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File: 22712229_p0.jpg (444 KB, 1500x914)
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You are Noel Tiberius, queen by birthright of the realm of Hazaran and daughter of the abyssal one Sabela. You are an experiment created by the Organization which turns orphaned and bartered girls into silver-eyed monster slayers, by all accounts half-monster themselves, with the intention of creating a more perfect tool.

In your case however the ‘tool’ has not only gone out of control, but effectively organized a rebellion that succeeded in driving the tool-makers away.

But each of you has a theoretical point of failure – one which is intrinsically linked to your ability to use the power called ‘yōki’. Overuse it, allow it to transform your bodies too far, and you won’t be able to come back. If that happens, you become something no better than the monsters, the yōma, you were created to fight.

Or at least that’s what they always told you.

Your enemies at the moment – a group of awakened beings under the command of a monster called Ella – are several of these tragic cases. But your ally in facing them, your close friend Serana, is like you and several others in your close confidence who have passed their ‘limits’ and come back somehow. Your mother and her fellow Abyssal One Salem have also retained enough of their humanity despite having become completely monstrous in their forms to assist you and your fellow renegade warriors, which they’re doing now as they face Ella together across the courtyard.

But your fight is right in front of you, with the other awakened beings that are currently on their collective back foot, being pushed back by the sheer ferocity you and Serana are showing them. You signal to Serana, a short little wave of your hand that tells her that you’d like her to back off ever so slightly for a few moments, and she obliges you.

“Damn them!” one of the awakened being shouts a few moments later as the Organization’s private army starts to fire on them from the flank. “We fell back too far!”

Some of them are fast enough and aware enough to avoid much of the incoming fire, and some of them have heavy enough armor covering their flesh that the smaller bullets bounce off harmlessly. But they’ve already seen what the heavier cannons can do to them if they’re unlucky, from when you put a round through one of their heads, and so three of them break off and charge the armored gun-carriers.

There’s a brief lull, where Serana can sign her thoughts across to you despite the sword in her hand.

[Follow?]
>1/2
>>
>>4992140
She wants to know if you intend to stop the awakened beings from attacking the Organization’s positions. She knows that they’ve served a useful purpose in distracting the awakened beings, and that if a few of their cannon shells struck home it could really contribute to your efforts. But they’re also your enemies, and your bodies aren’t quite as durable as the awakened beings’ are – those bullets that bounce off their tough hides might actually draw blood if they were to hit you or Serana.

It’s the moral choice you knew to expect coming into this battle: save humans who are actively trying to kill you, even at unreasonable risk to yourselves, or let them die and hope they accomplish something before they do.

>”They’d just try to kill us if we helped them.” For now, focus on the smaller group of enemies in front of you.
>Your initial plan had been to force the awakened beings to bunch up and let the Organization blast them. That could still work.
>Hold back for now – you recall there were trained yōma serving under Ella, and you can’t recall having seen them so far.
>Other?
>>
>>4992146
>Hold back for now – you recall there were trained yōma serving under Ella, and you can’t recall having seen them so far.
>>
>>4992146
>>Hold back for now – you recall there were trained yōma serving under Ella, and you can’t recall having seen them so far.
>>
>>4992146
>Hold back for now – you recall there were trained yōma serving under Ella, and you can’t recall having seen them so far.
>>
>>4992146
>Hold back for now – you recall there were trained yōma serving under Ella, and you can’t recall having seen them so far.
>>
>>4992146
>Hold back for now – you recall there were trained yōma serving under Ella, and you can’t recall having seen them so far.
>>
>>4992146
Something isn’t sitting right about this situation – you were under the impression that Ella had trained yōma backing her up in addition to her awakened being stooges, so where exactly is that support?

Gesturing for Serana to fall back for a moment, you focus instead on the situation around you to find that you’re actually surrounded by yōma. Not powerful ones to be sure, but definitely surrounded.

“Dozens of them, is that it?” you frown, sparing Serana a glance. “It seems we’re even more outnumbered than I assumed.”



Meanwhile, the battle between the Abyssals has devolved into a mere brawl between monsters. Sabela can easily take hits meant for her or Salem, but given what she knows of Ella’s abilities she avoids it wherever she can. And so from appearances, it would seem that Ella is pushing the other two around with her bulky awakened form. Salem merely awakens partially, keeping her body more mobile, while Sabela’s awakened form isn’t large to begin with.

“To think I used to be worried about the two of you!” Ella crows, her inhuman visage approximating a leer.

Sabela evades a series of strikes from a half-dozen of Ella’s newly-sprouted spined tendrils with a quiet smile, and an almost patronizing air. “So it seems you still haven’t realized it yet?”

