.

Yulia shrugs. “Then so do I.”

You give it some thought. The three Abyssal Ones are Sabela, Salem, and Constanzia, with Salem's sister Ella and Constanzia's sister Rafaela having also awakened. Your mother does not strike you as the type to gather followers unwillingly, and claims to view you and your fellow warriors in a compassionate light. So would that compassion extend to awakened beings? And would such compassion be reason enough for Yulia to hate her? Then again, Yulia's implications may also be that her mistress doesn't tend to think about things as carefully as you know Sabela must. So she's not a very good fit.

Constanzia and Rafaela are still together, as Sabela has informed you, meaning that any distinction between the two in terms of who is 'in charge' is likely irrelevant. You know very little about them or what plans they may have, and so its difficult to say whether or not they could be the ones Yulia looks down on so strongly.

Then there's Salem. You know little about her other than that she was once partnered with Ella, and that they had a falling-out over who was the stronger of the two and deserved the title of number One. Salem however does hold the title, she has nothing left to prove in that regard. Ella on the other hand... Ella might in fact have been the one responsible for Olivia's death, and that makes her the only one you've actually seen any sort of aggression from.

It also makes sense that Yulia would be upset working for a self-proclaimed 'Abyssal One' who was actually never ranked number One. Trying to amass a largely-useless army of yōma also makes sense for someone who's trying hard to prove her relevance in the power dynamic between awakened beings.

>I guess Constanzia and Rafaela. They've probably got the widest presence in terms of subordinates due to the fact that there's two of them working together.
>My guess is Salem. She likely started impressing awakened beings once she realized that she can no longer count on her sister's power for help.
>I'm not convinced it's not Ella, and you've been messing with me. She's the one who's got the most to prove, and I know I'd be unhappy to work for her.
>Other?
>>
>>3350485
>Ella
>>
>>3350485
>>I'm not convinced it's not Ella, and you've been messing with me. She's the one who's got the most to prove, and I know I'd be unhappy to work for her.
>>
>>3350485
>Ella
>>
>>3350485
>I'm not convinced it's not Ella, and you've been messing with me. She's the one who's got the most to prove, and I know I'd be unhappy to work for her.
>>
>>3350485
>Ella
>>
>>3350485
>>I'm not convinced it's not Ella, and you've been messing with me. She's the one who's got the most to prove, and I know I'd be unhappy to work for her.
>>
>>3350485
>My guess is Salem. She likely started impressing awakened beings once she realized that she can no longer count on her sister's power for help.
>>
>>3350485
You immediately act on your hunch.

“I'm not unconvinced that it's not actually Ella,” you muse, watching carefully for any telltale signs that you've hit the mark. And sure enough, her eybrow twitches ever so slightly. “It would make sense that she would be in a hurry to show her sister up, and that you wouldn't be thrilled about serving under a number Two.”

“Oh?” she pretends to rally herself, the momentary surprise easily suppressed... albeit too late. “Are you sure you wouldn't rather guess Sabela?”

You snort. “I'm going to go with Ella.”

“Final answer?”

“You don't even need to say it,” you frown. “You're even worse of a liar than I am. Totally unconvincing.”

Yulia's shoulders droop and she drops the pretense. “Fine, I'll admit Ella made me her bitch a few years back. I only wish I could be working for Sabela.”

“What's so special about working for Sabela?” you ask, feigning curiosity. It's not much of a stretch, you're actually somewhat interested to hear what another awakened being thinks of your birth mother.

“She's like us,” Yulia explains, “in that she awakened, of course. A complete monster. But I've heard she's the easiest of the three 'true' Abyssal Ones to get along with. One who has maintained her reason, if not a shred of sanity.”

“For us awakened beings where such mundane things as 'sanity' become rare, those qualities become mesmerizing. Even a little intimidating... because unlike those of us driven by survival, or cruelty, or other things like that? When she acts, she does so with purpose and clarity.”
>1/2
>>
>>3353496
“Including when she kills,” you hazard a guess.

Yulia nods grimly. “Precisely. I see you can grasp the implications... which is the greater monster? The one who simply follows its instincts, or the one who chooses their actions?”

“So you admire her as much as you fear her,” you decide. It's a completely ridiculous situation, and it's hard to hide your feelings on the matter. “Then why not seek her out?”