“She never was the brains behind our operations,” Salem frowns, slashing at several more tendrils with her claws. “Our dynamic wasn’t like our predecessors’, where Rafaela synchronized for Constanzia. All Ella ever wanted was to be stronger than me.”

“And why shouldn’t I?” Ella demands, lashing out in every sense. “I had the motivation! I wanted it more! We were twins, so why were you always the one who was recognized?”

“Because it always drove you crazy!” Salem replies, grabbing hold of Ella’s tendrils and bracing, the force of the blow sliding her across the cobbles but opening the way for Sabela to take a few of those tendrils off with a single swipe.



The yōma descend on your position, mostly streaming into the courtyard from the nearby roads. They begin to overrun the Organization’s positions, allowing for the awakened beings to flip the armored vehicles in the streets.

>Okay, maybe now you should assist the Organization before they’re wiped out.
>You could lure the awakened beings away from where Sabela and Salem are fighting.
>Those automatic guns would be perfect against a formation of regular yōma. Go get one.
>Other?
>>
>>4992773
>>Those automatic guns would be perfect against a formation of regular yōma. Go get one.
>>
>>4992773
>>Those automatic guns would be perfect against a formation of regular yōma. Go get one.

Gib shiny.
>>
>>4992773
>>Those automatic guns would be perfect against a formation of regular yōma. Go get one.
>>
>>4992773
>Those automatic guns would be perfect against a formation of regular yōma. Go get one.
>>
>>4992773
>>Those automatic guns would be perfect against a formation of regular yōma. Go get one.
DAKKA
>>
>>4992773
>Those automatic guns would be perfect against a formation of regular yōma. Go get one.
>>
>>4992773
>Those automatic guns would be perfect against a formation of regular yōma. Go get one.
>>
>>4992773
>Those automatic guns would be perfect against a formation of regular yōma. Go get one.
>>
>>4992773
>3d10, best of three
>>
Rolled 2, 4, 6 = 12 (3d10)

>>4994393
>>
Rolled 1, 1, 1 = 3 (3d10)

>>4994393
>>
>>4994423
>>
Rolled 9, 1, 2 = 12 (3d10)

>>4994393
>>
>>4994393
You gesture to Serana. “Those automatic guns would be great against yōma!” you declare. “Support me while I go get one!”

She nods in agreement, and you both charge towards the nearest overturned vehicle.

“Where are you going!?” one of the awakened beings demands, only to fall victim to a high-low combination between you and Serana – you aiming low at her knees, and Serana aiming for her head. Serana essentially rolls over top of your mutual victim, keeping her stride admirably as you close on your goal.

The crew has been torn apart already, and you visit the same ruin on the yōma who killed them. They drop with hardly any resistance, and Serana covers for you while you wrench one of the guns free... or at least she does until one of the awakened beings decides to attack you at that very moment.

You cough as sharp talons six feet long slam through your torso and through Serana, who carefully grabs hold of the intruding limb with her hand to make sure it doesn’t move and cause even more internal damage. With a cry, you throw your blade at the joint closest to where the limb impaled Serana, and twist your body painfully around the limb which struck you. Your knee strikes the joint once, twice, three times to hammer force through the thin armor and into the joint.

After a moment your blade comes crashing through that weakened joint, and you wrench it around to sever the limb in a spray of blood – Serana managed to break free by striking your sword, and was kind enough to toss it back to you before retrieving her own.

“Piss off!” you roar, unloading bullets into the awakened being’s face, forcing it to shelter behind its damaged limbs. “Serana!”

Your partner rushes recklessly, pushing her blade through a chink in the awakened being’s armor then twisting in place, using all her strength to rip the edge out through the monster’s ribs. Bullets from your weapon pepper the smaller yōma all around Serana, keeping them off her as she withdraws.

She pulls the clawed limb out of her body, as you did when you had the chance a few moments ago... you’re going to have to be the one to cover for her while she regenerates.

>Stick close to Serana while she regenerates, focus on covering her closely.
>Bring down part of the buildings to one side of this street, narrow the passage.
>Pull Serana into cover, see if there are any surviving Organization soldiers to rally.
>Other?
>>
>>4994512
>>Pull Serana into cover, see if there are any surviving Organization soldiers to rally.
>>
>>4994512
>
>Stick close to Serana while she regenerates, focus on covering her closely.
>>
>>4994512
>Bring down part of the buildings to one side of this street, narrow the passage.
>>
>>4994512
>Bring down part of the buildings to one side of this street, narrow the passage.
>>
>>4994512
>>Bring down part of the buildings to one side of this street, narrow the passage.
>>
>>4994512
>3d10, DC 13, best of three
>>
Rolled 4, 9, 8 = 21 (3d10)

>>4995801
>>
Rolled 5, 1, 6 = 12 (3d10)

>>4995801
>>
Rolled 8, 8, 5 = 21 (3d10)

>>4995801
>>
>>4995801
One tactic could improve your situation drastically, if it worked – narrowing the approach you have to defend. The only problem is that the best way to do that would be to bring down part of a nearby building so that it blocks part of the street, which is a task much more difficult than most people would probably imagine. Humans have spent a long count of centuries working to ensure that precisely that will not happen when they build a home or a place of buisness, and in spite of a few setbacks they’ve gotten remarkably good at it.

The only real exceptions to the rule are fires, floods, and the rare earthquake. And it’s exactly that last possibility that has you hoping these apartment buildings have basements.

You fire across your body, sending several rounds down the street as you rush and leap into the air, discarding the now-empty weapon and grasping your sword with both hands.

“Haaaaah!” you shout uncharacteristically, bringing your sword down through the front of the building and slamming it through... into a basement.

The force sends shockwaves through the supports for the first floor, splintering support beams and cracking delicate brick archwork. The forces are no longer balanced, and the support for the walls of the front of the building begin to sag and then collapse, dragging the whole structure forward. Bricks and roofing tiles fill much of the street, forcing your would-be attackers to make a choice – to go around, or to clamor over and expose themselves to counterattack.

>Wait in the gap in the street, challenge your enemies to do what you planned around.
>Wait on the other side of the debris, aim to maim your enemies as they vault over.
>Take Serana through the remaining buildings and try to flank while the enemy is confused.
>Other?
>>
>>4995867
>Take Serana through the remaining buildings and try to flank while the enemy is confused.
>>
>>4995867
>Take Serana through the remaining buildings and try to flank while the enemy is confused.
>>
>>4995867
>Wait on the other side of the debris, aim to maim your enemies as they vault over.
>>
>>4995867
>3d10, best of three
>>
Rolled 7, 10, 5 = 22 (3d10)

>>4997127
>>
Rolled 10, 10, 5 = 25 (3d10)

>>4997127
>>
Rolled 10, 7, 4 = 21 (3d10)

>>4997127
>>
>>4997127
Before the dust gets a chance to settle, you gesture for Serana to follow you into one of the remaining buildings where you quickly ascend the stairs. By the time the yōma start climbing over the rubble, and filing around it on the far side, you’re already in position.

Your sword spins through the air, slashing apart several yōma before you follow shortly behind, your mostly-awakened body making short work of the survivors. One monstrous arm grasps the hilt of your sword and pries it out of a chunk of masonry, arcing through another yōma with a vicious grace and an unrelenting force. Despite your unusual size for an ‘awakened being’, partly the result of how much of you is still clinging even now to your humanity, the regular yōma really don’t have an answer for something like you.

Even if your blade weren’t severing flesh with such ease, or your punches cracking bone, the white strikes technique would have made short work of the attackers, who now begin to scramble over each other to escape back the way they came only to find more of their supposed comrades blocking the way. It’s a massacre. Dozens of monstrous bodies, only vaguely human-looking, fall in chunks to the cobblestones, purple blood running freely in the cracks between them. Soon it gets worse for them – Serana rejoins the fray.

“That was even more pathetic than I expected,” one of the remaining awakened beings growls. Evidently they’d been watching your mother and Salem push Ella into a corner while you and Serana slaughtered their lessers. “Though one of you looks pretty close. How are you holding off anyway? Shouldn’t you be one of us by now?”

“I was born half-awakened,” you growl back. “Built different, I guess.”

“Your friend looks like she’s struggling to keep up.”

>Serana’s fine. I trust her completely, awakened or no.
>Serana, it’s okay to tap into your yōki. I’m here for you.
>Serana, hang back for now. This one gets on my nerves.
>Other?
>>
>>4997173
>>Serana’s fine. I trust her completely, awakened or no.
>>
>>4997173
>Other?
Better than you.
>>
>>4997173
>Serana’s fine. I trust her completely, awakened or no.
>>
>>4997173
>Serana, hang back for now. This one gets on my nerves.
>>
>>4997173
>>Serana’s fine. I trust her completely, awakened or no.
>>Serana, it’s okay to tap into your yōki. I’m here for you.
Image possibly related?
>>
>>4997173
>>Serana’s fine. I trust her completely, awakened or no.
>>
>>4997173
“I trust her,” you smile calmly, never taking your eyes off your opponent. “Awakened or not, she has my complete confidence.”