“If you know her name, I'm willing to guess you know of her peculiar sentiments towards un-awakened warriors,” Yulia mutters, not incorrect in her assumptions of course. “She does not typically extend that courtesy towards her fellow awakened beings.”

“So she has no followers?” you ask.

Yulia shakes her head. “More like none of us are quite sure what criteria she uses when determining which awakened beings to kill and which to spare as subordinates. Survival is my main goal, so taking a risk like approaching the Grim Lady of the Steppe is unthinkable.”

>And so you choose not to attack me because doing so will get you killed by Ella. But what purpose does Ella have in issuing such an order?
>I have no further questions, and I doubt either of us is in much of a mood to answer any. Will you please withdraw?
>I have one question: you have your survival instinct. Can you speculate as to the motives of the Abyssal Ones?
>Other?
>>
>>3353504
>And so you choose not to attack me because doing so will get you killed by Ella. But what purpose does Ella have in issuing such an order?
>Kindly fuck off.
>>
>>3353504
>And so you choose not to attack me because doing so will get you killed by Ella. But what purpose does Ella have in issuing such an order?
>>
>>3353504
>And so you choose not to attack me because doing so will get you killed by Ella. But what purpose does Ella have in issuing such an order?
>>
>>3353504
>And so you choose not to attack me because doing so will get you killed by Ella. But what purpose does Ella have in issuing such an order?
>>
>>3353504
>>And so you choose not to attack me because doing so will get you killed by Ella. But what purpose does Ella have in issuing such an order?
>>
>>3353504
>>And so you choose not to attack me because doing so will get you killed by Ella. But what purpose does Ella have in issuing such an order?
>>
>>3353504
>>And so you choose not to attack me because doing so will get you killed by Ella. But what purpose does Ella have in issuing such an order?
>>
A thought occurs, Sabela drinks wine like a human, She awakened after fighting and killing another Abyssal one, She treats warriors with kid gloves when the others purposefully torture them into awakening...

I honestly think the derangement that happens so often with Awakened beings missed her. Due to a combination of why she awoke, and her youki manipulation powers. This in turn would mean she's mostly sane, only eating people because she has too to survive, and ostensibly keep up appearances so the others do not unite against her. She could very well be pulling an Aizen equivalent.
>>
>>3354027
We could just not be seeing the delusions. She could be the absolute worst but we haven't triggered her shit show yet.
>>
>>3354027
A sane Awakened would just suicide.
>>
>>3354058
It's possible, but generally even then there's a hint of instability from them. We got none of that.


>>3354079
Unless they felt like there was something else they HAD to do. Isley as a prime example.
>>
>>3354058
>>3354083
Shes our mother so she probably restrains herself and puts on her best behavior. Plus she was royalty. Remember our first meeting with her, she had a powerful lackey yoma bring wine to her, AND she tried to pay for it. Course the yoma fucked up and Sabela made him never appear in this quest again.
>>
>>3354527
She is not royalty, she fucked our dad who was royalty. She's only a "queen" due to the fact she got impregnated by the king, they never married and she never had a claim to the throne.
>>
>>3354548
We don't know her history before that she could have been nobility, I an't about to tell her she isn't nobility. Her delusion may very well be that she's rightful QUEEN which may not have been something she gave two shits about before.
>>
>>3354569
Given the small amount f people that are nobles? I doubt it, and if her delusion was she's a queen? We'd have seen her being far more imperious than she was.
>>
>>3353504
>>And so you choose not to attack me because doing so will get you killed by Ella. But what purpose does Ella have in issuing such an order?
>>
>>3354548
>>3354569
You also have to keep in mind that Sabela's romance with Tiberius was an affair that both people took seriously. It wasn't a simple one night stand. if you recall Laura's recount on her last dinner with Sabela, there was some teasing at Sabela since it was implied she took the time to delay her arrival to write a love letter to the King.
Romance is serious business when you have a couple writing love letters to each other.
>>
>>3354079
Depends. If they found out what The Organization is really up to, for example, I could see even a sane mind justify their continued existence for a number of reasons in such a case.

Anyway, the awakening process has been shown to have some interesting interactions with the minds of those awakened. It varies widely, but the short version is "awakening is a hell of a drug."

It absolutely does something to the pleasure center of the brain, that's completely canon, but it doesn't stop there. The behavior of an awakened seems to largely resemble someone going through a psychedelic "heightened" state of mind: a state where things all seem more "real" and everything before that was just an illusion. This does not pair well with their newfound hunger for human organs and other instincts.

The most interesting behavior I noticed is that, like a cancer cell, there is evidence that awakened beings are still able to function in at least a facsimile of a more normal/healthy state as long as they are surrounded by "good" examples e.g. healthy cells and some sort of accepting human-like social structure, respectively.

Truly fascinating entities!
>>
>>3357198
>Truly fascinating entities!
Now I can't help but imagine Steve Irwin doing a episode on Awakened ones.

"Crikey, that's Sabela, one of the most dangerous awakened ones! One wrong move and she'll eat me alive. Let's go poke her with a stick."
>>
>>3357759
>"... you do realize I can hear you, right?"
>>
>>3353504
>3d10, best of four
>>
Rolled 4, 9, 6 = 19 (3d10)

>>3358093
>>
Rolled 2, 2, 7 = 11 (3d10)

>>3358093
>>
Rolled 6, 1, 10 = 17 (3d10)

>>3358093
>>
Rolled 9, 2, 5 = 16 (3d10)

>>3358093
>>
>>3358093
“And so you chose not to attack because of what Ella might do if you ignore her order,” you backtrack, getting back to the point. “But why would she give you such an order in the first place?”

“I have no idea,” Yulia admits. “Sometimes she just makes decisions like that. But she specifically told me that if I spotted a single-digit claymore with an emblem like yours calling herself Noel I wasn't to attack.”

“Beyond that I don't even have grounds to speculate.”

“Does Ella ever have communications with the other Abyssal Ones?” you press, suddenly realizing one possible explanation. “I wouldn't expect she hears from her sister at all. But what of the others?”

“I hear that Salem and Sabela are on speaking terms, but only just,” Yulia muses, apparently having forgotten that she previously had wanted to press you for questions. Certainly seems like you've got her in a mood to talk. “And for some weird reason Rafaela keeps sending Ella letters. Like being former number two fighters supporting their sisters makes them some kind of natural pen pals.”

So they even send each other mail from time to time? Even in what could be considered a tacit war being waged across the whole known world, the monstrous beings at the top still manage to keep at least a pretext of cordiality. You're not sure if that makes them seem more human or even less. Yulia's own words repeat in your head, about how those who commit monstrous acts with knowledge of their own monstrosity are somehow worse than the simple-minded yōma.

Worse, it's not enough to confirm whether or not your mother has been threatening the other Abyssal Ones over you.

“So it's possible that she could have heard my name from literally anyone,” you grumble. “I wonder just how many awakened beings have been paying such uncomfortable attention to my career?”

“I've definitely heard of what happened in Anren,” Yulia shrugs. “So there's something of a buzz among those of us whose intellects still allow us to listen for such details.”

“How?” you demand. “Certainly not from one of my fellow warriors?”

“No, from the humans at first,” Yulia admits, finally standing and stretching her back. “So I take it all with a grain of salt. Not like any of those weaklings were actually there to see it.”

“I'm tired of all these questions,” she declares. “I'm going now. Next time we meet it may not be so pleasant, so please don't expect anything unreasonable of me.”

“Wouldn't dare,” you counter. “But if you ever decide you wish to be buried as a human, all you need to do is ask.”

“As if,” Yulia chuckles. And just like that she's gone from your sight, in a moment of movement that takes you completely by surprise. Had you been using your yōki... maybe.
>1/2
>>
>>3358140
“What was that?” Nessa demands anxiously when you finally return to the cave where they've been sheltering. “It was like nothing else I've ever felt before... like I was being smothered where I stood.”

“My knees won't stop shaking,” Alexandra admits, her gaze cast at the floor.

“It wasn't that bad,” Jenna tries to play it off. But Vanessa isn't having any of her lies.

“I've never seen a warrior sweat like you were,” she frowns. “It's okay to admit you were just as scared as the rest of us Jenna. There's no shame in it.”

Jenna's eyes fall to the floor as well. “Damn...”

“We're lucky she just wanted to talk,” you sigh, sitting near the entrance to the cave with an apple you snagged from the caravaners on your way past. “I'm not sure how I would fare in a fair fight against her. But instead she was simply interested in my opinions on how the yōma fared in their first organized battle.”