The awakened being sneers at you. “Then you’re a fool.”

“I choose my allies carefully,” you insist, “and my friends even more so. I may be a fool, that may be true. But trusting in the friends I chose so carefully is not a mistake.”

After a few moments, you find yourself surprised – and even the awakened being seems to be caught off-guard by what happens.

“... thank you, miss Noel...” a raspy voice from behind you says, prompting you to take a quick glance over your shoulder.

Serana’s eyes glow golden, and her face has started to distort from the flow of yōki, but something else has changed. Not only has her voice returned, albeit with some straining on her part, but her missing arm has begun to regrow. But it’s far from human, instead forming as a black and glistening limb ending in long, razer-sharp claws, seemingly in a constant state of shifting and rippling as though it can’t quite decide how it wants to appear when it’s done growing.

She glares at the awakened beings with a cold rage, which were it aimed at you would probably make your blood run cold. “You insulted my friend.”

“Yeah?” the awakened being counters awkwardly. “What’re you gonna do about it?”

>Let Serana do this solo, observe her new changes carefully.
>Do this as a team, quickly, efficiently, and mercilessly.
>Split up, double the rate you can turn the tables on your foes.
>Other?
>>
>>4999342
>>Do this as a team, quickly, efficiently, and mercilessly.
Teamwork makes the dream work.
>>
>>4999342
>Do this as a team, quickly, efficiently, and mercilessly.
>>
>>4999342
>Do this as a team, quickly, efficiently, and mercilessly.
>>
>>4999342
>Do this as a team, quickly, efficiently, and mercilessly.
>>
>>4999342
>>Do this as a team, quickly, efficiently, and mercilessly.
>>
>>4999342
>>Do this as a team, quickly, efficiently, and mercilessly.
>>
>>4999342
>Do this as a team, quickly, efficiently, and mercilessly.
>>
>>4999349
>3d10, best of four
>>
Rolled 6, 3, 3 = 12 (3d10)

>>5000364
>>
Rolled 1, 3, 10 = 14 (3d10)

>>5000364
>>
Rolled 1, 6, 8 = 15 (3d10)

>>5000364
>>
Rolled 6, 6, 4 = 16 (3d10)

>>5000364
>>
>>5000364
“Serana,” you muse, “what say we show these fools who they’re dealing with?”

“… together,” she agrees, her tone too raspy to tell for sure whether that’s confidence or not.



“It feels like Serana finally decided to let loose,” Sabela muses for a moment, right in the middle of her fight with Salem against Ella. “I hope for your sake, Ella, your little pawns are as strong as you seem to think.”

“Why would you hope that?” Salem demands, weaving between Ella’s ferocious spear-thrusts and working extra hard to get in a few strikes of her own.

“Because I’d hate for her to die disappointed,” Sabela admits, her skull parting as she takes a bladed tendril to the head, pinning it in place so she can lop it off before her head essentially stitches itself back together. “That’s no way for a former warrior to go.”



You’ve backed the awakened beings into a proverbial corner with this latest turn in your battle – they now understand quite clearly that with Serana’s partial-awakening the punishment for even a moment of weakness, or the slightest lapse in concentration, will be death. So now they’re covering for each other much more diligently, making it difficult for you and Serana to outflank them despite your comparatively higher fighting strength as a team.

The remaining awakened beings repulse your combination three times, but each time they take a little more cumulative damage. One loses an eye to a raking attack from Serana’s twisting arm, another takes a brutal blow to the head from your knee – partly to make sure you can get free of its grasp, and partly because you wanted to take her out of the fight for a moment and your white strike technique is the best way to do that. Two more take deep lacerations from carefully-placed slashes.

“There’s only two of them!” one of the awakened beings protests. “How is it we’re losing ground!?”

“I guess it’s past time we introduced ourselves,” you muse with a flourish of your blade. “I am Noel Tiberius di Hazaran, daughter of the Abyssal One Sabela and former number Seven in the Organization.”

“Serana,” Serana growls – having actually progressed to the ability to growl, rather than struggling to even make sounds recognizable as speech. “Former number Three.”



“Why won’t you die!?” Ella howls.

Sabela reattaches her arm with an air of complete calm. “Because that is simply what I am, Ella. I had hoped you would come to your senses by now.”

“She doesn’t have any!” Salem grunts with exertion, forcing a bony spear-tipped tendril away from herself.
>1/2
>>
>>5000567
“Well then, that’s too bad,” Sabela sighs. “I suppose now I will have to show you how I earned the name ‘Trueheart’ Sabela during my time in the Organization. But please try to remember as you die, Ella, that you did this to yourself.”



Serana flashes through the signs with her new limb. [Too slowly.]

“You’re right,” you pant. “We’re losing momentum, aren’t we?”

>Time for something flashy – use a little more yōki.
>Flanking hasn’t worked, but you’re still a defense type. Time to meatshield like you were taught.
>There’s a classic tactic they won’t be expecting, to make this a series of two on one fights.
>Other?
>>
>>5000571
>>Time for something flashy – use a little more yōki.
>>
>>5000571
>There’s a classic tactic they won’t be expecting, to make this a series of two on one fights.
>>
>>5000571
>There’s a classic tactic they won’t be expecting, to make this a series of two on one fights.

Why didn't we take a few more girls with us to battle like Solarius?
>>
>>5000571
>There’s a classic tactic they won’t be expecting, to make this a series of two on one fights.
>>
>>5000571
>>Time for something flashy – use a little more yōki.
>>
>>5000571
>Time for something flashy – use a little more yōki.
>>
https://anydice.com/

Fun dice system probability finder. Might be useful since you keep trying to use different dice systems, QM
>>
>>5000571
>>There’s a classic tactic they won’t be expecting, to make this a series of two on one fights.
>>
>>5000571
>There’s a classic tactic they won’t be expecting, to make this a series of two on one fights.
>>
>>5000571
>3d10, best of four
>>
Rolled 3, 7, 2 = 12 (3d10)

>>5001736
>>
Rolled 10, 3, 10 = 23 (3d10)

>>5001736
>>
Rolled 2, 4, 10 + 4 = 20 (3d10 + 4)

>>5001736
>>
Rolled 6, 10, 4 = 20 (3d10)

>>5001736
>>
Rolled 9, 8, 10 = 27 (3d10)

>>5001736
>>
>>5001736
There’s a classic tactic that you were all taught by the Organization, which applies equally well to fighting yōma or humans from a numerical disadvantage. You rarely use it because it’s rarely something you need to rely on, and it’s honestly somewhat embarrassing.

“Hey Serana,” you mutter. “I think it’s time to do ‘that’.”

She glances over her shoulder. “... ‘that’?”

“Yeah,” you confirm. “It’d be even more embarrassing to lose to these clowns just because they outnumber us.”

“Ah,” she realizes. “Yeah, ‘that’ might work.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” one of the awakened beings demands.

“... bye!”

With that shout, you and Serana both turn in unison and sprint down the road.

“Hey, they’re gonna get away!

“After them! Or Ella’s gonna have our heads!”

What a bunch of morons.

Your plan comes together quickly, as one of the first awakened beings starts to catch up with you. So you turn down a narrow alleyway, forcing the awakened being to turn to follow you – straight into an ambush. Serana descends from on high, having used the side of a building to gain some elevation, and you attack from below. The awakened being shrieks, having been caught totally by surprise as Serana’s blow splits the crown of its skull and your own crushes its chest, sending it hurtling through a window and into some family’s abandoned parlor.

The rest of the awakened beings continue to stream past the scene of the ambush as you continue to run, with the slowest of them bringing up the rear.

At an intersection you launch your second ambush as the next-fastest awakened being catches up with your pace – you attack from one side and Serana from the other in the very moment your target steps over a manhole cover. She tries to counter by extending spears from her palms in both directions at once, but such a linear attack is easy enough for two half-awakened warriors to evade. You each parry one of her arms and turn as you charge, essentially reversing the directions of your attacks before landing powerful blows to her spine and her sternum. The combined hammer and anvil blows are powerful enough to crush her torso to a pulp, as your white strike damages her insides and Serana’s earthbreaker crushes through the plates protecting her spine.

Then you reverse again – your blade serving as a wedge and the side of Serana’s as a mallet, splitting the skull and crushing the whole torso down into the sewer before you both turn and run again.
>1/2
>>
>>5002130
The tactic, of course, is to draw a numerically superior opponent into a series of two-on-one battles – in this case the urban terrain allows you to set up those two-on-ones as ambushes, further increasing the effectiveness of the trick. And with their fear of Ella first and foremost in their minds, by Ella’s design, it takes them entirely too long to figure out that they’re being outplayed.

It comes down to the last two awakened beings, after you and Serana whittled down their numbers together, who stop short at the same armored vehicle you salvaged the gun from before.

“We’ve just done a big circle!” one of them shouts.

“And you seem to have left some of your peers behind,” you declare, tossing the corpse of a yōma who was unlucky enough to get in your way out into the street.