“And you just told her what she wanted to know?” Alexandra asks, shocked.

>Nothing disgusts me more than a pointless sacrifice of lives. Even our own lives are precious, and should never be wasted.
>In exchange, I learned what their objectives here were. The Organization can use those details to improve their mission planning.
>It was a chance to learn about our most dangerous enemies: the former first-ranked warriors known as Abyssal Ones.
>Other?
>>
>>3358176
>In exchange, I learned what their objectives here were. The Organization can use those details to improve their mission planning.
>It was a chance to learn about our most dangerous enemies: the former first-ranked warriors known as Abyssal Ones.
>>
>>3358176
>In exchange, I learned what their objectives here were. The Organization can use those details to improve their mission planning.
>>It was a chance to learn about our most dangerous enemies: the former first-ranked warriors known as Abyssal Ones.
>>
>>3358176
>>Nothing disgusts me more than a pointless sacrifice of lives. Even our own lives are precious, and should never be wasted.
>>
>>3358176
>It was a chance to learn about our most dangerous enemies: the former first-ranked warriors known as Abyssal Ones.
>>
>>3358176
>>In exchange, I learned what their objectives here were. The Organization can use those details to improve their mission planning.
>>It was a chance to learn about our most dangerous enemies: the former first-ranked warriors known as Abyssal Ones
>>
>>3358176
>>It was a chance to learn about our most dangerous enemies: the former first-ranked warriors known as Abyssal Ones.
>>
>>3358176
>In exchange, I learned what their objectives here were. The Organization can use those details to improve their mission planning.
>It was a chance to learn about our most dangerous enemies: the former first-ranked warriors known as Abyssal Ones.
>>
>>3358176
>>Nothing disgusts me more than a pointless sacrifice of lives. Even our own lives are precious, and should never be wasted.
>>
>>3358176
>In exchange, I learned what their objectives here were. The Organization can use those details to improve their mission planning.
>>
>>3357773
>"Whuh oh, I think she spotted me. Danger, danger, danger! This Sheila seems a mite cranky right now, I better leave her be. What a little beauty though, awesome!"
>>
>>3358176
>>In exchange, I learned what their objectives here were. The Organization can use those details to improve their mission planning.
>>
>>3358176
>Nothing disgusts me more than a pointless sacrifice of lives. Even our own lives are precious, and should never be wasted.
Seems the most in character, and her job was explicitly to watch out for the trainees.
>>
>>3358726
You know, the part of this that gets me is how close to believable it is. The guy pretty much wrangled things made of teeth and hate for a living.

I mean it'd seem stupid(er) if he wasn't so upbeat and educational about it.
>>
>>3358726
>"As if I would allow you to leave so easily, without even asking how it is that a human even knows my name. Depending on your explanation, I may have to have you stay for dinner..."
>>
>>3358176
>Nothing disgusts me more than a pointless sacrifice of lives. Even our own lives are precious, and should never be wasted.
>other: if we fail to protect humanity, or what's left of our own humanity, we're nothing better than monsters if all we cared about was killing yomas and awakened beings.
>>
>>3359931
>Crikey! I may be in a spot of bother here. Oh you've really gone and done it this time, Steve-o! This little beauty seems to have taken a peculiar interest in me.

Now, it's very important for my continued health that I not do anything like panic. Awakened are much faster than humans and this Sheila'd have my head off quick as can be if the mood takes her, so it don't do no good to try and run. 'You're alroight, mate!'

You do not want to do anything that might encourage an awakened to think that you are a potential feed. It'd put a real damper on my day to have my intestines pulled out and eaten. Just going to try and make the best of things and get a better look, 'You're alroight, mate, you're alroight!' See, that look right there she's giving me lets me know that I don't want to get any closer than this. Such a marvel, though!

Now, many awakened are fond of tearing the limbs of their prey right out of the sockets using their absurd strength before they have a feed; reminds me of home. Let's just hope she isn't hungry roight now.