>Now, you can wrap this up with two solo fights.
>Work together with Serana to split them up and isolate them.
>Make them an offer – let them wait and see what happens to Ella.
>Other?
>>
>>5002160
>>Work together with Serana to split them up and isolate them.
>>
>>5002160
>Make them an offer – let them wait and see what happens to Ella.
>>
>>5002160
Work together with serana ...
>>
>>5002160
It's even more embarrassing for the ABs, who were also taught this tactic yet fell for it hook, line and sinker.
>Work together with Serana to split them up and isolate them.
>>
>>5002160
>Work together with Serana to split them up and isolate them.
>>
>>5002160
>>Work together with Serana to split them up and isolate them.
N
>>
>>5002160
>Work together with Serana to split them up and isolate them.
>>
>>5002160
>>Work together with Serana to split them up and isolate them.
>>
>>5002160
Now, it becomes a matter of pack tactics rather than stringing the awakened beings along, and this should be almost a comically simple matter for two heavily-trained warriors. It’s really the basic technique for fighting an awakened being, that even double-digits without half-awakening in their toolkits should be able to use.

“Time to finish this,” you declare.

“Agreed,” Serana growls. “I’ll lead.”

She lands a single-handed earthbreaker that shatters the cobbles between the two awakened beings, forcing one left and one right. The one that goes left she strikes at with her regrown appendage, forcing it to backpedal into the wall of an apartment block, while you attack the one that broke right. She blocks your sword with her armored forearms, only to take a kick to her ribs that sends her flying across the street into the building opposite her only remaining ally.

Between you and Serana, who joins you in taking on the one you kicked, that fight hardly lasts more than a few seconds. The two of you together in these states are just too strong for a single awakened being, confused and demoralized by the deaths of her former comrades, to manage. On top of that your techniques are too advanced, too novel, to be easily countered.

She keeps fighting right to the end. It just isn’t enough.

By the time you step out of the rubble and dust, the last awakened being seems to have simply given up. She’s reverted to her human form and knelt, bloodied and unclothed, seemingly just waiting.

“If you don’t someone will at this point,” she offers. “Just do it. It’s over.”

>Not like this. We don’t do executions.
>You do realize there’s another way, right?
>Oblige her.
>Other?
>>
>>5003692
>>Not like this. We don’t do executions.
>>You do realize there’s another way, right?
>>
>>5003692
>You do realize there’s another way, right?
>>
>>5003692
This one had already refused the other way.
>Oblige her.
>>
>>5003692
>Other?
Ask for her name.
>>
>>5003692
>>Not like this. We don’t do executions.
>>
>>5003692
>You do realize there’s another way, right?
>>
>>5003692
>>>Not like this. We don’t do executions.
>keep guard up this could easily be a trick.
>>
>>5003692
“We don’t do executions,” you grumble, lowering your blade. “Either agree to try our ‘alternative’, or do it yourself if you’re still so desperate to die.”

She stares back up at you in shock. “You’re still going on about that? After all this?”

“She believes in it,” Serana glares down at the awakened being as she begins to reign in her yōki. Her arm begins to wither, eventually crumbling away entirely. From there, you suspect she’ll fall silent again.

Serana opens her mouth, testing her voice and finding that you were right – and she was probably as well – in assuming that she wouldn’t be able to speak once she stopped using her yōki.

[That was short-lived.]

“What was that?” the awakened being asks, glancing at your partner. “What is she saying?”

“Mere commentary,” you shrug.

“You can understand her?”

“Of course.”

...

“It seems all your little pawns have been spent, sister,” Salem smirks.

“Damn you,” Ella hisses. “You and your little pet claymores.”

“It seems there’s still one alive,” Sabela offers calmly. “Even now I think Noel is offering terms to let her live.”

“Still with the mercy,” Salem sighs. “I’m not sure I can get used to that.”

“Maybe not,” Sabela shrugs. “But you don’t have to agree on everything.”

...

The awakened being bows her head. “I... will try it your way. What do I have to do?”

>First, clothing. Second, apologize to the other defectors from Ella’s ranks.
>Help us withdraw from this settlement safely, then we’ll talk.
>Ella is still a problem – how do we take her down for good?
>Other?
>>
>>5004935
>>First, clothing. Second, apologize to the other defectors from Ella’s ranks.
>>
>>5004935
>First, clothing. Second, apologize to the other defectors from Ella’s ranks.
>>
>>5004935
>Ella is still a problem – how do we take her down for good?
>>
>>5004935
>>First, clothing. Second, apologize to the other defectors from Ella’s ranks.
>>
>>5004935
>First, clothing. Second, apologize to the other defectors from Ella’s ranks.
>>
>>5004935
“First,” you insist, “clothing. Second, I’m going to have you apologize to your former comrades who defected first. They’ll be the ones who decide how much of a risk we’re going to take on you.”

...

You are Sabela, the youngest of the Abyssal Ones – sometimes, you’ve been called ‘the Undying One’. However you still prefer the nickname you carried when you were more like a human than you are today, ‘Trueheart’. Your yōki aura has a curious effect on people’s minds that some have likened to a form of mind control. This is preposterous of course, yōki simply can’t do that. But your presence can and often does draw out more of what’s already there, amplifying personality quirks and defects to an irrational level.

For example, someone with a strong sense of self-loathing or guilt may attempt suicide. Someone with a personal grudge against another nearby may become homicidal. One may act drunk, one may struggle to stay awake and alert, one may be crippled with doubt. It takes either special resistances or a disciplined mind to stave off the effects when you use your ability at its peak effect, which when combined with your near-perfect swordplay, your powerful yōki, and your high regenerative abilities led many in the Organization to consider you their strongest number One in history.

However, it is certainly possible for even your own abilities to backfire somewhat.

“She’s not stopping,” Salem observes of Ella as she lashes out wildly with her many limbs, wailing like a demented madwoman all the while.

“I can see that!” you snipe back, narrowly avoiding being struck again.

“Do something about it!”

“She’s your sister, not mine!” you counter.

“Yeah, but you did this, not me!”

>Take hits for Salem, try to create an opening as a defender might.
>Try to focus on whittling away her sanity even further from here.
>Take the lead, show them both your infamous ‘sword style’ since you awakened.
>Other?
>>
>>5006127
>Take the lead, show them both your infamous ‘sword style’ since you awakened.
>>
>>5006127
>Take the lead, show them both your infamous ‘sword style’ since you awakened.
>>
>>5006127
>>Take the lead, show them both your infamous ‘sword style’ since you awakened.
>>
>>5006127
>Try to focus on whittling away her sanity even further from here.
Don't want any crazy homicidal claymores learning our style.....
>>
>>5006127
>Take the lead, show them both your infamous ‘sword style’ since you awakened.
>>
>>5006127
It’s time to finally show Ella what you’re capable of, and to bring this thing to a close.

“Thank you for your help, Salem,” you muse as your forelimbs extend and sharpen, fully awakening into your true form. “I can take it from here.”

With a screech Ella attacks, and you pivot with an effortless grace to slice two of her limbs clean away.

“I’m not sure if you can understand me,” you address Ella as you weave carefully through her attacks, slicing away her spear-tipped tendrils wherever you can and moving gradually closer to her. “But you fell for it right from the start.”

“You wanted to tire her out the whole time?” Salem realizes. “That was your plan?”

Your arm blades trim back Ella’s limbs as you continue to push forward, and in short order you’re slashing away at her main body. Her actual arm and her throat are your first targets, mirroring the wounds Ella left in Serana’s flesh, before impaling her chest and twisting your blade free, turning and slashing across her spine, leaving a deep crease in her skull, taking one of her eyes. Your movements are swift and graceful, and Ella’s mad flailing is totally ineffective even before she loses the eye.

Eventually Ella collapses under the weight of her wounds, having spent too much yōki trying to keep up with both you and Salem. The poor fool never realized that you were in control the whole time.

>Take her head.
>Leave her to Salem.
>Other?
>>
>>5007083
>>Leave her to Salem.
>>
>>5007083
>Leave her to Salem.
>>
>>5007083
>Leave her to Salem.
>>
>>5007083
>Leave her to Salem.
>>
>>5007083
You take a step back. “She’s your sister, Sa...”

Before you even finish the sentence Salem cleaves straight through Ella’s head, killing her instantly.

There’s a long silence, until Noel, Serana, and an awakened being wrapped in a tattered cloak arrive on the scene.

...

You are Noel Tiberius di Hazaran, and your mother’s body is slowly reverting to what it looked like before. Her arm-swords disappear, and her body visibly shrinks back down into something like a human’s. Then she takes a small handful of spice and downs it all at once.

The last surviving awakened being, Reika, stares in shock at the scene.

“She’s... really dead?”

Your mother watches her with obvious curiosity. “You can’t be mourning her.”

Reika shakes her head emphatically. “No... it’s been a long time since I was this happy!”