Absolutely wild stuff!
>>
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>>3360135

> today I learned . . .
>>
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>>3360135
>>
>>3360149
>Poking a giant spider with that face...
why whould you do that
>>
>>3360135
>"I haven't been this confused in decades. Are you unwell? Have you hit your head or something?"
>"Also, I resent the implication that I would conduct myself in so barbarous a manner as to eat my food raw. Were I hungry, I might have killed you painlessly and cooked your lungs and liver with some oats and spices like haggis, or braise and roast your ribs like a cow's. That sort of thing. Was it down with a nice syrah."
>>
>>3350485
“You should never be in a rush to throw your lives away,” you sigh, “and fighting her? That's exactly what that would have been. Instead I had to content myself with gathering information from her... and on that front I think I got better than I gave.”

“Yeah?” Alexandra asks. “How so?”

“I got some information on our greatest foes,” you inform them, shuffling across the cave floor to get a little closer to them. You're satisfied that there's no one within earshot but you still lower your voice, mindful of how far it might carry if you're not careful. “About the Abyssal Ones.”

“Abyssal... ones?” Jenna repeats, not understanding what that's supposed to be.

You nod sternly. “Of all our many warriors over the years, only three who were given the number One ranking went on to awaken. Those three are what we call the Abyssal Ones... though we rarely speak of them. Their names are Salem, Constanzia, and Sabela... there are two more ranked number Two who awakened with Salem and Constanzia: their sisters Rafaela and Ella.”

“How strong are they?” Vanessa asks quietly. “What rank was the one outside? Was she one of these... monsters?”

You shake your head. “Five.”

“Only number five?” Jenna gasps.

Only?” you raise an eyebrow. “In any event, were any two of those three to decide to work together the entire might of the Organization would mean nothing before them.”

“Then why haven't they done so?” Alex asks you with a frown. “Could it be... their own egos?”

“In some cases yes,” you agree, “that was the impression I got. However it's also true that they are currently in something of a stalemate. No one is free to act against the others... though one ambitious awakened being among their numbers is trying to change that it seems.”

“Who?” Alex presses.

“Ella,” you announce. “The number Two who awakened with the Abyssal One Salem. It was on her orders that those yōma were assembled and trained for battle.”
>1/2
>>
>>3360674
“Trained for battle?” Alexa repeats your words, seeming to grapple with the implication. “By that you mean organized engagements, and not simply mindless slaughtering?”

You nod. “Group tactics, flanking, those sorts of things are apparently within the limits of their abilities.”

“But why would they need that?” Vanessa asks.

Jenna responds before even you can. “To be infantry. Isn't that right, number Seven?”

“The real question is how they intend to deploy such units,” you sigh. “And against whom. Unfortunately, the awakened being who spoke with me just now takes a very dim view of Ella's abilities to reason. So she could not answer a question like that with any certainty.”

“Ella's target may be the other awakened beings, or it may be the Organization. Both are possible.”

>No more questions. Get some rest... I'll take watch, so don't worry.
>I want to check your wounds, and your uniforms need to be washed.
>If the three of you want to ask any more questions I will answer them.
>Other?
>>
>>3360730
>I want to check your wounds, and your uniforms need to be washed.
>If the three of you want to ask any more questions I will answer them.
>>
>>3360730
>I want to check your wounds, and your uniforms need to be washed.
>If the three of you want to ask any more questions I will answer them.

Team Mom modo go.
>>
>>3360730
>>I want to check your wounds, and your uniforms need to be washed.
>Other
>Before we go any further, I want you to know that this information is not something that the organization would necessarily be happy about you knowing. That knowledge might put you in danger. Are you willing to know more?
>>
>>3360730
>I want to check your wounds, and your uniforms need to be washed.
>If the three of you want to ask any more questions I will answer them.
>>
>>3360730
>Any more questions? If not go to bed.
>>
>>3360744
>>3360730
Supporting
>>
>>3360730
supporting this: >>3360744
>>
>>3360730
>Supporting >>3360744
>>
>>3360730
>No more questions. Get some rest... I'll take watch, so don't worry.
>I want to check your wounds, and your uniforms need to be washed.
>If the three of you want to ask any more questions I will answer them.
>>
>>3360744
>>3360730
In with this
>>
>>3360730
>No more questions. Get some rest... I'll take watch, so don't worry.

>>3360195
Confused Sabela made me smile.
>>
>>3360182
Unquenchable curiosity and childlike glee coupled with a desire to explore, appreciate and share the wonders of the natural world that borders on eccentric.



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