>We’ll get the other surviving awakened beings and get out of here, as quickly as possible.
>We should search for any civilian survivors or Organization soldiers.
>We should hold fast here for the night. Recover our strength while we can.
>Other?
>>
>>5008097
>We should search for any civilian survivors or Organization soldiers.
>>
>>5008097
>>We should search for any civilian survivors or Organization soldiers.
>>
>>5008097
>We should search for any civilian survivors or Organization soldiers.
>>
>>5008097
>We’ll get the other surviving awakened beings and get out of here, as quickly as possible.
>>
>>5008097
>>We should search for any civilian survivors or Organization soldiers.
>>
>>5008097
You take the time necessary to search for survivors and link back up with Livia and her friend, who seems to have healed herself significantly since you left them in the church.

“I didn’t get the chance to thank you before,” she greets you calmly. “My name is...”

“Jess.”

Reika looks distinctly uncomfortable.

‘Jess’, the previously wounded awakened being, frowns. “Reika.”

“What are you doing here?” Livia growls.

“I... surrendered to Noel and Serana here,” Reika explains. “I lost my will to fight and they took pity on me.”

“Is this going to be a problem?” your mother presses.

Livia glances at Jess, who stares hard at Reika. “Do you regret it?”

“Yes.”

“Then no,” Jess replies to Sabela. “It won’t be pleasant, but I won’t make it a problem.”

“I wouldn’t ask for ‘pleasant,’,” Reika admits. “I know what I did.”

“We know you do,” Livia assures her. “If Jess says it’s okay then I’ll keep my thoughts to myself.”

...

By nightfall you’ve scraped together as many survivors as you can find – a handful of dazed and exhausted Organization soldiers who threw aside their weapons at the sight of you, the three surviving awakened beings, Salem and Sabela, yourself and Serana, and a few civilians who chose not to evacuate with the rest.

Most give you a wide margin.

“By this time tomorrow night people will have started returning,” you tell the surviving soldiers. “And they won’t be happy with what they find. Your reinforcements are no doubt further from here than that.”

“I think we get your point,” one of the soldiers insists. “We’ll come with you.”

>We can’t offer the locals any help in recovering, since the Organization is on its way.
>The best we can do is strike elsewhere while the Organization is unbalanced from this loss.
>Let’s salvage as much as we can tonight. We have the muscle to be sure.
>Other?
>>
>>5009057
>>Let’s salvage as much as we can tonight. We have the muscle to be sure.
>>
>>5009057
>Let’s salvage as much as we can tonight. We have the muscle to be sure.
>>
>>5009057
>Let’s salvage as much as we can tonight. We have the muscle to be sure.

Was Jess the one who killed what's her name when the other AB tried to escape?
If so then what are the odds of that.....
>>
>>5009057
>Let’s salvage as much as we can tonight. We have the muscle to be sure.
>>
>>5009057
>>Let’s salvage as much as we can tonight. We have the muscle to be sure.
>>
>>5009235
She's not the one who did that, no. But she was one of the ones Livia considered to be "in play" as a defector, but she sided with Ella against her only real "friend" and now she feels guilty about it.
>>
>>5009057
“We have an opportunity here,” you muse, “to gather materiel we might not otherwise have access to. And we’ve got plenty of people who can use yōki.”

“I follow,” your mother nods in agreement. “What do you think we need?”

Under your direction you and your comrades recover a few key things from the wreckage. An automatic rifle, a belt of ammunition, a shell for one of the large cannon, a hand-thrown grenade, the action and breech block of a main cannon, and parts from an internal combustion engine. You also take a small section of armor to test its properties when you return to Hazaran.

You decide to let the normal humans who want to come with you rest, since their bodies need it more, though many of the rest of you are also in rough shape. Even your own body has been run ragged, muscles strained and tendons ruptured from the strain of your near-complete awakening. Even your mind feels a little foggy, and slow.

[Someone should stand watch,] Serana suggests.

“You rest,” you insist. “That was your first time awakening that far. I know how that feels.”

[I’d argue,] she shakes her head, [but I’m too tired.]

>Ask Sabela to keep a watch on the Organization and the new awakened beings.
>You and Sabela will share the responsibility.
>You and Salem will share the responsibility.
>You’ll handle this. You want to speak with members of both groups in private.
>Other?
>>
>>5010067
>>You and Sabela will share the responsibility.
>>
>>5010067
>>You and Sabela will share the responsibility.
>>
>>5010067
>You and Sabela will share the responsibility.
>>
>>5010067
>>You and Salem will share the responsibility.
>>
>>5010067
>You and Sabela will share the responsibility.
>>
>>5010067
>>You and Salem will share the responsibility.
She needs talking too more IMO





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